Sport for Development

Sport for Development. Copyright GIZ

Increasing Access and Participation through Sport

Sport can make a major contribution to promoting and educating children and young people: it teaches them about fairness and tolerance, boosts their self-esteem and self-confidence, and develops their ability to take on responsibility. But sport is not just about encouraging children and young people to take physical exercise, it is also about their education – which is why the German Federal Government is promoting Sport for Development, which it sees as an important way to achieve the international Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Sport for Development also crosscuts with initiatives in health promotion, prevention of violence, hygiene, gender equality, social inclusion and even environmental topics.

The United Nations acknowledged the importance of sport in development when it adopted Resolution 58/5, ‘Sport as a means to promote education, health, development and peace’, in 2003. The UN believes that sport can have a significant impact on social policy and social integration. Sports that are widely played and do not require expensive equipment are particularly suited to this role.

Sport for Development is a crosscutting area of German development cooperation, with links to a number of development goals pursued by the German Government. It is therefore likely to become an even more important aspect of development cooperation in future. To help achieve this, GIZ is seeking to step up its cooperation with private sector partners and non-governmental organisations, and to carry out joint pilot projects with them. Beyond national borders, GIZ also seeks to implement ‘strategic alliances’ with international organisations, networks and national institutions within cooperation countries. Ultimately, its wide range of contacts and connections should all serve a single purpose: to improve the way experiences and approaches from the world of sport are used in development cooperation.