Let’s Get Moving Together - A Toolkit for Grassroots Sport Leaders

ICSSPE & UNESCO - Empowering Future Leaders
31/05/2022 10:33
Let’s Get Moving Together! Empowering Future Leaders in International Grassroots Sport – a Toolkit for Community Leaders
If you wish to move mountains tomorrow, you must start by lifting stones today. (African proverb)
The International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE) has published a toolkit for future leaders in grassroots sport, the result of its Empowering Future Leaders in International Grassroots Sport project. Download the Let’s Get Moving Together toolkit below or HERE.
The aim of the toolkit is to empower current and future leaders with appropriate knowledge and skills and to be a useful guide for anyone wanting to plan and deliver grassroots sport events or programmes in their communities. The toolkit aims to contribute to positive social change by empowering especially young sport leaders from Africa. 
The inclusive grassroots sports programming project was realised with the financial support of the UNESCO Participation Programme and was originally planned to be held in conjunction with the 2021 German Turnfest, the world´s largest Sport for All event in Leipzig, Germany. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was changed from a face-to-face meeting to a series of online events. 
Future leaders from Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Germany developed the toolkit as part of the programme that started with a series of six online workshops held in February 2022. Led by experienced scholars and practitioners from the ICSSPE network, who presented African-based and global perspectives, participants worked on a range of topics including the Parameters of Grassroots Sport; Leadership and Empowerment; Networking, Equality and Inclusion;  Governance and Management; Sponsorship and Fundraising as well as Sustainability, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning. 
This educational programme was followed by online group sessions to transfer the learnings as well as own experiences and knowledge into the development of the toolkit.
Project participants were selected from ICSSPE Member Organisations in Southern Africa and Germany with the toolkit authors including emerging leaders in grassroots sport from Namibia, South Africa, and Zambia. They brought a wealth of knowledge and experience from their respective  backgrounds including academia, teaching, sport coaching and community leadership, which culminated in the creation of the toolkit. 
“The fact that as someone working on ground level, I got to work with so many academics, realising we all have a role to play and having a little piece to add to this amazing project, was definitely a highlight. I had the opportunity to learn from the greatest minds. Across developing and developed countries, we all have loopholes and there is an opportunity to grow and be better. No one is ever accomplished and we need each other to make these dreams and goals reality. I never envisioned being part of something like this - and to have been afforded the opportunity has been priceless,” co-author Beverley-Rae Henckert (Namibia), who holds a BA in Psychology and is a certified fitness instructor, said about her involvement.  
As someone working towards coaching and mentoring athletes to be mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy, the project underlined the importance of grassroots sport to her. 
“It was an amazing realisation that we really need grassroot sport to grow and then we can identify the athletes to further grow and build them for their future. We need grassroot sport.” 
“Sport is such an integral part of our being and if we can get every person to understand the importance of sport, we would have done so much for the generations to come. I am humbled and immensely grateful to have been a part of such an important project and piece to diversity, equity, inclusivity and belonging.” Beverley summarised her experience in this interdisciplinary and international project with a focus on the African continent -- a sentiment echoed by fellow co-author Nana Akua Achiaa Adom-Aboagye from South Africa. 
“I feel pride and accomplishment, having contributed to something that could be used in Africa. Also, learning from the other participants, regarding how they approach challenges and their creativity in the face of adversity has been a highlight of the project. The biggest take away was that all our experiences were as similar as they were different.” Nana, who has a special interest in marginalised groups in sport for development, sport policy, gender equity and women in sport, reflected on the last couple of months working with the group. 
