Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sport and Poverty

Sport provides a uniquely effective opportunity to help alleviate poverty in creative ways. Right to Play is active in the following ways:

* teaching HIV and AIDS prevention and awareness to children most at risk
* fostering rehabilitation and teaching life skills to children affected by war
* opening up educational and leadership opportunities to girls
* bringing joy, hope, laughter and so much more to children in need

Right To Play trains community members and individuals within local partner organizations to be coaches and run our programs. This creates the foundation in a community for leadership and helps to rebuild community infrastructure, networks and support systems.

Working in both the humanitarian and development context, Right To Play has projects in more than 20 countries in the Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Do professional cyclists need a union?

There is a brief interview with Tyler Hamilton here.
One of the issues that arises near the end of the interview is whether or not cycling needs a union, similar to other professional sports. It seems to me that this would be a good idea, with some qualifications. I think it would be good so that the rights of cyclists are respected, and so power is more evenly distributed in this sport. However, given cycling's high profile links to doping scandals, I would want the union to strongly support strict standards on the model of Team Columbia and Garmin-Chipotle, not just in word, but in practice as well. The advantage of a union being in play is that this sort of thing could be done while trying to balance the rights and interests of individual cyclists as much as possible, and hopefully encouraging a grassroots level response to doping rather than the top-down model of organizations like WADA.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Of Athletes and Clothes Horses

As if liberally pasting the sponsor’s name all over an athlete wasn’t enough, we now have kits displaying colourful historical images as well. First our athletes were identified by their kit; then by playing in it they were contributing to kit sales (while actively promoting a brand name). Now, one can only assume that Stade Francias have decided to give spectators a history lesson, by playing in a rugby jersey with multicoloured images of Blanche de Castille (wife of Louis VIII and mother to Louis IX) emblazoned on it. I am loath to write this off as a fashion faux pas – French eccentricity notwithstanding. Could someone please tell me what is going on here, and what I should prepare myself for next?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Race and American Football

I just came across this interesting story on It is another example of how issues in society and sport mirror one another. For example, the issue of racial profiling is discussed in this article in the context of the National Football League and NCAA Football.