Sports as an Incentive to Peace
By Ngum Dilis
Sports over the years has gone beyond just serving as a physical exercise to becoming a means for empowerment and a positive factor for economic boost and development. Sports being a recreational exercise has been able to generate an unbeatable passion and feeling of belonging in almost all parts of the world. It is one of those highly lucrative development goals to explore in a society especially in crisis times.
To the big question, why should sports be used for peace advocacy? Sports has had a track record of resolving conflicts, healing and rising above cultural and international differences to consolidate peace. At the individual levels sports can be used to encourage people of all sex and ages to physically and mentally enhance themselves, and boost their self-esteem, the reason why most schools and other organizations have sporting activities and even organize sports competitions.
“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, to unite people in a way that little else does.” Nelson R. Mandela, former president of South Africa.
Moreover, sport is participatory. It serves all classes, gender, race and even disability. “Sport is a universal language that can bring people together, no matter what their origins, background, religious beliefs or economic status” Koffi Annan, UN Secretary-General ``. By default sports harbours peace components through which people come alive. Sports has an indubitable reach in cultivating and promoting universal values
In addition, through sports learning platforms can be created most especially as we target the population in the grass fields and other remote communities. There, children will be able to play and likewise serve as a learning space through which they can acquire other skill sets such as how to communicate with one another in times of conflicts through crafting. This will go a long way in helping the affected communities carry a positive outlook with an extra hand of hope.
“Much more than just performance, sports is synonymous with education and responsibility. It teaches young people strong values that help them grow.” Pernilla Wiber With the test of time, sports has proven to be resilient in promoting peace and development both within and without over the years. Sports is a stepping stone in creating peace solutions in its roles. Thus every society is encouraged to look deeper in sports to creatively develop cross relationships with other societies in reaching out more powerfully, for the benefit of development.
Sports teaches values such as fairness, teambuilding, equality, discipline, inclusion, perseverance and respect. And not just in sports we need these values at our job site, family and personal life. Sport has the power to provide a universal framework for learning values, thus contributing to the development of soft skills needed for responsible citizenship.
Sport enhances social and cultural life by bringing together individuals and communities. Sports can help to overcome difference and encourages dialogue, and thereby helps to break down prejudice, stereotypes, cultural differences, ignorance, intolerance and discrimination.
Ngum Dilis is a Communicator, and freelance writer who's determined to awaken people's consciousness and portray the bright side of Love and Life through her art of writing.