THE POWER OF SPORT || UNOSDP Youth Leadership Camp
“Sport has the power to unite people in a way little else can. Sport can create hope where there was once only despair. It breaks down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of discrimination. Sport speaks to people in a language they can understand.”
- Nelson Mandela
UNOSDP Youth Leadership Camp 2016, Tohoku- It was a few days after Christmas when my supervisor told me about this big opportunity. She told me that I was luckily chosen to participate for a leadership camp in Japan. Everyone felt so proud of me and that made me so happy. I promised to myself that I will do my best for them. I felt very excited and thrilled not only because it would be my first time to visit another country but mainly
because of the fact that I would be able to meet other young talented people from different countries and learn lots of things from them.
In the camp, days were divided into parts: classroom sessions during the whole morning and field activities in the afternoon. In that way we were able to determine the strengths and weaknesses of each of the participants in the camp. I was able to learn so many things that everyone could use to improve our own skills not only in the field of sport but other fields of expertise as well.
Not all things could be learned through listening and watching - most of the important things in life can only be learned through doing and experience.
We all suffered from different kinds of problems during the camp, but we were all able to push through and continue what we had started. With the power of sport , I have realized that even people from different countries and races can be a good team. We managed to solve all the challenges we faced by helping one another.
Everyday we worked with different facilitators, conducting different kinds of activities. As individuals we had a hard time passing through all of them, but as a team we were as strong as a wave crashing through the walls in front of us, using our differences to fill up the gaps between us.
With all of these learnings, I felt so satisfied for the days well spent with 29 other participants and 4 volunteer staff from 9 different countries. It was a great opportunity to learn so many things from them. After the camp I have realized so many things. My bad impressions about countries like Pakistan changed. Their people are not bad as what the news and social medias show. I was able to meet 5 people from Pakistan and spent days with them, and I have proved to myself that that they are good people. The camp would be nothing without the great facilitators. We were so blessed to have very skillful people to teach us things we need to learn to be more equipped and become better youth leaders.
I'd like to thank Vivian and Jordan of Youth Sports Trust (YST) for guiding us all throughout the camp and giving us ideas on how to face all the challenges, as well as all the facilitators who shared their knowledge to us.
Coach/Mentor – Football for Life/FundLife International