News Archives

   

Sport Matters Visits Nepal To Assess Progress Of Shuttle Time

September 27, 2016


Sport Matters CEO Jackie Lauff and team member Jill Scanlon are in Kathmandu to meet with the Shuttle Time Nepal Project team for an update on the progress of the Badminton development program.

The program is aiming to use the sport of Badminton to promote social inclusion, health and peace-building through the participation of up to 20,000 primary school children across the small nation. 

As the program approaches the end of its first year, it is time to take stock of the progress which has been made. During the week, the team will meet with key stakeholders and visit Shuttle Time Connect schools in Kathmandu and Bhaktapur.

The project, initiated by Badminton Australia and managed by Sport Matters, is supported through partnerships with badminton's world governing body BWF and Badminton Asia with funding from the Australian Government via its Asia Sports Partnerships Program

Checkout the Sport Matters Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/sportmattersAU/




 

 

ICSEMIS Conference Takes Place In Brazil Ahead Of Paralympics

September 3, 2016

This week - 31 August to 4 September - 
the third International Convention of Science, Education and Medicine in Sport (ICSEMIS) is taking place in Brazil.

The ICSEMIS is a multi-disciplinary conference that brings together experts from all over the world linked to Sport, Science and Education.

Sport Matters CEO Jackie Lauff is in attendance and has been invited to make a presentation to one of the symposium sessions, exploring the topic of sport and physical activity as psycho-social support for children and youth in natural disasters and man-made crisis.

Accompanying Ms Lauff at the convention - and contributing to the presentation - is Soraj Ghulam Habib, a young Australian, formerly from Afghanistan, who lost both his legs when a cluster munition exploded near his home in Herat in Afghanistan when he was nine years old.

At the Convention, Soraj will speak about his life growing up in Afghanistan surrounded by war, his family, the event that changed his life, his journey to become an Australian citizen, why sport is important to him and how it has helped him build strength and deal with life’s challenges.

This third ICSEMIS convention is taking place in Santos under the theme “Saying yes to diversity in sport” and has been specifically scheduled to take place between the Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

There are continual updates and photos on the Sport Matters Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/sportmattersAU/




 

 

Sport Matters Co-Founder Heads To Her 7th And Final Paralympics.

September 1, 2016

The 2016 Rio Paralympics begins next week and Sport Matters' own Liesl Tesch will be competing in her 7th and final Games
.

Having competed in Wheelchair Basketball with the Gliders in her first five Games, Tesch crossed over to sailing in 2012 and won the Gold medal with crew mate Dan Fitzgibbon - a feat the pair will be trying to repeat in Rio.   

Sailing has been dropped from the Paralympics fixture for 2020 and, while disappointed with this outcome, Tesch has decided to call an end to her Paralympic career.

We wish her luck on the water in Rio and will be following her races closely. 




 

 

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Addresses Civil Society Issues At Forum in Fiji.

August 11, 2016

Sport Matters joined a small but powerful team advocating for sport at the PIFS non-state actors forum.  

The Pacific Civil Society Organisation forum was hosted by the PIFS in Suva to help representatives from civil society across the Pacific build skills and capacity in leadership, advocacy & influencing policy. 

Sport was fully on the agenda at the forum and advocates came from Samoa, Palau, Kiribati, New Zealand and Australia.

There was also the opportunity to meet the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Dame Meg Taylor from PNG. 
 





 

Big Week For Shuttle Time Project In Nepal

August 5, 2016

The last week of July was action packed for the Shuttle Time Nepal program with all hands on deck to conduct further Tutor training and launch the ST Connect initiative.

On July 26 the adventure began for Sport Matters CEO Jackie Lauff and Marianne Loh from Badminton Australia as they joined forces with other project partners in Nepal to bring further training to tutors, teachers and school children in Pokhara and Kathmandu.
 
The initial training sessions included learning about social inclusion, peace and health.

