7 Sports Changing The Game In Development

7 Sports Changing The Game In Development

More than anything else, sport has the power to inspire and motivate its audience. Whether you’re cheering on your favorite team or stepping onto a field yourself, you’ve experienced the thrill of the competition or the comradery that comes along with being a part of a team.

Now more than ever, sport is being used as a tool to drive and inspire development. NGOs are harnessing the excitement of sports to engage and unite communities, start new conversations, promote inclusivity, and empower individuals.

April 6th is the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. And here at GlobalGiving, we’re celebrating the innovative ways that our standout nonprofit partners are using sport to make positive change throughout the world! Check out these seven sports—from dance to surfing—that are making waves:

1. Basketball is teaching teamwork in Nigeria.


Timeout 4 Africa


TIMEOUT 4 AFRICA uses basketball to promote collaboration, teamwork, and critical thinking skills for their students!

2. Surfing is inspiring indigenous youth in Australia.



Global Vision International Charitable Trust reaches out to remote communities of Australia to host recreational surfing and paddle boarding trips.

3. Girls in the Cambodia are cycling to success.


By giving bikes and repair kits to girls in Cambodia, Lotus Outreach is ensuring that access to reliable transportation will never be a barrier to education.

4. The Maasai Olympics are creating sustainable conservation in Kenya. 


 In Maasai culture, it is often custom for men to kill lions as a passage to manhood. The Big Life Foundation created the successful Maasai Olympics to create sustainable lion conservation across Kenya and is creating cultural change through sport.

5. Soccer (or football) is encouraging the next generation of female leaders in Nicaragua.



Girls in Granada face tremendous challenges, but Soccer Without Borders helps young girls overcome obstacles, obtain scholarships, and grow as leaders through soccer!

6. Baseball is changing lives in Colombia.


Grupo Internacional de Paz's Beisboleritos program provides children with the tools they need to become successful adults with analogies and lessons that work both on and off the field. 

7. Dance is enriching communities in Brooklyn, New York.


The Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center offers scholarships, cultural exposure, and artistic dance classes to teens and youth in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. The DSPAC also serves as an active hub for families and community members!

How You Can Help

    1. Share this article on Facebook or Twitter to spread the word about the incredible ways sport is changing the lives around the word.
    2. Support high-impact, grassroots nonprofit organizations on GlobalGiving that are working to empower communities through sport.
Basketball Clinic for 500 school kids in Nigeria
TIMEOUT 4 AFRICA will help the Minna community build partnerships with families, schools, and volunteers to help underprivileged children reach academic and athletic success. By providing school supplies and hosting basketball clinics and tournaments, children will be encouraged to become model citizens and stay in school. Promoting a positive recreational outlet provides a platform which encourages youth to take charge of their future and become positive contributing members of society
Playing (Soccer) For Change in Nicaragua
We use soccer, the world's most popular team sport, as a vehicle for positive change in the lives of girls ages 5-20 in Granada, Nicaragua. A team can be the most powerful change agent in a young girl's development, proven to inspire healthy choices regarding drugs, sex, alcohol, academics, and nutrition. Through a combination of on and off-field activities, including school scholarships and tutoring, the program creates pathways to uncommon outcomes for the girls of Granada.
Maasai Olympics: Ending Lion Killings In Kenya
Iconic predators of Africa are disappearing before our eyes. Wild African lions have declined by 75% in 20 years. Predators are critical to healthy eco-systems in East Africa. In Maasai culture, it is custom for males to kill lions as a rite of passage into manhood. Maasai leaders asked for assistance from Big Life to eliminate lion hunting from their culture. In response, the Maasai Olympics and conservation education initiative were created to provide a transformative alternative.
Over 500 Children's Lives Changed in Colombia
Beisboleritos (little baseballers) began in Medellin in 2009 as an initiative to counter the presence of illegal groups affecting children and adolescents in Colombia. These children become a target for illegal armed groups (guerrilla) through armed recruitment, making them child soldiers. Beisboleritos works in highly vulnerable communities to help children and adolescents develop and strengthen skills to resist and assertively respond to these threats. Info: info@gipcolombia.org
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