Sports for Development and Peace

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Sport is a powerful instrument which can be use for inner & physical development of children and youth

In my childhood time, I heard a proverb “a sound body has a sound mind”. I believe to get education and to change world we require sound minds. A query rose, how we can obtain sound minds. Answer is uncomplicated through “sports”.

Youth and children in conflict or disaster areas, as a refugee, facing racism or discrimination, living with HIV/AIDS and in low earning families are facing anxiety and pressure which is an obstacle in learning. The merely easily available, low cost and high impact tool to conquer pressure around us is sports. Sports provide us physical fitness which leads to mental fitness and leadership skills.

I believe leadership is a broader expression which leads to numerous thoughts in an optimistic silhouette. By means of pressure and stress you are in a state of darkness but sports leads you to brightness. At this juncture, I am talking about positive sports which lead a child/youth towards leadership skills like tolerance, accepting challenges, determination, communication, inclusion, team building, passion, punctuality, intelligence, honesty, creativity, mobilization, think out of box, clear vision, inspire, respect others opinion, acceptance of binding rules, humanitarian values and fairness. Sports is also a tool of fundraising, public awareness, advocacy, conflict resolution, peace building, health promotion and disease prevention, promotion of gender equality and post disaster relief. It can augment social interaction and justice. Leadership skills can assist the world to create effective leaders like Pakistan have Imran Khan (former Pakistani cricketer, Current Chairman of Second biggest political party).

Some effective examples are given underneath:
Mobilization: Mobilization power of sports is used to hold up causes like education, child rights, HIV/AIDS etc
Tolerance: Tolerance power of sports can be used to counter extremism and violence
Mental Health: It can reduce violence, sexual harassment and rape incidents
Inclusion: It can assist people to move back in normal life activities which are facing discrimination or living with HIV/AIDs. We can also make feel better to people with physical restrictions.

In the history ping pong is used to resolve conflict issues between different countries

Pakistan is facing extremism and violence currently and we can counter it by supremacy of sports. Unfortunately, in Pakistan supports facilities and play grounds are exceptional and are unavailable for low earning families. Majority public and low fee private schools of Pakistan have no sports facilities even in big cities like Lahore. These schools have majority children from low earning families which are victim of financial pressure and stress. Governments need to finance for sports to make it accessible for low earning people at grass root level. It will also help to enhance learning and quality facts of education.


United Nations has a department on sports for development and peace which is promoting sports and doing advocacy of young leaders on sports for development and peace under leadership of Will Field Lemke special advisor of United Nations Secretary General Ban ki Moon. Trained young leaders are working with mass at grass root level to develop them by providing skills. I also attended the young leaders program 1st -17th Feb 2015 on Sports for Development and Peace held at Gwangju South Korea and represented Kafka Welfare Organization Pakistan there. 32 young leaders from Asia pacific attended the program and learned conflict resolution, sports for development and peace, countering HIV/AIDS with sports and child protection. Sessions were conducted by UNOSDP, UNAIDS, International Olympic Association, British Football federation and South Korean Taekwondo federation. They used Soccer, Table Tennis, Taekwondo and many own designed games to teach leadership skills. In seventeen days, I accepted many challenges, though like a growth mind set, learnt many leadership skills and applied them through sports activities.

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