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Sports inspires children to learn

© UNICEFGhana/2013/Baddoo
Promise practices the skill of dribbling through cones designed to also help in his steadiness

Promise Kakraba is thirteen and lives with his grandfather and two other siblings. Like most boys he enjoys playing football so physical education (PE) is one of his favourite activities in school. Until he got involved in the International Inspiration programme (II), Promise did not know that through sports he could learn moral values and skills that would improve his academic performance and his relationship with his friends, family and team members. Once a week during PE, Promise and his class mates of the St Michaels Roman Catholic School in Donkorkrom, Afram Plains in Ghana, would split into teams to play football. This was the only activity they engaged in each week.  Often these unsupervised games which were only intended to pass time ended in disagreements.

The Ghana Education Service was supported with funding from UNICEF to facilitate the II training programme. The objective of the programme was to enrich the lives of young people using a variety of activities to teach skills and build moral values. Tools for the training were drawn from the Top Play and Sports programme – a programme designed to use resource cards to bring a variety of linked activities to participants. Through sports and fun the programme taught many children in the Afram Plains including Promise, a variety of activities, skills and values for sports and for life.

"I would become aggressive when my friends would not accept my point of view says Promise," but, because he participated in the II programme, he is a better team player, more tolerant and open to suggestions from his friends.   Through the II programme, Promise is more conscious of the value sports brings to his physical wellbeing as well as the stamina he has developed as a result of sports. Another key lesson he has learnt is inclusion. Previously Promise would not readily involve children living with disabilities when playing, but now, he says “I will go close to children who are physically challenged and invite them to play with me because I know they are just like me.” 

Even though Promise enjoyed PE in the past he says that “now, PE is more fun because of the variety.” He has learnt a variety of games and activities which will break the monotony of playing only football. He has learn games like treasure chest which will help his coordination, teach him to be more responsible and keep him focused in his work in school. Promise who wants to be a footballer in future says that his participation in this programme has helped him realise his leadership potential. His involvement in sports has made him excel in his responsibility as a bell boy in school because he is able to regulate his time. The programme taught the participants through sports values such as tolerance, respect and self-confidence.  Promise is happy that his active participation in sports including the knowledge he has acquired through the II programme will help him in his future career. 


 

 
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