The week ended with the launching of the Shuttle Time Connect initiative linking primary schools in Nepal and Australia. Over 300 students from Kathmandu and Bhaktapur districts enjoyed Shuttle Time games with thanks to all project partners including Shuttle Time Nepal, Badminton Australia, BWF and with the support of the Australian Government through the Asian Sports Partnerships program.


                        


 

Sport Matters Presentation On Sport And Human Rights At UNAA Conference.

July 23, 2016

Two Sport Matters Champions addressed the United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA) NSW Conference in Sydney on the subject of Sport and Human Rights.

Olympian Hannah Davis and Paralympian Liesl Tesch explored the intersection of sport and human rights in Australia and around the world, discussing sport and values - including those associated with the Olympic & Paralympic ideals. They shared stories of athletes speaking up to promote and protect human rights and how sport is being used to promote positive social change and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals across the world.




 

Shuttle Time 'Connect' Teacher Training - Australian Style.

July 18, 2016

ShuttleTime teacher training got underway on the Gold Coast in support of the BWF Shuttle Time Nepal project.

12 Australian teachers from 7 Primary schools across the Gold Coast took part in several days of instructuon in badminton and the purpose and focus of the Shuttle Time program in Nepal.

This is the first step in our new Shuttle Time Connect project which was launched in Kathmandu the following week. ST Connect will link primary schools in Nepal & Australia through sport. Badminton Australia's Marianne Loh was in charge of the teacher training sessions.





 

Sport Matters co-Founder Liesl Tesch Is Off To Her 7th Paralympic Games.

July 15, 2016

Sport Matters is very proud of its co-founder and SM Champion Liesl Tesch who, this week, was named in the Australian Paralympic Sailing team to go to Rio.  
   
This will be Liesl's 7th Paralympics having won two silver medals and one bronze captaining the Women's Wheelchair basketball team between 1992 and 2008 and then bringing home a gold medal in sailing from London 2012.

With team mate Dan Fitzgibbon, Liesl will be out to defend their Olympic title in this the last Games in which sailing will be included - having been introduced in the Sydney 2000 Games.
 




 

Sport Matters is proud to be involved in the Shuttle Time Nepal project.

June 2, 2016


Since its launch in February, Shuttle Time Nepal is now well underway. 
 
Sport Matters is very proud to be a partner in the Shuttle Time project currently underway in Nepal in association with BWF, Badminton Australia, Badminton Asia and the Nepal Badminton Assoc.
 

Shuttle Time is the BWFs schools badminton program and with the support of the Australian Government through its Asia Sports Partnerships program, Nepal is the newest addition to the Shuttle Time family.   
 

 

 

 

Sport Matters' partnership with Badminton in Asia is well underway.

June 1, 2016

Over the past two months, Sport Matters has been in Nepal and China working with the Badminton World Federation and partners on the Shuttle Time project.  
   
With ST Nepal well underway, CEO Jackie Lauff and President of the Nepal Badminton Association Ramji Bahadur Shrestha, were invited to the recent BWF Member Forum and AGM 2016 in Kunshun, China to address the forum and share the progress of Shuttle Time NEPAL and deliver a presentation on ‘Partnerships and Inclusion in Sport’.

Part of the presentation was a video on the Shuttle Time Nepal project which was shared with the global BWF community at the forum.

One of the special aspects of the get together was the Women in Badminton meeting. 

Badminton Australia's Geraldine Brown led the meeting which explored a new strategy from BWF and its members to enhance and support gender equality in badminton. Dr Sharon Springer from BWF's Development team, also presented a detailed gender analysis looking at governance and development in badminton.




 

Sport Matters visits Kathmandu, Pokhara and Bhaktapur for Shuttle Time Nepal

May, 2016

Over two weeks in late April, Sport Matters CEO Jackie Lauff and team member Ryan Murphy embedded themselves in the activities of the busy daily lives of those delivering the Shuttle Time project on the ground in Nepal.   
   
