Power of Play: Sport for Development

Adolescents | Mar, 2014

Global evidence reveals that participation in sport has the potential to prevent disease, increase school attendance, improve learning levels, foster gender equity, enhance inclusion of persons with disabilities, and build skills that promote employment and economic development. Adolescent girls in particular who participate in sport are 50% less likely to experience an unwanted pregnancy and 30 times less likely to report poor health compared to those who don’t play sport. Yet, less than 1% of the population of India under 35 years of age has any access to organized sport and less than 10% of all children have access to a playground. Dasra’s report Power of Play explores the barriers to and potential of promoting sport for development in India, and profiles the work of scalable and impactful social organizations in this space.

In Power of Play Dasra outlines focus areas for making sport a part of the national development agenda. In order to ensure acceptance from all quarters, it is critical to transform existing infrastructure to provide safe spaces for sport, institutionalize and observe strict child protection policies, and engage key influencers. Next, a high-quality sport experience, which includes encouraging age-appropriate play, recruiting quality coaches who promote positive self-talk and confidence, and incorporating traditional sports familiar to communities, is crucial to maintaining participation levels and building transferrable skills. Finally, it is important to build evidence to link specific development outcomes with sport and ways which sport makes a positive contribution to human development.

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