Forward. By definition, the word represents movement, progress, direction – all of which are qualities embodied within organizations throughout the Sport for Development sector. For SportForward it also represents the movement they’ve helped to create over the past 25 years by providing sports programming for communities in-need in 65 countries around the globe. SportForward’s programs use sport as a developmental tool to address key issues in education, health & hygiene, gender and disability awareness & inclusion, and peace building. As these issues continue to be challenges found around the world, their programs have reached thousands of youth and adults, and worked to bridge the divide and foster stronger communities.
We asked SportForward for some perspective on where they’ve been over those 25 years, where the sector is headed and what we can do collectively to keep moving, forward.
Walking the halls of the Agenda show is always a great chance to see what's hip and happening in pop culture. One of the best lifestyle apparel & footwear trade shows going, Agenda offers the perfect mash-up of street wear and action sports, where many of the top brands showcase what's coming down the pipeline for next year.
I'm always on the lookout for products that transcend the norm with a cause related tie-in, and this year's show presented several brands, new and old, that have embraced a growing trend towards "Upcycling" - basically re-purposing and re-using old and used items into something new and useful. Here's a quick look at a few of the brands that stood out...
I wanted to give a quick shout out to Coaches Across Continentswho were recently selected to receive a 6 month pro-bono consulting package to help with their Google Ad Grants program. This was a promotion we ran earlier this year with our friends at Elite SEM who offered to provide their expertise and training to a sports nonprofit program who is actively using Google Ad Grants.
To give you a little background, Coaches Across Continents is an international nonprofit org running sports programs that address key social issues through sport including health and wellness, life skills, HIV behavior change, drug abuse, female empowerment, gender equity and conflict resolution. In 2013, they were operating in 20 countries with 51 implementing community partner programs, educating over 2,100 community coaches who impacted more than 170,000 young people.
Take a quick look....
Things are just getting underway with Elite SEM's consulting and we'll be reporting throughout the year on the progress of Coaches Across Continents and their Google Ads. We hope to share some best practices and valuable lessons learned along the way that can be beneficial for any organization who participates in the Google Ad Grants program.
Nelson Mandela once said that “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.“ Millions of travelers around the globe share a passion for sports. They travel the world for their favorite sports - from skiing, surfing, cycling, hiking to diving trips, but many of these trips don’t benefit the places they visit. Travel2change launched the sports challenge to use travel and sports to create change.
How can travelers use sports to create a positive impact during their trip? In an open call for meaningful travel experience ideas, local hosts are encouraged to submit a meaningful travel experience that would benefit their community. Travelers vote for their favorite ideas and discuss the experiences.
Sina, the travel2change community builder, explains: “Many travelers are willing to share their skills. They dedicate time for volunteer jobs, and some even pay a fortune for it. At travel2change we believe that if you combine doing what you love with something good we can have a bigger impact.“
How can you participate? If you run a nonprofit or are a local community member from anywhere in the world, submit your idea to host a meaningful travel experience that could benefit your community. Show how travelers can support you to accomplish your goals. It doesn't matter if it's a project you’re working on, a unique approach to tackle an issue that bothers you, or a "wouldn't it be cool if...", sharing your idea for an experience is the first step toward bringing it to life. As a traveler passionate about sports and social change, discover meaningful experiences you want to join, get inspired and vote for your favorite idea.
Finally, an expert jury will evaluate and award the best ideas according to feasibility, sustainability, fun factor and social impact.
More information available at http://sports.travel2change.org or contact Sina Hillger, Community Manager at
Our good friend Chandrima Chatterjee may not have the goal scoring prowess of Mia Hamm or Alex Morgan, but she just might be the MVP for Women's Soccer around the world. In this post, she brings us some insights and updates from Yuwa, an award winning Women's Soccer program in India plus details on how soccer fans can help support their latest fundraising campaign. You can follow Chandrima on Twitter at @ChandrimaTweets
It Takes a Village… of Yuwa girls But it takes all of us to help empower them!
From the moment I heard of Yuwa I knew there was a unique magic in it worth promoting. Having worked with numerous global sports outreach groups for five years, and having volunteered with homelessness outreach services in the US since high school, I was eager to see what made Yuwa different.
The story of Yuwa begins with four friends and a shared vision to make a difference in the world. Franz Gastler, Greg Deming, Stephen Peterson, and Erik Odland all graduated from Edina High School in 2000. In 2008, they co-founded a soccer program in the Jharkhand state of India, a place where girls and women lead silent almost invisible lives, giving up their rights to an education and a real future, toiling away in their homes and being married off as children to lessen the burden they are on their families. Jharkhand leads the world in human trafficking (100,000 annually) because often girls see it as their only way out of a pre-determined fate. Today, there are more than 250 girls in the Yuwa program.
"Through team sport, Yuwa provides a platform for young women to gain confidence to make a change in their world." ~ Franz Gastler, Yuwa co-founder, executive director and head coach