They observed and took part in the ST training for teachers in Pokhara with over 120 school children from 11 schools participating in badminton lessons as well as peace and health workshops which were followed by having some fun practicing their newly developed skills and playing games. 

On April 25, a special day on the calendar for both Australia and Nepal, Sport Matters joined an ANZAC Commemoration with HE Glenn White, Australia's Ambassador to Nepal, New Zealand High Commissioner, Director of Peace Keeping Operations from Nepal Army and the Commander of British Gurkhas Nepal at the Australian Embassy in Kathmandu.It was a very special service that included a reflection on the devastation of the Nepal earthquakes which occurred just one year earlier. 

During that week, Sport Matters delivered a sport celebration in Bhaktapur for over 600 primary school students from 20 schools with Shuttle Time badminton games along with workshops on peace, health and art.

Jackie and Ryan also joined the Nepal Olympic Committee for a candle lighting ceremony to honour the 9,000 people who lost their lives in the 2015 Nepal earthquakes.


                                                

 

The UNOSDP releases SDG poster series for IDSDP 2016 

April 1, 2016

Wednesday April 6 is the 3rd International Day of Sport for Development and Peace and the UN Office of Sport for Development and Peace has designed a poster series reflecting the Sustainable Development Goals.  
   
The UNOSDP is promoting this year's IDSDP through a poster series which reflects all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) with a view to raising awareness of the SDGs and encouraging the continuing discussion about them. IDSDP posters.




 

Sport Matters looks forward to celebrating the 3rd IDSDP. 

March 22, 2016

Sport Matters is preparing for the annual celebration of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace on 6 April.  
   
On Wednesday 6 April, the Sport Matters team will be joined by its Champions and partners, participating in a massive international social media campaign celebrating the occasion of the IDSDP.  The call is going out over the next two weeks for members of the public to join this celebration by writing 'Why sport matters to them'. http://sportmatters.org.au/IDSDP_2016.php 




 

Sport Matters attends the Parliamentary Sports Festival dinner in Canberra. 

March 14, 2016

Sport Matters was part of an evening event in Canberra this week which focussed on the Road to Rio and Women in Sport.  
   
On Monday night, CEO Jackie Lauff joined the Parliamentary Friends of Sport in Canberra to celebrate the Road to Rio and Women in Sport together with Hon Malcolm Turnbull, Members of Parliament & Senators & friends of sport from the Olympic and Paralympic movements. 




 

Sport Matters joins other partners to launch Shuttle Time Nepal. 

February 29, 2016

Sport Matters is proud to have been a part of the international launch on Monday of the Badminton World Federation's next Shuttle Time program -- in Nepal.  
   
CEO Jackie Lauff joined dignitaries and representatives from local and international Badminton associations in what was a great celebration and occasion.

The program aims to use the sport of Badminton to promote social inclusion, health and peace-building through the participation of primary school children across the small nation.

CEO of Badminton Australia Paul Bretell has passed on Badminton Australia’s warm regards to all in Nepal for the successful launch of the Shuttle Time Nepal program.

He emphasised how appreciative Badminton Australia was to receive funding support from the Australian Government through the Asian Sports Partnerships program and has paid tribute to the project partners -- Badminton World Federation, Badminton Asia and the Nepal Badminton Association -- for the manner in which all have so enthusiastically embraced the initiative. http://bwfbadminton.org/page.aspx?id=15529 https://www.facebook.com/sportmattersAU/




 

Sport Matters CEO joined champion Pat Farmer for a bit of exercise! 

February 25, 2016
 

Sport Matters CEO, Jackie Lauff, dropped in to India on her way to Nepal (more on that visit coming soon!) to join Pat Farmer on his incredible ‪Spirit of India Run‬. 

Pat is running the length of India for 60 days using sport to make a difference in girls education and bringing two countries closer together. Click on the following link to view Jackie's snapshots of her time with the Sport Matters'champ.  http://on.fb.me/1oIkvSK 




 

Sport Matters champion Pat Farmer doing what he does so well! 

