The four organisations selected are:
- Kabubu (France)
- Kids Play International (USA)
- Fondation Sport pour l'Espoir (Haiti)
- Asociación Civil Activa en Educación y Soporte en Diabetes y Ecnt (Argentina)
The four organisations have developed inspiring projects encouraging the practice of regular physical activity and promoting the health and social benefits of sport. Selected from among 107 applications by a jury composed of four IOC SAS Commission members, each project will receive a grant worth CHF 20,000.
“Congratulations to the recipients of the IOC SAS Development Grants,” said Sari Essayah, former Olympic race walker from Finland, IOC Member and Chair of the IOC SAS Commission. “This year’s grant applicants were extremely impressive in demonstrating how sport and physical activity can be effective tools to tackle pressing social issues such as climate change, the integration of young refugees, gender inequalities and innovation challenges.” She added: “All the projects are showcasing the power of sport in an impactful and sustainable way.”
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), one in four adults is not active enough, and more than 80 per cent of the world’s adolescent population is insufficiently physically active.
Sport has been proving essential this year to stay active and strong during the Covid-19 pandemic. In this unprecedented health crisis, many athletes around the world are showing everyone how to stay physically and mentally healthy.
Sport not only has health benefits, it can also be an essential driver for social change and inclusion, as demonstrated by the four projects.
The project “Kabubu – l’amitié par le sport”, winner of the “Social Inclusion of Forcibly Displaced People through Sport and Physical Activity” category, promotes social and professional inclusion of refugees through sport in France.
Weekly free sports activities promote physical and mental health, in addition to facilitating integration into society and use of the French language. Refugees are also encouraged to suggest and develop new sports initiations to propose to other participants.
Kids Play International
“Promotion of Gender Equality through Sport and Physical Activity” is the category in which the project developed by Kids Play International, “All Girls United”, was chosen. Composed of several activities, it helps strengthen the leadership skills of female coaches and players in Rwanda and Cambodia, through a programme designed to promote inclusion.
Educational sport sessions and annual camps allow the participants to delve deeper into key issues such as gender-based violence, gender stereotypes, financial literacy, education and career planning.
Fondation Sport pour l'Espoir
Based in Haiti, the Fondation Sport pour l’Espoir was chosen in the “Tackling Climate Change and Protecting the Environment through Sport and Physical Activity” category. The project helps athletes become environmental agents, raising awareness on eco-responsible behaviours. Athletes were involved in planting trees in the area surrounding the Centre Sport pour l’Espoir, which is managed by the organisation.
A total of 600,000 trees have been planted in six years, and an organic vegetable garden has been created, helping athletes to have better nutrition.
Asociación Civil Activa en Educación y Soporte en Diabetes y Ecnt
The project chosen in the fourth category, “Promotion of Sport and Physical Activity Participation through Innovation”, is an Argentinean initiative entitled “Sportd”.
It is a running app for people who suffer from diabetes, to monitor and help ensure safe workouts.
It includes various features, such as the possibility to add an emergency contact and medical data, as well as contact other users and propose workout challenges for them.
Physical activity is in fact regarded as a key pillar of diabetes treatment, together with nutrition, technology and medication.
The four winning projects were selected from the following group of shortlisted applications:
- Social Inclusion of Forcibly Displaced People through Sport and Physical Activity:
a. Fundacja dla Wolności – Etnoliga
b. International Judo Federation – Judo for Refugees
- Promotion of Gender Equality through Sport and Physical Activity:
a. Fundación Niñas Sin Miedo - Escuela Deportiva de Lideresas Niñas Sin Miedo
b. Nevobo - Volleyball4Life Nepal
c. Special Olympics Pakistan - Special Olympic Sports Programme
- Tackling Climate Change and Protecting the Environment through Sport and Physical Activity:
a. International SAMBO Federation (FIAS) – FIAS International SAMBO Training Centre
b. Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) – Bike City Label
- Promotion of Sport and Physical Activity Participation through Innovation:
a. Badminton World Federation – AirBadminton
b. Special Olympics Switzerland – SOS Unified Events
c. Turkish Sport for all Federation - HisApp
More information about the composition of the IOC SAS Commission and programmes can be found here: https://www.olympic.org/sport-and-active-society-commission.