International Inspiration is aiming to make sport part of the daily routine for every Jordanian child, whatever their gender, ability or ethnic background. With the support and guidance of the Jordan Olympic Committee, the programme is also using physical education (PE) sport and play to provide better education and to empower children and young people. It is encouraging inter-cultural dialogue, and addressing gender equality and the social inclusion of marginalised children and young people, including refugees and children with disabilities.
'I have been involved in International Inspiration for five months now and am really enjoying it. It has helped me stay away from risky behaviours in the streets and helped me to become a more responsible person.'Dirar, 13
December 2010 marked the half-way point of the three-year programme, but much has already been achieved.
Reasons to celebrate
- Five sports hubs have been created to provide safe places for all children to play and practise sport, including child refugees and children with a disability.
- International Inspiration, in partnership with the Jordan Olympic Committee is supporting four national sports federations representing swimming, basketball, athletics and volleyball to increase opportunities for young people to participate.
- Successful pilots to enhance the King Abdullah Award for Physical Fitness by incorporating youth sports leadership will potentially be rolled out to 480,000 students and 11,000 teachers in all of Jordan’s state schools.
Training youth leaders and teachers
Pupils have been trained to organise regular activities for their peers and younger children in new sports hubs. This training has enabled them to become leaders in their communities: promoting healthy lifestyles, mutual respect and teamwork. The hubs include nurseries, youth centres and community-based organisations that are now providing regular sporting activities for children aged four to 18. Crucially, training has been provided for teachers and youth workers to ensure that the hubs will be self-sustaining in the long-term.
Providing hope for refugees
Souf Camp is one of Jordan’s Palestinian refugee camps, home to more than 20,000 people. Support from International Inspiration has been focused on inclusiveness, resulting in weekly sports sessions which fully involve children with a disability.
Providing for displaced children
Before International Inspiration reached the Sough Refugee Camp in Jordan, where nine year old Mouayyad Mohamed Barden lives with his father, mother and three brothers, he was an onlooker during PE lessons. He has spent his life in a wheelchair and was unable to join in the sports and games his peers and friends revelled in.
But thanks to International Inspiration, his PE teachers and local coaches have all now been trained to focus on inclusiveness. They support weekly activities specifically designed to involve children with a disability, enabling Mouayyad to take part and give him a chance for a brighter future.
This embodies the vision of International Inspiration and the indelible legacy it aspires to leave on the lives of millions of marginalised and vulnerable children like Mouayyad around the world.
Britain’s greatest Paralympic athlete Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson met Mouayyad and said: 'Simple things, such as including children with disabilities in PE lessons, or giving young people the training and skills to become effective members of society – this is an Olympic and Paralympic legacy to be proud of, and one that I am definitely excited to be part of.'