The 4th International Symposium on International Development and Peace through Sport
The 4th International Symposium on International Development and Peace was held on 11th December 2016, in Tokyo. Building on the academic discussions and the great success of the previous three symposia, this year’s presentations and discussions were centered on strengthening our understanding and sharing ideas on how sport can potentially contribute in various areas of development and peace and how we can tackle the challenges faced by working in this field.
The symposium opened with the remarks by Prof. Masashi Kawanishi from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya. Following the opening remarks, the keynote address was given by Dr. Roger Levermore from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Dr. Levenmore outlined comprehensive perspectives on Sport and Development and provided some common ground including both positive and negative aspects of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sport. Pointing out the ‘good’ ‘bad’ and ‘ugly’ of Sport and Development, Dr. Levermore emphasized the multidimensional characteristics of sport and the importance of balancing positive and negative impacts to achieve the right outcomes from initiatives.
In the next presentation, Dr. Marianne Meier talked about the impacts of mega sporting events on children illustrating examples from the ChildrenWin project implemented by Terre des Hommes (TDH). Her presentation focused on how mega sporting events create positive and negative influences on children and how it can be managed better. Recognising the need for taking more actions to protect children’s rights in sport, through and around sport, she also highlighted four approaches of TDH, namely knowledge, public opinions, alliance and protection. During her closing remarks, Dr. Meier talked about the need for international coordination in protecting children’s rights and the necessity of establishing more tangible evidence and examples of accountable and effective mega sporting events.
Dr. Alexander Cardenas, the third presenter, spoke about his research on sport and peacebuilding in Colombia. After an introduction about the Colombian conflict, the longest conflict in Latin America, he provided substantial information about existing peacebuilding efforts in Colombia and how sport has been playing a role in the peacebuilding process. Although his study showed the effectiveness of existing sport for peace practices in Colombia, he also mentioned the limitations of sport in peacebuilding and that sport is not a panacea but can be a part of a holistic approach. Dr Cardenas closed his presentation with some recommendations such as increasing the cooperation among actors as well as collaboration between academic institutions and NGOs.
Ms. Ishanka H.K. Peiris, Ms. Mihoko Takahashi and Mr. Wahab Musah, three students from TIAS presented the results of their research projects and shared their learning experiences in being a part of the Sport for Tomorrow initiative towards Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Ms. Peiris presented the findings of an assessment on Right To Play’s Life Skills Development Program in Thailand. Ms. Takahashi presented her field research on a high school baseball team in Rikuzentakata in relation to the Great East Japan Earthquake. Lastly, Mr. Wahab talked about the legacy programme of mega sporting events focusing on the case of the Football for Hope center in Ghana.
After the presentations, all participants engaged in interactive workshops across three thematic areas: “Education and Empowerment”, “Conflict and Peacebuilding”, and “Mega Sporting Events and Governance”. After the discussion, each group shared their insights and a ‘Participants’ Commitment’ was composed.
‘Participants Commitment‘ is available here.
During the closing remarks, Dr. Satoshi Shimizu gave an overview of the symposium. Ninety-two people from 10 countries attended the symposium and much positive feedback was received by the organiser.