G3 - Sport and Physical Activity as Psycho-Social Support for Children and Youth in Crisis

Dean M. RavizzaChair: Dean M. Ravizza (USA) - Senior Research Practitioner at the Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution and faculty member in the Department of Health & Sport Sciences at Salisbury University, Maryland (USA). His work focuses on the intersection of research, fieldwork, and practice to advance the uses of sport for children and youth in armed conflict, former child soldiers, and other vulnerable children with extensive fieldwork in conflict-affected regions in Africa.


Abstract

Crisis affects millions of people worldwide resulting in injury, violence and loss of life, the displacement of populations, mass migration, and extensive damage to societies and economies thus offsetting important development agendas. The use of sport and physical activity in the field of sport for development and as part of psycho-social programs among populations in crisis has increasingly gained recognition as an element of integrated approaches across key sectors Though a relatively new approach, such programs demonstrate benefits to the restoration of psychological health and social well-being through group-focused practices aimed at strengthening psychological health and social well-being through physical activities within the context of local culture, traditions, needs, and resources (IFRC&RCS 2014). In the context of crisis, sport and physical activity provide the time and space for respite from traumatic situations, allowing survivors to shift their attention from their experiences of loss to opportunities of affirming strength and capability (Henley et al. 2007). Additionally, such experiences allow the much-needed relief for caregivers, highlighting the positive impact of sport and play across the different developmental levels of community members.
This session will focus on 1) understanding the role of sport and physical activity as a means of psycho-social support for children and youth in natural and human-made crisis; 2) examining the role of sport to address key issues related to trauma, conflict, and child protection as a result of crisis situations, 3) addressing the needs of people with disabilities in disaster risk reduction, disaster response and sport-based interventions; 4) sport and psycho-social support programs for refugee children and youth; and, 5) providing an overview of an international program in the Philippines offered by sport and non-sporting organizations utilizing sport as a means to build individual capacity to utilize play, physical activities and sport in facilitating individual and community resilience; and 6) Soraj Ghulam Habib will recount the events leading to the loss of his legs in a cluster munitions explosion while growing up surrounded by violence in his native Afghanistan, and the role of sport in building his strength and resilience both in Afghanistan and while starting a new life as a refugee in Australia.

Speakers:

Katrin Koenen1. Katrin Koenen (DEU) - Director Scientific Affairs at the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE), where she is responsible for scientific publications, organization of scientific events and development of publications and event concepts. Her core areas of interest in sport science are Adapted Physical Activity, sport for persons with a disability, Sport for Development and Inclusion, always with a focus on gender issues.

Title Presentation: Moving Together! Inclusive Psychosocial Activity Programs

Dean M. Ravizza2. Dean M. Ravizza (USA) - Senior Research Practitioner at the Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution and faculty member in the Department of Health & Sport Sciences at Salisbury University, Maryland (USA). His work focuses on the intersection of research, fieldwork, and practice to advance the uses of sport for children and youth in armed conflict, former child soldiers, and other vulnerable children with extensive fieldwork in conflict-affected regions in Africa.

Title Presentation: Promoting Social Inclusion through Sport for Children and Youth in Armed Conflict

Maria Luisa Guinto-Adviento3. Maria Luisa Guinto-Adviento (PHL) - Faculty member, Research Director, and Sport Psychologist of the Department of Sport Science, College of Human Kinetics at the University of the Philippines. She is a founding member of the Association of Sport and Exercise Psychology of the Philippines, forerunner of the Special Interest Group for Sport and Exercise Psychology at the Psychological Association of the Philippines and Managing Council member of the Asian-South Pacific Association of Sport Psychology.

Title Presentation: 3 Rs Re-play, Re-live, Re-create: Community Resilience through Sports

Soraj Ghulam Habib4. Soraj Ghulam Habib (AF/AUS) - Advocate and campaigner against the worldwide use of cluster munitions as a weapon of war after losing his legs to a cluster bomb as a young boy in his home country of Afghanistan. Soraj has spoken at high level meetings of the United Nations in Norway, Ireland and New Zealand and is a strong international advocate against cluster munitions and land mines. He was a key spokesperson for landmine survivors at the First Meeting of State Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Vientiane in Laos and regularly collaborates with organizations regarding wheelchair sport activities and key issues involving disability and development. He hails from the Herat Province of Afghanistan and now resides in Australia.

Jackie Lauff5. Jackie Lauff (AUS) - Co-founder and CEO of Sport Matters in Australia. Together with co-founder Liesl Tesch, she has delivered sport and development programs in partnership with community organizations in Alice Springs, Timor-Leste and South Africa. Prior to this, she worked with the International Council for Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE) delivering Sport in Post-Disaster Intervention seminars, and as an Inclusion Officer with Basketball Australia creating sporting opportunities for people with disabilities in Australia and for indigenous women in the remote Northern Territory.