Sport, Politics And Peace

Hello sports lovers, this week’s edition of my column is on ‘Sport, Politics and Peace’.
Like other words and concepts, we might all have a different understanding of what a sport is. As an activity that strengthens people’s health, likewise politics can strengthen humanity.
The potential links between sport, politics and peace are also powerful. From international events to the grassroots; Sport brings people together in a way that can cross boundaries and break down barriers, making the playing field a simple and often a political site for initiating contact between antagonistic groups.
Consequently, sport can be an ideal forum for resuming social dialogue and bridging divides, highlighting the similarities between people and breaking down prejudice.
The popularity of sport and its convening power further contributes to it being a powerful voice for communicating messages of peace, and site for symbolic public acts on the global and local levels.
Regardless of the politics and political turmoil, sport is supposed to be a bridge to unity within political parties. If political parties will ever capture the youths into politics, why not build recreational centres and sports complexes, or fund soccer/sport clubs to empower them?
Such societal empowerment would serve as a bridge for the next generation of our leaders than spending resources on wrong motives of buying votes during elections.
However, political parties and their leaders can be role models to the youths and their noble activities could positively influence the environment and the country.
Sport is an effective element in community-based initiatives that aim to create sustainable peace. The skills and values learned through sport are the same skills and values taught in education to resolve and prevent conflict and create conditions conducive for peace from the inter-personal to international.
Well-crafted sports activities teach respect, honesty, communication, cooperation, empathy, and how and why to adhere to rules. Sport is a powerful way to communicate these values, especially to young people, in a way that is fun and participatory.
For refugees, displaced persons, orphans and former child soldiers, sport offers a sense of normality, providing structure in destabilizing environments, and serving as a means to positively channel energies.
And from me your anchor of this column, my advise for you is to remember to do some sports and poke-in some goals as always.
Hope you enjoyed this edition? Join me again for the next edition. Till then, have a blissful week.

Please, do send your reactions to xmac4u@yahoo.com.
Peter Ijeh,
ULc, BSs


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