February 17, 2016
 

Pat Farmer is putting one foot in front of the other doing the Spirit of India Run, using sport to make a difference and promoting health and education in India.



He will be running from the southern-most tip, to the northern-most tip of the country. The journey will cover over 4,600 kms, 80kms per day for 66 days straight.

He is doing the run in support of girls education through the K.C. Mahindra Trust, a local organisation that is "changing India, child by child". http://www.kcmet.org/who-we-are.aspx

It is a battle of both body and mind but Pat Farmer has never been defeated by a challenge he has taken on.

Sport Matters is proud to have Pat as a Champion of the organisation and will be following his every step.

 

Sport Matters welcomes a new member to the Team

February 2, 2016
 

Sport Matters is delighted to announce the newest addition to our Board! 



Jade Dixon joined our leadership team in December as a Non-Executive Director. Jade is a Chartered Accountant, a Director in the Outsourced CFO team at PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia (PwC) in Sydney, and Chair of the Sydney Societal Relevance Executive at PwC.

Jade's appointment is the culmination of a national recruitment process through PwC's OnBoard program.

Welcome aboard Jade! http://www.sportmatters.org.au/board.php

 

Indonesian DPOs visit Sydney for work and play

January 30, 2016
 

Sport Matters had the great pleasure in hosting a group of 22 visitors from Indonesia in January who arrived in Sydney to take part in a short course titled ‘Organisational Leadership and Management Practices for Disabled People’s Organisations (DPO)’ offering information, advice and guidance on how to expand their capabilities working with people with disabilities.  



 

They were all from various organisations which have roles in research, advocacy and support for people with a disability in Indonesia.

The course was delivered by Australia Awards Indonesia in conjunction with the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre (SSEAC) and in consultation with Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and co-ordinated by the NGO Sport Matters.

But it was not all about sitting and learning – there was also time made for getting away from the ‘classroom’ environment.
 
The group was warmly welcomed at a reception at the majestic Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) with an introduction from Sport Matters CEO Jackie Lauff, followed by speeches from attending dignitaries, among them the Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP – Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Immigration and I Nengah Latra, the Managing Director of the Puspadi Bali Foundation, who spoke on behalf of the course participants.

The visitors were also taken on a tour of the beautiful and iconic stadium, courtesy of the SCG Trust, and shown how the venue has worked to be all inclusive, making it possible for people with disabilities to attend sport at the ground.

Over the duration of the course, the participants were informed and educated through workshops focusing on leadership and management -- highlighting the need to build confidence and capacity of emerging leaders within the disability field, encouraging advocacy for the rights of those with disabilities.

Sport Matters CEO Jackie Lauff was supported in her presentation about Sport and human rights by the two guest speakers who followed – Curtis Palmer (four time Paralympian in Wheelchair rugby) who addressed the issue of using sport to speak up for your rights and Darren Fittler (Non-profit lawyer) who spoke to the group about Governance.

In the second week of the course the visitors ventured out to experience the vibrancy of Sydney as the city celebrated Australia Day -- including watching the OZ Day 10km Wheelchair Road Race after which they had the thrill of meeting some of Australia’s top wheelchair Paralympic athletes including Kurt Fearnley.

As the afternoon wound down, the visitors spent time wandering around the Yabun Indigenous Cultural Festival and then ended the day enjoying food, drink and conversations with new friends, among them Australian Paralympic gold medallist and co-founder of Sport Matters, Liesl Tesch.
 
The course was conducted with the strong support and collaboration of the SCG Trust, the Primary Club, the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre and of course, Sport Matters.


 

Stand up for Aid!

2015 - 2016 Campaign
 

Add your voice to the Campaign for Australian Aid to help us reduce ... More on Australian Aid.

  


 

 

Forum on Youth & Sport

August 3 , 2015
 

Join us Sport Matters and Football United to explore the impact of sport on youth around the world on Monday 10 August at the University of New South Wales.  


