By Delroy Alexander
CASTRIES, St Lucia -- As the Caribbean comes to grips with a range of social development challenges, community sport and physical education programmes are increasingly looking beyond the formation of athletes.
Governments and agencies are looking at how to utilise sport, physical activity and play as a tool to accomplish development goals.
In the Eastern Caribbean, the Sacred Sports Foundation has targeted four critical development challenges faced by St Lucian youth to focus on and assist in developing a working model for future delivery in other Caribbean Islands.
These challenges are:
1. Lack of structured physical activity opportunities. Increasingly poor health and well being has seen obesity emerging as a problem among adolescents. This is often cited in regard of St Lucia having one of the highest rates of preventable type two diabetes in the world.
2. Poor understanding of the rights of the child. According to the recently released UN Road to Geneva Youth Survey on the Rights of the Child, nearly 70 percent of young people in St Lucia feel they are sometimes or always discriminated against because of lifestyle choices. Some 86 percent of youth say physical punishment is used on students at their school.
3. High youth unemployment. Of the sixteen countries analysed in the 2010 CARICOM Commission on Youth Development report, half of them show unemployment rates above 30 percent, with St Lucia recording the highest at 46 percent among females.
4. High rates of crime and violence. The 2010 CARICOM Commission on Youth Development report identified the level of youth crime activity in St Lucia as one of the highest in the region, costing an estimated 4 percent of GDP.
Working with local partners such as the Ministry of Youth Development & Sport, the Foundation has joined with a range of partners to initiate the “Sport in Black & White” Conference and Youth Forum.
Sacred Sports Foundation, one of the first local non-governmental organisations in the region to successfully tender in 2009 for an EU-funded sports development grant, is looking to showcase the region and its challenges in June 2013, with the new forum under the banner “Sport in Black & White”. (http://www.sacredsportsinc.com/conference/
The Conference and Youth Forum will bring together a diverse range of actors in regional sport and sports leaders from Europe, Africa, Asia and the US to collectively focus on tackling these and other youth and sport related challenges over a two week period.
In December 2012, the Sport in Black & White Conference was designated the third Sport and the Global South international conference. The conference will be jointly sponsored by the Sacred Sports Foundation and The Center for the Study of Sport and Leisure in Society at the Academy of International Sport, George Mason University.
University of the West Indies Principal and noted historian Professor Sir Hillary Beckles has agreed to give a keynote presentation, among a range of leading sports professionals and stakeholders expected to take part.
The call for papers is open and will be reviewed by a panel of respected scholars.
Topics for debate during the conference will be:
• The societal Impact of sport for development and community sport programme
• The strategic development and structure of sports organisations and mechanisms for delivery.
• Sport for development governance at the governmental and organisational level.
• Issues relating to capacity building and delivery of women focused sports for development and community sport programmes.
• Innovation in sports for development programmes and community sport.
• Sports tourism and its economic impact on local communities.
• Analyzing the effectiveness of sports, physical education and body culture educational programmes.
• Combating discrimination through sports for development and community sports programmes
Papers will be considered for Impumulelo: Journal of Sport and the Global South. Consideration will also be given to produce an edited book from the best papers presented at the conference.
Selection will be based on criteria such as relevance to the conference theme, applicability to sport development and its ability to be published. Individuals whose abstracts have been chosen will be notified by April 15. Where possible, presenters will be encouraged to submit completed paper and power point presentation by June 3, 2013.
All papers accepted will be considered for publication in a special edition of Impumulelo: Journal of Sport and the Global South and presenters are expected to allow the Sacred Sports Foundation to reproduce for future promotional purposes.
Submissions may be considered for main presentation, showcase or concurrent sessions.
Abstracts are limited to 250 words, in English, the official language of the Conference. All abstracts and papers should be submitted to: firstname.lastname@example.org
It should be noted that special interest will be shown to abstracts with a small states focus or particular relevance to the Caribbean. Submissions are also being encouraged from young scholars and PhD students.
The Sport in Black & White Conference is a participants’ conference comprised of numerous parallel sessions and selected plenary sessions. Participants have been invited to submit proposals as either 30-minute, 60-minute or jointly presented 90-minute presentations. A virtual participation is also available if you are unable to attend the Conference in-person. All proposals, presentations and papers must be in English.
Only one proposal for an in-person presentation may be accepted. This means that two proposals may be accepted in the case of two registered presenters in a joint presentation, as long as both presenters are registered as in-person participants. If one person registers as a virtual participant (instead of an in-person participant) the paper on which they are a co-author will be fully eligible for Journal submission, but will not be listed in the conference program.
Referees for presentation proposals and of submitted papers will base their assessment upon the kind of focus of a particular presentation or paper.
A presentation or publication that details innovative or exemplary practices or programs in the community, in workplaces, in educational institutions and the like. This may take the form of case studies, narratives, demonstrations or technical reports. The outcomes of practice may be improved frameworks, concepts, understandings or structures, such as enhanced capacity through the development of knowledge, skills, and effectiveness. This kind of work may involve putting theory and research into practice.
The Sport in Black & White Conference and Youth Forum will provide a fresh and innovative platform to actively impact existing and future programme design and delivery. It is expected to become an annual gathering where participants can become catalysts for substantial change in an often forgotten area of the world.