'Using sport as a tool to create an inclusive society'
The webinar was moderated by Gobinath Sivarajah, the marketing and media manager of the National Olympic Committee in Sri Lanka.
He was joined by Kafka Welfare Organisation founder Umair Asif; International Olympic Committee Young Leader and former professional volleyball player from Egypt, Sarah Moamen Abdelsamie; Sport for Development Practitioner and Researcher, Deandra Farnita; ex-Palestine footballer, Taymaa Qatamesh; sports administrator and Academy of Hope co-founder, Lawrence Tapiwa Kamukapa; and Kenyan sports journalist Nashon Owano.
The key theme highlighted by the panelists included how sports contributed to United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the challenges faced in carrying out sports for development and peace campaigns in developing countries.
They also highlighted the role of sports in social development and its contribution to women’s empowerment, gender equality, and community building in the Global South.
With stakeholders playing a crucial role in the growth of sports, the discussion centered on how more stakeholders should be involved in capacity-building initiatives in developing nations.
The session started with Sarah highlighting some of the sports initiatives she has worked on in Egypt that target refugees and students.
“The initiatives combine physical health, mental health, and creating a family network by helping them deal with insecurities to help address SDGs,” Sarah said.
Speaking during the session, Umair underscored the role that sports play in promoting values and acting as a tool for creating an inclusive society.
“As young leaders from the Global South, we understand that sport has the power to transcend boundaries and bring people together. Through sport, we can promote values such as teamwork, respect, and fair play, which are essential for building peaceful and inclusive societies,” said Umair.
“Let us harness the power of sport to drive positive change and create a brighter future for all.”
Lawrence highlighted the role sport plays in empowering and building stronger communities.
“Sport can play a vital role in fostering development and peace by promoting inclusivity, building bridges across communities, and empowering individuals and groups to overcome social, cultural, and political differences through healthy competition and cooperation.”
Gobinath emphasised on the need for the sustainability of sport initiatives and programmes.
“The sustainability of the Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) programmes is very important to inculcate values and create positive vibes among the vulnerable groups, in a continuous process. Therefore, the implementors should play their roles seriously by developing strategic plans to conduct the program for the long run,” said Gobinath.
Taymaa reiterated the need for SDP programmes to address social and health issues.
“There is a need to incorporate more pertinent issues that affect the community in SDP programmes so that the youth can feel more engaged in an important aspect that could provide sustainability for such programmes,” Taymaa said.
Deandra acknowledged the role of local communities in setting up and running sports initiatives.
“Sport academies should have community dialogues and involvement from the locals because they are the key component of the society that could define the success of such initiatives.”
Nashon addressed the role that the media plays in enhancing the image of SDP programmess, pointing out that the media could either guarantee the success or failure of such initiatives.
Click here to watch the webinar.