Friday, March 4, 2011

Sport for Development - Right To Play

10 Years of Right to Play – 10 Years of Sport for Development
by Liz McDonald, SIRC

On February 16, 2011 SIRC had the pleasure of attending a Right To Play (RTP) Canadian Awareness Program (CAP) in Ottawa. The main objective of the evening was to increase knowledge and understanding of the work Right To Play and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) are accomplishing through sport and play-based programs in West and Francophone Africa.

The evening was filled with the who, what, where, when and why of Right To Play. Simply put, Right To Play uses sport and play to improve health, build life skills and foster peace for children in communities affected by war, poverty and disease. The organization was founded in 2000 by four-time Olympic Gold medalist Johann Olav Koss. Right To Play’s work can be found in more than 20 countries around the world and aims to focus on sustainability and inclusion. They provide programs designed to meet the needs identified by the local communities. Right To Play has been doing this work for over 10 years. Click here to view the RTP Report on progress: 10 Years of Play.

CIDA is Canada’s lead agency for development assistance. One of it’s main goals are to engage in policy development in Canada and internationally, enabling Canada’s efforts to realize it’s development objectives. Last year, CIDA announced a pledge over three years to support Right To Play’s “Play To Learn” program. This program is expected to reach more than 200 000 children and youth, as well as 4500 teachers and community Coaches.

The evening was filled with stories of amazing people doing great things using sport. We had the pleasure of hearing from the RTP Regional Director of West Africa and Francophone Africa, Dr. Dennis Bright. He was an inspirational speaker with stories from the field. We experienced some of the games with the RTP Project Coordinator in Rwanda, Innocent Hitimana. Finally we were awed by RTP Athlete Ambassador, Ottawa’s own Kristina Groves. She spoke about her experiences as an athlete and a voice for RTP.

Right To Play’s goals coincide well with SIRC’s vision which is to enhance the education of all Canadian and International organizations and individuals involved in sport and fitness through quality information and learning services. SIRC is proud to be a supporter of Sport for Development abroad and within Canada. The SIRC Collection is filled with articles and studies on the positive effects sport has on communities and people.

If you’d like to learn more about the amazing things Right To Play has been doing or to find out how you can get involved please visit Right To Play online.

Contact SIRC for more information on sport for development.

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