(Based on the celebrated CBC Television series)
SPORT & PLAY
RIGHT TO PLAY
All young people should be able to play, right? It’s not as easy as that. In many countries, young people cannot take the ability to play for granted, because they are working or they have some illness that prevents them from playing.
Enter Right To Play: an international organization that uses sport and play programs to improve health and develop skills for young people in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world. In many countries the most marginalized groups like girls, young people with disabilities and even former child soldiers are denied the opportunities to play, so Right To Play specifically targets these groups to benefit from their programs. It’s easy to take sport and play for granted, but without it, young people can lose hope.
Tahnee: Diary #4
“Sport and play brings people together. It builds teamwork and gives people a chance to engage in healthy competition. I came to Nairobi, Kenya, with Free the Children to build a school and to teach English. We noticed that kids didn’t have any playtime or organized physical activities. Most of these children also work hard to help support their families. They really deserve a chance to have fun. So we organized a mock Olympics day! I think for me what made it so special was that we were giving these kids an opportunity to just be so happy and to just have so much emotion and just so much spirit in the surroundings they’re in. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who wins. It’s all about giving kids a chance to be kids!”
- Participation in sport and physical activity is good for your health.
- Being active has many benefits including healthy growth of your bones and muscles, improved coordination and balance, greater physical ability, improved social skills and resistance to disease.
- Heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity: you’ve heard about these common health disorders. What do doctors recommend as a way to prevent the onset of these ailments?
- Some children in the world can’t enjoy the benefits of sport and play, because they are forced to work at a young age. Some can’t afford to buy sports equipment. Many, especially girls, are even forbidden from play.
- Investment in sport leads to better health for all.
Daniel Igali is a true champion both in and out of the ring. Born in Eniwari, Nairobi, Daniel overcame extreme odds and came to Canada in hopes of achieving his athletic dreams. He wrestled his way into the history books, winning an Olympic Gold Medal for wrestling in 2000. Daniel could easily rest on his laurels and live the Olympic dream, but instead, he uses his fame to make change and motivate youth around the world. He also decided to build a school in his home village to encourage sports and play. It took a lot of work and several years to complete, but finally in 2007 the Maureen Matheny School was completed. It represents the hopes and dreams of many future wrestlers from this tiny village.
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