Article by Sana Singru
Whether it be at PE or IASAS, sports is a core value of the ISM lifestyle. This aspect of school is an extremely important one. While it’s clear that there are countless benefits of sports in one’s life, we primarily think of the health related advantages. In fact, there are a myriad of other ones that play a crucial role in the development of a person. According to the UN “sport provides a forum to learn skills such as discipline, confidence and leadership and it teaches core principles such as tolerance, cooperation and respect. Sport teaches the value of effort and how to manage victory, as well as defeat.” Such concepts are extremely important as one grows up.
A large population of the world grows up in less than ideal circumstances, making them extremely vulnerable to many things. In communities that have been stricken by violence, there is often much disparity which reveals itself in many forms. The youth, in particular, are severely impacted, and as such they are often lead down negative paths.
One way to combat this issue is through the use of sports. According to the UN, “The practice of sport is vital to the holistic development of young people. It provides healthy alternatives to harmful actions, such as drug abuse and involvement in crime. It can also cut across barriers that divide societies, making it a powerful tool to support conflict prevention and peacebuilding efforts, both symbolically on the global level and very practically within communities.”
An example of this is seen in the NGO Peace and Sport. The organization is based in Timor Leste, and in one of its biggest projects, they targeted 1400 children and young people facing difficult circumstances, such as homelessness and gang involvement. In the span of 6 years, between 2008 and 2014, they managed to influence 3,700 people by strengthening the social cohesion and dialogue in the Timor Leste community through sport.
These ideas and concepts are extremely important and have a lot of potential for development in the future. One such application is through the CAS curriculum. For those who have yet to complete their CAS project, this is an excellent concept to consider, and definitely can be approached in a variety of ways. Sports are crucial in the development of a community and it is clear that they will play a vital role, as they have done in the past, to help develop society as a whole, whether that be in a CAS project done at ISM or in a place like Timor Leste.
“Sport, a Key Tool for Integration and Socialization among East Timorese Youth.” Peace and Sport,
UN Interagency Task Force. “https://www.un.org/sport2005/resources/task_force.pdf” UN, 2005.