On Friday, March 21st a group of 18 coaches, community leaders, sport professionals gathered at the Centre for Research and Training for Economic and Social Development (CRESFED) for a Sport for Development workshop, facilitated by BlazeSports and Kennesaw State University. The participants had the opportunity to learn about ways in which sport can be use to achieve inclusion in schools and address social issues in Haiti. Dr. Sherrill Hayes, Director of the Masters of Science in Conflict Management at Kennesaw State University, facilitated a roundtable where participants had a chance to not only learn from each other but left with concrete action steps to implement in their communities
“The UNOSDP funded training hosted by Fondation Gerard Pierre-Charles and BlazeSports America was a top-notch professional event. It was energizing to be in a room filled with Haitian professionals from different government Ministries and local NGOs. Their enthusiasm and willingness to learn from the trainers, share and learn from each other was the most encouraging aspect of the day-long workshop for me. The whole process was facilitated by the instantaneous interpretation conducted by two interpreters and heard through headsets. This application of technology made the training flow quickly without the need for frequent pauses. The participants demonstrated their comprehension of the content by engaging with the trainers and having challenging discussions with each other about both the issues facing and the possibilities for sport for development and peace in Haiti. In contrast to many workshops, this group had more energy by the end of the day and was ready to continue the plans they had developed during the day. Thank you to all the project partners and all the Haitian participants for a transformative experience.” – Sherrill Hayes, Director of the Masters in Science in Conflict Management at Kennesaw State University
“The workshop was able to remind each participant the power of sports , not just running every day in the news with large global elite athletes with large salaries and a whole industry behind it, but also the other sports, which are performed by anonymous people , who practiced in the streets , squares , on the beaches and in the mountains. That practiced by boys and girls without athletic and muscular bodies , seniors , people with disabilities , ourselves, the sport in which one character is and where winning is not the goal , which educates and forge values, improving health, building citizens , sport for all, which is finally a vector of social development.” – Daniel Pierre-Charles, Director of Youth and Sport Programs at the Foundation Gérard Pierre-Charles
As part of BlazeSports initiative in Haiti, the first International Day of Sport for Development and Peace will be celebrated on April 6th. In partnership with the Ministry of Youth Sport and Civic Engagement (MJSAC, acronym in French) BlazeSports and the Foundation Gérard Pierre-Charles will organize an inclusive sports festival, with children with physical, sensory, intellectual and children without disabilities. In this festival the youth will discover various Paralympic sports such as boccia, sitting volleyball, and games that allow them to improve the perception, coordination and conditioning of the participants with and without disabilities. It will also be an opportunity to raise awareness of disability rights and promote the values associated with sport for all, such as solidarity, environment, fair-play, cooperation and respect.