 

Sport Matters and Football United invite you to join a free evening forum at the University of New South Wales. With the Netball World Cup in full swing in Sydney & International Youth Day on August 12 it’s the perfect time to talk about the impact that sport is making on aid and development around the world with a focus on netball and youth.
 
When: Monday 10 August
Time:   5.30pm for 6pm-8pm
Where: Lecture Theatre LG02, Wallace Wurth Building, University of New South Wales
 
We have a fantastic line up speakers who will inform, inspire and engage you:
 
Haylee Gillies: Haylee will share her experiences as a returned Australian Volunteer for International Development in Tonga contributing to the ‘Kau Mai Tonga, Ke Tau Netipolo’ (Come on Tonga, let’s play netball).  

Assmaah Helal: Proving that youth can lead the way, Assmaah is a convenor of the Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development & Peace (CYSDP) Working Group & FUn Community Coordinator has recently returned from the Trinidad & Tobago Sport for Development Conference and is gearing up to lead an advocacy campaign at Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa next month. Assmaah will share some of the latest youth-led strategies coming through the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Dr Anne Bunde-Birouste: Founder of Football United will share the journey of a Sydney-based program that began using football to create inclusive communities for refugees and migrants, has evolved to open door and creates chances for young leaders through football and other sports, with their latest innovation moving to a social enterprise model.

Jackie Lauff: Co-founder of Sport Matters will share an international perspective with a look at the contribution sport can make towards the Sustainable Development Goals, Australia’s efforts towards using sport as a tool for development, and the impact of Sport Matters partnership with ChildFund Australia that uses rugby to empower children and youth in Laos.    

Register here to book your FREE seat! http://sportfordevelopment.eventbrite.com.au
 
Light refreshments will be available. Please indicate any dietary or access considerations when you register. Contact us for further information at info@sportmatters.org.au

Check out the event flyer and see the campus map with venue details 

 #ImpactS4D
 

Celebrate with us! 

April 1 , 2015
 

Celebrate the 2nd International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) with Sport Matters. 


 

IDSDP was introduced to the United Nations calendar last year through a partnership between the United Nations and the International Olympic Committee. The day is dedicated to promoting the impact that sport can have on development and peace outcomes and this year’s theme from the United Nations Office of Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) is ‘United action towards sustainable development for all through sport.’
 
Sport Matters is proud to be working with a host of sporting and community partners to showcase the positive and long-lasting impact sport can make to individuals, communities and nations:

Australian Council for International Development
Australian Disability and Development Consortium
Australian Football League
Australian Rugby Union
CBM Australia
ChildFund Australia
Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand
FIBA Oceania
Football United
Micah Challenge
NRL
Netball Australia
Oceania Athletics
Oceania Badminton
Oceania Table Tennis
One Goal Australia
Volleyball Australia
World Vision Australia

Together we’re getting behind the Campaign for Australian Aid because despite the growing evidence of sport as a positive influence on people from all walks of life, recent dramatic cuts to Australia’s Aid Program is putting the progress we’ve made in alleviating poverty at risk – including sport programs throughout the Asia Pacific region.
 
Let our government know that you believe in the power of sport to change lives by joining the campaign for continued investment in Australian Aid from www.sportmatters.org.au  

Stay tuned as we bring you a series of powerful stories to tell about how sport is making an impact on development and peace to raise the profile of Australia’s engagement in sport for development.
 
We are calling for sport to be taken seriously as a low-cost and high impact tool for development, and an increase in the Australian Government’s investment in sport for development across the aid program, and extending beyond the Pacific. 

Join the global celebration of sport for development and peace #IDSDP on and around April 6 in your communications and social media platforms because sport matters for everyone, for life! #IDSDP2015 and #sport4betterworld
 

 

Sport for Change

December 18, 2014
 

Watch a documentary on ABC1 on Jan 3 on our work in the Solomon Islands …


 

A documentary series featuring Sport Matters work in the Solomon Islands will be shown on ABC in Australia. Sport for Change is the second of seven episodes in a series produced by the Attitude Group in New Zealand.
 
