Sport and development in good hands

Good acts borne from and/or related to sports in the modern era have been around since those sports were first “created.” That is what is inherent in sports, i.e. working together, having fun, helping others to achieve their goals on and off the field. But these good acts were a bit more piecemeal, less organized than maybe they could have been. In the past few years we have seen a more concentrated push for comprehensive efforts across multiple sports and multiple demographic groups. Why? Society seems to be more sensitive to the plight of others, being more empathetic than just sympathetic. That gets us moving to affect change rather than hope for it.

Those leading the charge right now are from every demographic group, every country. This is simultaneously a local and global effort. Many of the individuals who have elevated the cause of sports and development are in the 30 to 60 year old range (Note, I am on the lower end of that range!). That is encouraging as we still have so much more to give. But there will need to be a sharing of intelligence and best practices, an influx of new  ideas and energy from a new generation of leaders.

Last night I had the opportunity to sit down with some young men and women who are or were college interns at the Center for Sport in Society at Northeastern University. The informal get-together was organized by the interns themselves. It was a very impressive group of students from multiple colleges with a common interest for sport and development, both here and abroad.

I was really impressed with this group of students. They showed a real passion for this area, had a level of knowledge not often seen for individuals of that age, and were already thinking about how they continue to positively impact this field. I say continue because they are already members of the sport development world. You don’t have to wait until you graduate to make a difference and this group is clearly a reflection of that. And knowing that there are so many other young folks around the country, from high school to post-college, with a passion for and an informed perspective on this area is quite encouraging.

So if you are wondering where the sport and development movement is going and who will lead it, well, all I can say is that you can rest assured that the effort will be in good hands.

(photo, AYSO)