Brazil. Copyright GIZ / Caio Vilela

In many developing countries, children and young people in particular often face poverty and a lack of prospects. Even state institutions, schools and businesses are often unable to tackle these problems. Sport can play a role that goes far beyond the development of physical skills: it can be a tool for education, helps prevent HIV/AIDS and violence, and has a generally positive impact on the physical and mental health of children and young people. Ultimately, sport delivers the sort of life skills that help young people to tackle difficult circumstances and shape their own futures.

In addition to providing policy advice and positioning on Sport for Development, our work focuses on networking and coordinating German actors and on planning and implementing relevant Sport for Development pilot measures.

German development cooperation measures are aimed in particular at children and young people. Sport can give youngsters without prospects a new outlook on life. We focus particularly on girls and women, since they are often additionally disadvantaged, and on the inclusion of people with disabilities in and through sport. The focus is always on the social aspect of Sport for Development and on the social objectives of sport in relation to the many different dimensions of sustainability (‘sport and education’, ‘sport and HIV prevention’, ‘sport and gender’, ‘sport and peace-building’, etc). As well as the targeted promotion of sporting provision outside the school context, another important aspect is the evaluation of experiences and their wider dissemination. We also have the expertise to make school sport a stronger part of national curricula and to link sport with vocational training and employment promotion, for example by training young people to become sports coaches.

The pilot measures also boost sustainability by strengthening and involving civil society structures. One of our main concerns is to get private sector businesses involved in Sport for Development in future and to promote shared interests.

Our aim is to interlink sport and development more closely. In pursuit of its goals, GIZ cooperates with governmental and non-governmental organisations that are already successfully using sport to promote young people’s personal and professional development. Our work is supported and monitored by researchers. Our experience to date demonstrates that sport promotes skills, encourages dialogue and can help achieve relevant development goals, giving it huge potential for development cooperation.

We would like to make even greater use of the experiences, approaches and cooperation agreements between state bodies, non-governmental organisations and the private sector with links to sport. It is important that German actors network more effectively – and we support this process. Beyond the national context, we seek cooperation with international organisations and networks and with institutions within partner countries and civil society.