Building winning teams for sports for development
The power of sports to help create economic opportunities, especially for youth and women, has never been clearer, said International Trade Centre Executive Director Pamela Coke-Hamilton on the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace 2022.
The power of sports to help create economic opportunities, especially for youth and women,
has never been clearer, said International Trade Centre Executive Director Pamela Coke-Hamilton on the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace 2022.
Coke-Hamilton went on to highlight the transformative potential of a coalition of sport federations, industry stakeholders, international sport organizing committees, sponsors and private sector interests following environmental, social, and corporate governance principles.
ITC is strategizing on how sport as an economic power can become an integral element of how it works to socially and economically empower youth.
Coke-Hamilton and UEFA Foundation General Secretary Urs Kluser marked the Day by bringing together speakers from the world of football and business to highlight how sport can benefit public health and drive economic empowerment and social cohesion.
ITC and the UEFA Foundation have created a Kick for Trade curriculum to build skills for employability and entrepreneurship through football.
Speaking live from The Gambia, young entrepreneur Adama Sanyang, said he had personally seen the link between sports and peace, having witnessed a land rights conflict between two communities in The Gambia being resolved on a football pitch.
He also explained how he had been able to open his own business thanks to skills and knowledge he acquired in the curriculum, adding that it was critical to give youth access to technology and connectivity.
“At my school nobody talked to me about entrepreneurship ideas. I learned (about it) from reading, and also when someone stood in front of me talking about entrepreneurship: the Kick for Trade curriculum. Based on that, I came up with my idea and started my own business,” Sanyang said.
Honey Thaljieh, Communications Manager (Special Projects) for FIFA agreed that sports can bring hope, unity and empowerment, even in the middle of destruction and despair.
As co-founder of women's football in Palestine and first captain of the Palestinian national women’s football team, Thaljieh has been a trailblazer who is now dedicated to empowering girls around the world, by giving them confidence and opportunities.
“Honey and Adama are representative of millions of people around the world whose lives have been changed by sport, and our capacity to leverage sport has brought us together today”, Coke-Hamilton said.
“We need to invite more people, more organizations to join us. I see huge potential,” said Kluser said, building on existing initiatives such as Kick for Trade, the Football for Good network, and streetfootballworld.
“Our ultimate objective is to create more decent jobs,” added Paz Velasco Velazquez, Team Leader, Investment Climate, Private Sector, Trade and Employment Unit, International Partnerships Directorate, European Commission.
This objective can be reached by using the three pillared approach that sport for development provides: fostering healthier lifestyles, increasing economic empowerment and strengthening social cohesion.
For ITC, future sports for development engagement will have a strong focus on the economic opportunities for entrepreneurship, job creation and business development that the sector can create.
Abdullah Alghamdi, Chief Executive Officer of United World, ITC’s and UEFA Foundation’s private sector partner in the sports for development project in Iraq, noted how the sports industry has grown over the last 20 years and is projected to grow further.
With sports business a growing market that crosses multiple sectors, it can create economic wealth and jobs, benefit health and education, and serve as a strong driver of nation branding for improved trade competitiveness.
Mr. David Dellea, Head of Sports Business Advisory at PricewaterhouseCoopers, suggested the sports industry could cut costs by 5% and invest the difference in sports for development initiatives.
The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace 2022 event was hosted by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Foundation for Children at the UEFA headquarters on 6 April.