Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Obama Plays Ping Pong at School In London

President Obama hits the ping pong table with students in London.

Detailed findings released from Professional Practice Exchange

 25 May 2011 |UK Sport

This in-depth discussion, hosted by UK Sport International and the Kicking AIDS Out! Network, provided local and international partners with a forum to share best-practice and debate issues around key themes impacting work in the field of sport development.
Summary of events
Representatives from organisations working in the global North and South took part in the two hour session which is another reminder of the efforts being made to close the gap in representation and standards of practice between these two areas. Various key actors in the field from UK-based organisations were joined by representatives from Zimbabwe and Botswana to identify the key issues limiting the positive impact of sport for development interventions, and the strategies to overcome them.

The key themes presented were how to engage vulnerable and excluded groups, increasing youth led development, and increasing people's chances of gaining employment in sport or in a broader context. Using contributions and experiences from all attendees, various actionable strategies were produced and can be viewed in the full report.

The role of parents
One of the biggest shortcomings affecting all of the 3 key issues identified was the lack of engagement and support from parents: 'it is virtually unheard of to see parents attending or supporting the sporting activities both in Sub-saharan Africa and UK'.

Parents are arguably just as important, if not more so, than the quality of the programmes used in engaging and encouraging young people. However, in exploring this topic the exchange also highlighted the fact that for some children who come from abusive homes, sport can be one of a few opportunities to escape these harmful environments.

The significance of this exchange for the field of sport and development
The importance of sharing best practice and learning from others' experiences on a policy and practical implementation level is key to developing the field. As a result of the progress made during the 'professional practice exchange' it is clear that much more can done to assist organisations, practitioners, and most importantly the children and adults that these projects should be focused on.

There will be an active effort made to continue the 'professional practice exchange' in the future and it was concluded that 'the quality of information shared in two hours points to how much could be achieved with more time'.

Download the report for the full list of findings.

For further information on the exchange contact Clare Barrel from UK Sport at