Although it appears that there is no hope in a resolution for this crisis, there are some strategies and steps that can be applied to combat these obstacles and improve the position of sport within low developed countries. The first step that can be taken is for LDC’s to draw more attention toward redeveloping traditional sports. This then encourages individuals to partake in sport, but it does not require the expensive sporting facilities or imported sporting equipment (Andreff, 314).
The next strategy is a focus on a greater push for sport within schools and urban associations (for the children not attending school programs). This can be maintained through government aid from developed countries, using locally produced sporting goods and equipment, and can be managed through volunteers. Schools and urban associations can also seek out financial support through private, public, domestic, and international sponsors to help maintain the sport programs (Andreff, 314).
Additionally, there can be a focus on a stronger bilateral international relationship between developed and developing countries. One example of this can be seen by a long-standing United Kingdom and France sport tradition. Both countries have partook in sending coaches and sporting goods to French-speaking and Commonwealth countries. These actions aid in expanding the sports culture in underdeveloped countries, while also growing a greater bond among countries (Andreff, 314). Apart from this, pressure put on multilateral aid for developing countries is also an effective strategy. This especially is possible within international competitions (such as FIFA, The Olympics, etc). As was done in past accounts, International committees can provide financial aid for transportation, meals, and support programs to train players, coaches, referees, and managers for the low developed countries (Andreff, 314). These actions can give the support, opportunity, and experience for the athletes that their countries are unable to provide.
Furthermore, sports corruption, bribery, embezzlement, and money laundering should be deemed as a criminal act within the sports communities and federations. After the implementation of this rule, those found guilty should be penalized by having to pay a substantial fine that goes towards sports development (Andreff, 315). This then discourages the unethical behavior, while also helping support the sports development cause when the rule is broken. Finally, sport needs to be regulated by global processes. This regulation will help in preventing the ‘muscle drain phenomenon’ and support the advancement of sport in least developed countries.
Although these actions seem extensive, steps towards promoting sports in developing countries will create immense change and growth. Every day, poverty- stricken communities suffer from violence, lack of education, poor physical health, and emotional or personal turmoil; There is a constant struggle for citizens to believe in the possibility of a good life. Sports has the ability to change this perspective. The numerous benefits that come with the application of sport are undeniable. Sports promotes healthier mental, physical, and emotional well beings, unified communities, and creates safer environments to experience a better quality of life.
A person’s mental, physical, and emotional health is strongly impacted by the action of sport. First, participation in sports creates a strong sense of well-being. When someone is partaking in sport, they feel like they have a purpose. Not only does this ground them in themselves, but it gives them hope for their future endeavors. A sense of wellbeing is a quintessential part in a person’s success in life. When this is not established, there is no hope and no belief in one’s ability to succeed. According to an article titled, The Benefits of Sports in Africa, a sense of well-being gives an individual more energy, greater self-esteem, and a lowered amount of anxiety and depression. Sports activities also introduce important life values. It exposes a person to the importance of teamwork, work ethic, fairness, and overcoming adversity (Austin, 2015). When a person has hope in themselves, a sense of well-being, and establish important life values they positively build their emotional and mental health.
Additionally, physical health is immensely impacted when a person participants in sports. As many people know, physical activity has many physical benefits. When a person is exercising, they are exerting all sorts of energy, challenging their bodies to become stronger and make positive adjustments. In an article by US today, the author Carson Barrett emphasizes that “Exercise in general controls weight by burning calories, improves the functioning of the cardiovascular system, placing a lower strain on the heart, and increases an athlete’s energy level while improving the quality of sleep. It also provides longer-term benefits, such as the reduced risk of diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes, reduces the level of body fat, improves the cholesterol makeup of the athlete’s bloodstream and makes bones and muscles stronger” (Barrett, 2019). In the low developing countries, many are not educated on the benefits of having a healthy lifestyle. Sports creates an education environment for low income communities to learn about the right methods to practice a balanced, healthy life.
Sports do not only have a strong influence on creating a personal growth environment, but also, they help establish a place where people can come together and build relationships. When someone is involved in an athletic community, they are encouraged to go outside their boundaries, and open themselves up to one another. When communities or countries are excluded from society this can be known as social exclusion. This definitive factor can take many different forms, such as lack of access to power, knowledge, services, facilities, choice and opportunity (Diop, 87). Sports brings the contrasting factor of social inclusion which, “is the act of making all groups of people within a society feel valued and important.” (google definition)
Finally, sports creates a safe environment for all. In many communities there are outside threats that put citizens in danger. Women are human trafficked, men are forced and recruited into war, and families are separated from one another. It is a consistent fear of not knowing when or whom someone will commit violent acts. Sports prevent violence through establishing a united front of people. They are capable or warding off any potential outsiders. Additionally sports keeps people in established groups to prevent them from joining any negative groups that can cause harm. In South Africa, UNICEF noted a dramatic decline in school violence in communities where schools participated in the “sport for development” program. A number of schools registered an 80-percent drop in violent incidents. (Diop, 2016)
Introducing sports participation, the first immediate attention should be focused on the children. In a foundation called ‘right to play’ they are catering to this immediate issue through the likes of children. Sport is a major rehabilitation method that can create unity. The early years of life are crucial; it’s the critical period during which most cognitive and social development occurs. Sports and play can have an impact on motor skills development and educational potential (Diop, 2016)
Cyrille Ndongo-Keller was a man that experienced these difficulties firsthand at a very young age. Although he found success later on as a professional football player in Australia, very few resources were given to him to launch his career. Many times, he was just desperate to play and compete, trying to scrape together whatever resources he could find that would be beneficial to him in his career. Keller is now 38 years old residing in Australia, but in a recent interview he opens up about the struggles of sport in his poverty-stricken home country of Cameroon. He refers to life in low developing country as a “constant struggle”. Due to the demographic circumstances, many kids are born without the chance to go to school. This in turn, robs them of situations that can introduce and encourage personal growth and future success. Keller vouches for sport being the key for impoverish communities to hold on to life and conquer these obstacles. He believes that sport needs to be reemphasized as another form of education. It is not only through classrooms that one can obtain skills, but it can be learned on the street. Sport teaches focus, discipline, and aids in developing skills and personality that lead to giving less developed communities a chance to embrace a better chance at life (“One Just World”, 2012).
Even though sports are not viewed as a main issue by some, there should be a greater support towards sports in LDC’s because it promotes healthier mental, physical, and emotional well beings, unifies communities, and creates a safe environment for all. After taking the listed necessary steps, sports can be greater integrated into lower-developed countries. There are “a wide range of positive social outcomes, including reduced youth crime, improved ﬁtness and health, reduced truancy, improved attitudes to learning among young people and the provision of opportunities for ‘active citizenship’( Clark, 86). Sports have been played for thousands of years, and have never been as important as they are now.