The Caribbean Sport and Development Agency

Acknowledging the BIG Day Challenge!
02/24/2014 10:57

“Acknowledgement and celebration of our beneficiaries are vital to fuelling the passion to build a healthy, productive and harmonious Caribbean through sport and physical activity”

 

The Caribbean Sport and Development Agency (CSDA) joins the global sport and development fraternity in celebrating the inaugural International Day of Sport for Development and Peace on April 6th 2014. CSDA has been formally engaged in the field of sport and development since 2002 when four volunteers came together to form what was then known as the Trinidad and Tobago Alliance for Sport and Physical Education (TTASPE). The founding members of the organization shared a common belief in the power of sport to change lives and embarked on a journey that challenged the status quo and sought to redefine what was considered ‘normal’. For the CSDA, low quality physical education in elementary schools was not ‘normal’; limited opportunities for girls to play sport was not ‘normal’; inadequate opportunities for children with disabilities to participate in organized sport and physical education was not ‘normal’; poorly organized youth sport programmes that placed greater emphasis on trophies and medals than on meaningful youth development was not ‘normal’…

 

Redefining ‘normal’ meant that persons and organizations working with children, young people and children with disabilities in sport, physical education and recreation had to be re-educated and reoriented to a new way of thinking that was based on purpose, process and principles… and that became the mission of the organization.

 

CSDA is primarily concerned with enhancing capacity of personnel and organizations responsible for in-country implementation of sport and development programmes that contribute to health, education, social cohesion, gender and disability. The organization is also committed to the search for new knowledge through meaningful research that captures evidence, informs practice and leads to improved sport for development strategies and approaches (CSDA, 2013, para. 1).

 

CSDA’s mission is to develop people and communities in the Caribbean through the powerful medium of sport and physical activity, embracing the values of authenticity, consistency and trustworthiness in an unwavering commitment to strengthen institutions, enhance capacity and inform practice.

 

According to the United Nations (United Nations, 1978), sport has a unique power to attract, mobilize and inspire. Recent years have seen increased recognition, promotion and institutionalization of the role of sport and physical activity, amidst struggles for just and sustainable development on an international scale (Darnell, 2012). The United Nations defines Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) as ‘the intentional use of sport, physical activity and play to attain specific development and peace objectives including, most notably, the Millennium Development Goals’ (United Nations, 1978). The ‘International Day of Sport for Development and Peace’ that will be celebrated on April 6, 2014, holds a strong significance to the Caribbean Sport and Development Agency, providing a level of validation for our efforts during the formative years of the organization. 

 

Celebration of the Movement

This day signifies the celebration of the Sport for Development and Peace movement - a movement which is driven by the often misunderstood, yet universally acknowledged, belief that sport has the power to foster child and youth development and education as well as inclusion, health and well-being of people with disabilities, and most notably, peace among all. 

 

CSDA acknowledges this day as progress towards regional and local recognition of Sport for Development as an emerging field within the Caribbean.  As we join in the recognition of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, we recognize and celebrate the contributions of those key agencies that have added value to the field and have truly exemplified the ideals of global partnerships. The Australian Sport Commission stands out as a treasured partner to the Caribbean – they have redefined ‘normal’, along with agencies like Commonwealth Games Canada (CGC), UK Sport, UNICEF, Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), Caribbean Administrators of Sport and Physical Education (OCASPE) and the International Alliance for Youth Sport (IAYS).

 

Valuable publications, Harnessing the Power of Sport: Recommendations to Governments (Sport for Development and Peace International Working Group, 2008) and in more recent times, the Commonwealth Guide to Advancing Development through Sport (Commonwealth Secretariat, 2013) have provided an increased awareness among key stakeholders in the Caribbean of the value of sport as a significant contributor to development. Importantly, both of these publications also assisted in opening new doors for the beginning of greater collaboration among the non-sport sector – redefining ‘normal’.

 

Celebrating our Beneficiaries

To CSDA, all of what we do is primarily intended for the benefit of those we serve – the children, teachers, coaches, youth leaders, persons with disabilities, sport administrators and volunteers in the Caribbean - they are the reason we exist.

 

During the past three years, over 4,179 participants have been trained through CSDA’s Sport for Development programs and as a result approximately 14,317 participants/youth/persons with disabilities/students are engaged in various programs that use sport as a tool for development. As part of the celebration of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, we pay tribute to representatives of government departments throughout the Caribbean who support the in-country implementation of programmes – they are redefining ‘normal’. We celebrate the youth sport leaders who facilitate peer education sessions in schools and communities – they are redefining ‘normal’. We celebrate caregivers and volunteers who dedicate their lives to ensure that others can smile – they are redefining ‘normal’.

 

The BIG Day Challenge!

The acknowledgement and celebration of CSDA’s beneficiaries are vital to fueling the passion to build a healthy, productive and harmonious Caribbean through the use of sport and physical activity. For that reason, CSDA plans to celebrate the International Day of SDP on April 6, 2014 by involving our beneficiaries throughout the region, as we welcome members of the other sectors and the general public to commemorate this day with us.

 

CSDA is inviting organizations throughout the Caribbean to host a Sport for Development and Peace activity day within their respective organizations/countries. The planned activities must include some form of physical activity and must highlight at least one way that they are using sport/physical activity as a tool for development.

 

Participating organizations that submit a report of their event have the opportunity to receive a small grant to support the organization’s sport for development initiatives.

 

The event report must include the following:

  • Brief description of the planned event, including links to development
  • Photos and/or video images of the event
  • Quotations from participants at the event highlighting the value of sport as a tool for development

 

All participating organizations who submit information before and after the planned event will be highlighted on the CSDA website and the organization with the most ‘hits’ over a designated period will be declared the winner of the challenge.

 

According to UNICEF (2004), sport, recreation and play are a fun way to learn values and lessons that will last a lifetime. They promote friendship and fair play and teach skills such as teamwork, discipline, respect, and the coping skills necessary to develop individuals and communities. CSDA believes the culture and love of sport in the Caribbean are viable mediums with the potential to contribute to the development of people and communities of the region in very significant ways. We join the global community in celebrating the inaugural International Day of Sport for Development and Peace with the hope that the efforts of the sport and development fraternity will continue to redefine ‘normal’.

 

Contact

Mark Mungal | mmungalcaribbeansportanddev.org

 www.caribbeansportanddev.org

 

References

Commonwealth Secretariat (2013). Commonwealth guide to advancing development through Sport. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/wcm/webdav/site/sport/users/melodie.arts/public/Common...

 

CSDA. (2013). Mission. Retrieved from http://www.caribbeansportanddev.org/index.php/about-us/mission

 

Darnell, S. C. (2012) Global Citizenship and the ethical challenges of ‘Sport for Development and Peace’. Journal of Global Citizenship & Equity Education.  2(1) (Special Edition).

 

Right to Play. (n.d.). Literature Reviews on Sport for Development and Peace. Retrieved from http://www.righttoplay.com/International/news-and-media/Documents/Policy....

 

Sport for Development and Peace International Working Group. (2008). Harnessing the Power of Sport: Recommendations to Governments. Retrieved from http://www.righttoplay.com/International/news-and-media/Documents/Final%...

 

UNICEF (2004). Sport and development: Why sport and play. Retrieved from http://www.unicef.org/sports/index_23624.html.

 

United Nations (1978). Introduction to Sport for Development and Peace. Retrieved from athttp://www.un.org/wcm/webdav/site/sport/shared/sport/SDP%20IWG/Chapter1_....