Inspire Sport & Leadership
Inspire is a project established to enable and encourage young people to develop the full range of their talents, through the power of sport. It encourages the development of sport and leadership in young people who might not otherwise have that experience or opportunity. Currently, we are running programmes in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Rwanda.and Greece.
Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.”
The greatest challenge that we continue to face as humans is not the change in the world around us, however fast. Nor is to continue to grow our intellect, develop new scientific knowledge, grow our economies or achieve higher standards in our schools and universities. The greatest challenge that we face is to master our own instinctive nature, the nature that instantaneously judges and condemns, prompts us to fight or flight, justifies and rationalises any decision or behaviour which fits our own needs or those closest to us. The conscious and unconscious abuse of power - in relationships, in families, in communities, in every form of social, sporting, academic or political organisation - has remained the greatest shaping force in the world of people throughout history – and remains so today.
Our education not only fails to address or help in this challenge, it will often reinforce or exacerbate it. Rather than being taught discernment children are taught beliefs. Rather than learning awareness, understanding and self-discipline, they are taught to be obedient. They are taught to hate other ethnic, national or religious groups from the cradle by parents, by teachers and by their community. Even in the ‘developed’ countries, politicians and priests still seek and gain power by appealing to these self-centred, instinctive needs. And, they learn to resolve conflict through violence and to use power to inflict pain, suffering and death.
The education of our children has to change if we are to break this endless cycle of mistrust, hatred, violence, - mistrust, hatred, violence. Changing our nature may be possible, it may not, but we can, through education, raise awareness and understanding and develop the ability to choose different responses within relationships and between groups, tribes and countries. Through this process we can enable those other dimensions of our nature to play a more dominant role in our world; compassion, empathy, humility and love.
It is hard enough to change one person, just your self. To change the world will require people in positions of power to support a process which, ultimately, will lead to a change in how that power is perceived and used. They need to be prepared to give up their power, to defy their own instinctive nature and hold their own beliefs lightly. Difficult certainly. Impossible, maybe. The alternative is not to make the attempt – and live with the abuse, live with the corruption, live with the slaughter. That seems to me to be an easy choice to make – but then, I am not in that position of power.
The Inspire, Sport & Leadership. programme uses sport as the vehicle for raising awareness, understanding and developing the skills and qualities of great leadership (I have my own definition). Currently, it runs in a limited number of countries on a very limited budget – my dream would be to expand the programme so that it becomes a part of every child’s education. My idea or dream, is to bring a greater awareness and understanding of our nature into the way we educate our children and our youth. To develop within them a greater sense of morality built on the principles of light and love, of fairness and justice, of consideration and responsibility for all life. I have facilitation and coaching teams in each country except Greece where the programme is for young refugees.