The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP), which takes place annually on April 6th, presents an opportunity to recognize the positive role sport and physical activity play in communities and in people’s lives across the globe. Sports have the power to change the world, it is a fundamental right and a powerful tool to strengthen social ties and promote sustainable development and peace, as well as
solidarity and respect for all.
As per Amina J. Mohammed’s citation, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General: “Sport has the power to align our passion, energy and enthusiasm around a collective cause. And that is precisely
when hope can be nurtured and trust can be regained. It is in our collective interest to harness the tremendous power of sport to help build a better and more sustainable future for all.” (United Nations, August 2016 Publication, No. 2 Vol. LIII, Sport Aims for the Goals).
Sport is not just a good way to keep children’s bodies healthy, but it also has some psychological benefits and teaches them important life skills. Organized sport has many psychological and social
benefits for children – even more than the physical activity during play. Researchers think this is because children benefit from the social aspects of being in a team, and from the involvement of other children and adults.
The benefits of participating in sport go beyond learning new physical skills; it helps children develop better ways to cope with life’s challenges. Playing sport teaches children how to control their emotions and channel negative feelings in a healthy way. It also helps children develop patience and understanding that it can take a lot of practice to improve their skills.
Children living in Essaouira orphanage enjoying their new Basketball Court built by BLOOM Charity in 2022
· Sports are a positive outlet for kids struggling with anxiety, depression and other behavioral problems. When kids swim,
run, shoot hoops or dance, they’re naturally stimulating chemicals in their bodies like endorphins, which help improve mood.
· Sports help kids with the ability to receive constructive criticism and
get better at difficult tasks. Research suggests that children who engage in athletics become adults who are better equipped to
handle critique and stress. Playing sports can help build internal resources that will benefit kids well into adulthood.
· Sports can help a child develop a good work ethic. Sports require sustained effort and commitment. A child can learn that the more effort they dedicate to a sport, the better they become at
the activity. Perseverance is a key lesson that will serve them very well their whole lives.
· Joining a sports team of any kind helps kids cultivate relationships and participate in social activities. Participating in properly structured programs can provide a safe and nurturing environment for children and teens and instill a sense of community.
Physical activity has been shown to stimulate chemicals in the brain
that make you feel better, so playing sport regularly improves children’s
overall emotional wellbeing. Research shows there is a link between playing
sport and self-esteem in children. The support of the team, a kind word from a
coach, or achieving their personal best will all help children to feel better
Sport can not only help encourage children to be more physically
active but also helps teach them valuable skills and life lessons that they can
carry with them through to adulthood. Growing up can be difficult, leaving many
youth with the feeling of inadequacy but sport has been found to help increase
self-esteem and self-confidence in children. Sports also help keep children
social. Social skills that are learned or enhanced through sport while
assisting children in growing into successful adults include:
- Fair play
- Respect for others
- Ability to follow rules
Many children around the
world, however, do not have the opportunity to pursue sport. Many do not even
have a chance to play. This is a violation of their rights and it hinders their
ability to learn and grow. It also gets in the way of their chance to dream.
For that reason, BLOOM charity,
made its main priority promoting team sports among children in orphanages all
over Morocco. Due to my interest in
their work throughout the years, I have learned about the ways in which this association
engages children in sport, making it possible for them to follow their passion,
therefore helping them change their daily lives for the better.
They just completed a remarkable project in an orphanage in the town of Essaouira; turning a basketball court that was in a very bad condition into a much nicer, spacious and safer one where all the kids can play. The new basketball court brought so much joy and excitement to all the children in that orphanage. I have gathered some of the children testimonials.
One of the youngest children told us with a smile on his face: “This new basketball court made such a big difference; it makes me much more excited to play basketball games with my peers. I personally, feel safer to play now whereas before I was always scared to fall and hurt myself with the concrete floors. So, I wanted to thank BLOOM for doing this for us. ”
Another young boy also said: “Thanks to this Basketball court, we have developed true team spirit and we spend more time together playing even before or after the practice. In addition, basketball contributed to my proper physical development and good posture, while some of the game tactics and strategies helped me a lot in different aspects of my daily life”.
Moreover, the Director of this orphanage, Mr. Majid Khatab, also expressed his gratitude by saying: “This exemplary project was indeed a great initiative coming from BLOOM charity, since it made such a big difference in our orphanage. The basketball
hoops are brand new and the court looks nicer and incredibly safe.
Now, we can also use this space for other sports such as soccer, just by adding a net, when the kids want to play a game.” He concluded by saying: “I wanted to thank from the bottom of my heart all the members, one by one, of BLOOM association for this wonderful project. You were able to put a smile on the children’s face.”
Sports helps the society to foster a mindset that no matter what one can always conquer over any hurdle by having a positive approach towards it. A sport is a great way of showing society that socio-economic status of a person doesn’t define anyone, their compassion defines them. The world of sports plays a significant role in building a healthier society by bringing people from all walks of life together.
is not a privilege of wealthy people: in less rich parts of the world you can see children running for a handmade ball on dusty streets, or racing on the road from home to school and back. For them too, sport is an inexhaustible source of inspiration and happiness. Finally, Sport can also play a vital role in drawing attention
to the hardships faced by children around the world.