Like all of the project participants, Nana, who is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Sport Leadership, at Maties Sport (Stellenbosch University) and a Vice-Chairperson of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee’s (SASCOC) Education and Culture Commission, also had a lot of personal take-aways from the project, which was all about empowering future leaders. 
“My take away from the project is how I have learnt to challenge myself and allowed myself to be challenged. I was asked to step up and assist the lead facilitator in co-ordinating the toolkit's input and although I was hesitant at first, as I had never done something like that before, I discovered leadership qualities within myself that I did not realise I had. Qualities that I can use in future projects with confidence and that was the goal of this project, to develop leadership skills and to empower ourselves.”
Guided by Sport Matters CEO and co-founder Jackie Lauff (Australia) and the project’s subject experts (see below), who delivered the workshops series and facilitated the toolkit compilation phase, this combination of knowledge plus experience led participants to the production of the toolkit, empowering everyone along the way. 
The toolkit is designed to provide a step-by-step guidance for grassroots sport programming. It addresses organisational issues and challenges that those in the field struggle with and do not always have the knowledge or guidance to address. 
The content is supported by illustrations that have been created especially for this project, considering concepts of grassroots sport in an African context. The creative design efforts of Josephus van den Heever from Pretoria, South Africa have powerfully communicated several key concepts: inclusion, diversity, and community empowerment. 
The project would not have been possible without the contributions of a team of experienced facilitators from the ICSSPE membership from South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Germany, and Australia who each delivered sessions on specific topics, sharing their expertise across various domains in the sport sector. 
“The success of this project is based on a joint team effort with expertise from various continents and professional fields. Thanks to all team members for their various contributions and volunteering their knowledge, expertise, and interpretation in the successful planning of a grassroots event,” Dr. Uri Schaefer, ICSSPE President, acknowledged the international team effort in making this project happen. 
“My special gratitude goes to UNESCO for their financial contribution to this project and for their understanding of the challenges we were facing during the pandemic in finalising it. Finally, I would like to thank the authors of this toolkit, the current generation of young leaders whose diverse backgrounds in grassroots sport have laid a solid foundation for the depth of content and practical usability of this toolkit.” 
Empowering Future Leaders in Grassroots Sport is an inclusive grassroots sports programming project that was developed based on the UN Agenda 2030, which has designated education as a sustainable development goal. The project and toolkit as a result provide leadership in education with a special focus on gender equality. The United Nations’ SDG 5 (gender equality), SDG 4 (education), SDG 16 (peace and justice), SDG 17 (partnerships) as well as the African Union’s Agenda 2063 formed the foundation for the delivery of the online symposium training workshops as well as the development of the toolkit. 
Toolkit Authors: 
  • Nana Akua Achiaa Adom-Aboagya (South Africa), 
  • Beverley-Rae Henckert (Namibia), 
  • Albertina Talonheni Mbalili (Namibia), 
  • Leepile Motlhaolwa (South Africa), 
  • Mwaka Musiyani (Zambia), 
  • Febby Phiri (Zambia), and 
  • Bronwyn Ann Sumption (South Africa).

Reviewer: Darlene Kluka (USA). 

  • Annette Hofmann (Germany), Professor of Sport Studies at Ludwigsburg University of Education and Vice-President of the German Gymnastics Federation;
  • Jackie Lauff (Australia), CEO and co-founder Sport Matters; 
  • Valereis Geldenhuys (Namibia), former President of the Namibian Gymnastics Federation, Physical Education Teacher, Commonwealth Gymnastics Confederation Executive and FIG Gender Equality Commission Member; 
  • Cora Burnett (South Africa), Professor at the University of Johannesburg and Director UJ Olympic Studies Centre;
  • Anneliese Goslin (South Africa), Emeritus Professor in Sport Management at the University of Pretoria, South Africa;
  • Katongo Bwalya Moonga (Zambia), Executive Director National Organisation for Women in Sport Physical Activity and Recreation (NOWSPAR), ICSSPE Executive Board Member and Physical Education and Sport lecturer at the University of Zambia were also part of the expert group leading the project. 

For more on the editorial team see the toolkit. 

ICSSPE Grassroots Sport Toolkit
PDF icon 20220531_ICSSPEToolkitGrassrootsSportFinal.pdf