Sports For Development

The “sport for development” sector is comprised of initiatives that address a wide range of social issues. In Republic of South Africa, the football community Madiba Youth Organisation serves to ensure that the younger generation is well taken care of.

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan once said that “sport has the power to change the world.” In 2001, the Nobel laureate appointed Adolf Ogi, former president of the Swiss Confederation, as his special adviser for sports, development and peace. Since then, the idea of using sports as a medium to create social change became practiced by many organizations.


The UN decided to make this even more official in August of 2013 by declaring April 6 as the International Day of Sport and Development for Peace. The day was meant to remind people that the true spirit of sport lies in its ability to foster peace and development. Therefore, it encourages them to engage in the activity and support organizations and grassroots projects that hold the same mission.


From Madiba Youth Organisation taken an oath to be involved in the sport and development sector which we have  own initiatives that aim to respond to pressing social issues like poverty, lack of education , juvenile delinquency and finds a solution in physical education activities to help children overcome trauma from violence, separation and displacement.

Through the programme, the Madiba Youth Organisation wishes to encourage more participation in sports by women and people living with disabilities.


In South Africa, a grassroots initiative led by the Madiba Youth Organisation (MYO) provided locals with more access to the game by organizing trainings and creating a space for interactions between young locals and members of the PSL teams.

In the Rural areas of Bushbuckridge Local Municipality, Madiba Youth Organisation has paved the way for young people to become the best version of themselves. Madiba Youth Organisation was initially established in 18 July 2011 to address the issues of drugs, underage drinking and promiscuity among the younger generation. Aside from youth development, the organization also came up with programmes that focus on HIV/Aids prevention, gender equality and environmental awareness.


In an interview with  Source , Mr Adam Sibuyi, a representative from Madiba Youth Organisation  said that football has become “an ideology” in South Africa.

From the World Cup stadium to slum areas in developing nations, football is often heralded as the ultimate sport activity, frequently played by people coming from all walks of life. Its unifying nature has been recognized as a sharp tool for making a difference, and Madiba Youth Organisation accordingly relies on this quality to attract more participation from the younger generation.

Despite the support that Madiba Youth Organisation has gained from local and international partners, Sibuyi thinks that South Africa still needs to have more sport for development initiatives.

“The government only focuses on the achievements made by sport organizations and [sport in South Africa] is still competition-oriented. They have yet to develop the broader aspects of sport itself, which are concerned with many areas like culture, tourism and most importantly social change,” Sibuyi reveals.


Further, the challenges that are faced by sport for development organizations are often concerned with time and making sure that what they do is sustainable. When it comes down to fulfilling the sustainable development agenda, these organizations must learn to interact with external parties, such as sponsors and policymakers that might not always agree with the plans or programmes that they have.

At the end of the day, there should be a collective awareness and understanding that what they are doing is in fact worthwhile.

For this reason, Sibuyi hopes that South Africa would become more aware of the power of sport to bring people together, and soon divert its attention from the industry to the developmental side of sport.

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