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Veröffentlicht 30.10.2014

 

Sports4development

“Seek the rapids, not the calm of the lake. Take the calm to reflect and prepare for the rapids. If we face permanent white water, we will see the need for and experience change.” – Peter Vaille, Author

Introduction

Menyiwadawodo in collaboration with its partners initiated the project sports4development as a method of bringing about social change through the use of sports. Sport refers to the physical activity and development is any individual, health, social, and economic benefits. As part of our after School program we use sport to help children learn lifelong skills as an incentive for them to stay in school. We encourage the children attending our school program to participate is Sport as it is a tool to reach personal and community goals.

Objectives

Since the advent of modern Olympics in 1896, athletes have shown that sports enable people to come together in an effort to bring about global peace and to share a desire for self-improvement. Through sport, children learn sportsmanship and other life skills. Sports4development would help them grow towards positive development and good relationships with others. Sport is a tool utilized to get young people involved in their communities. Positive peer relationships are also encouraged through coaching as well as the physical and psychomotoric activity; this leads to youth feeling integrated with other young people. Through sports children can gain self-esteem when they are enjoying the experience of taking part in a sport. Sports help them gain lifelong skills and want to do better in the classroom as well. Involvement in sports have been related to one having better cognitive functioning as well as higher grades and test scores, satisfaction in school, engagement in school, aspirations for Senior High to tertiary education, and lower dropout rates. In many regions of Ghana like the Central Region where poverty rates are very high, such an initiative would help marginalized children by creating an environment to unite people across gender, race, religion or socio economic background.

Programs

We currently have four sport that are available for the children who participate in our after school program. They include Boxing, Volleyball, Track and Field and Table Tennis. These sporting disciplines all have Coaches who train the children.

Activities

In other to make the community be part of this initiative, we organize tournaments and competitions at least every quarter of the year which brings the whole community together. During these events, we have a team (made up of children participating in our program) which competes with other teams in the community.

These events are themed on local social issues such as female empowerment including gender equity; conflict resolution including social inclusion; health and wellness including HIV behavior change; and other life skills.

Our major events include:

  •  The Juvenile Boxing Tournament
  •  Volley Against AIDS
  •  Run For Cure – Marathon
  •  Juvenile Tennis Challenge

Challenges

There is lack of sports structures where we train. Even though we improvise and use open spaces there is a need to develop an infrastructure where the children could train in a good environment. Our equipments for training are been kept at the Regional Sports Council which is not advisable and are sometimes used without our knowledge.

Opportunities

The enthusiasm showed by Coaches has enabled  Menyiwadawodo program of incorporating sport and development elements which would ensure better quality programs in the long run with increased sustainability.

The support from the Municipal Education office of the Ghana Education Service, Ghana Health Service and the Regional Sports Council shows that they have the human resource to promote and train sports among the children but do not have other resources to organize these events on regular bases. We have developed a cooperative relationship as they are part of this project and see it as their own. These events provide the Region an opportunity to identify and recruit players for the various teams.

Partners

  • Ghana Education Service, KEEA, Central Region
  • Regional Sports Council, Central Region
  • Succeed in Ghana e.V
  • Gesellschaft fuer internationale Zusammenarbeit (GiZ)

 

Conclusion

The interest shown by the children in sports by attending school on regular bases just to be part of the school program is encouraging and there is a need to continue our work and use sport as a tool to keep them in school. I end with a quote I coiled on the Official Website of the Olympic Movement. It states that, being surrounded by a supportive group of people with similar goals, as in playing a sport, “can alleviate the negative effects of poverty.”

 

 

 

 

 

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