The episode follows Sport Matters first train-the-trainer workshop in the Solomon Islands using sport to promote the rights of people with disabilities. See four-time Paralympian, Curtis Palmer, in action in Honiara using sport as a vehicle to empower people with disabilities to speak up.  
 
The documentaries are designed to expand perceptions of what is possible with the goal of changing attitudes towards Australia’s four million people with disabilities.
 
The Attitude documentary series has been a regular feature on New Zealand screens for the past ten years and on other public service broadcasters throughout the world. A stronger presence in Australia in now planned with The Attitude Group partnering former Disability Rights Commissioner Graeme Innes AM to create the Attitude Australia Foundation.
 
Tune in to ABC One at 6.30pm on Saturday 3 January 2015 to see Sport Matters in action!

You can see the full episode HERE
 

Wheelout in the Capital 2014

November 18, 2014
 

Get on the court to support Sport Matters and play the best game on wheels!



Wheelout in the Capital is an annual event hosted by Sport Matters in Canberra. Register a team with your workmates, family or friends and help support a new sport project for people with disabilities in Fiji.

Date: Monday 1 December 2014
Time: 10am – 3pm
Departs: UC Fit, University of Canberra


Wheelout in the Capital is an annual event hosted by Sport Matters in Canberra. Register a team with your workmates, family or friends and help support a new sport project for people with disabilities in Fiji.

Your registration includes a round-robin wheelchair basketball competition, a skills clinic, lunch, novelty races & a celebrity challenge! Spectators are welcome too and can try a basketball wheelchair during the lunch break for a gold coin donation. (Sport wheelchairs are provided and please note that registration is not tax deductible).

Proceeds of Wheelout in the Capital 2014 will help kick-start a new Sport Matters project in Fiji using sport to promote the rights of people with disabilities.

Get on the court and join the fun by registering online by Friday 28 November 2014!
 

Check out the details in the event FLYER, and register online BOOK HERE.
 

Sport Matters joined the UNOSDP Youth Leadership Programme

September 5, 2014

The 12th Youth Leadership programme  (YLP) has wrapped up in Gwangju in the Republic of Korea hosted by the United Nations Office of Sport for Development and Peace.


The UNOSDP YLP is a 12 day program designed to build the capacity of young leaders in the sport for development and peace field. The 12th YLP was held in Gwangju, Republic of Korea from 19 – 30 August. Gwangju Universiade Organizing Committee, the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace and Right To Play hosted the event.  The 12th YLP saw 34 participants from Asia and Oceania come together to learn about sport for development and peace best practice.
 
Participants engaged in theory and practical learning through presentations and workshops from experts in sport for development and peace. Right to Play, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), The English Football Association (The FA), the International Swimming Federation (FINA), World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), Korean Air and UNAids delivered training. Topics covered included Leadership and Peace, Sport and Peace Building, Adapted physical activities for people with a disability, Leadership through Football, Water Safety Games, Peace and Friendship in every corner of the global village through Taekwondo, Child Protection/Safeguarding youth, and sport for development.
 
Typical sessions began with theory, moved into demonstration then challenged participants to design and lead a short program and ended with self and external evaluations. This process engaged participants in the steps required when planning, delivering and evaluating programs in their home communities. Daily reflection provided an opportunity for participants to build presentation and training skills, empowering participants to share what they have learned after returning home.
 
Participants were not only able to build useful networks of sport for development practitioners, but they bonded deeply and often reffered to one-another as “ their YLP family”. Kiana Guyon  a participant from Thailand, described the program as “Inspirational and life changing.”
 
A special part of the program, unique to Gwangju, is the opportunity for participants to attend and present at the EPICS forum. The EPICS forum is a one-day conference hosted by the Gwangju Universiade Organising Committee, and the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace which promotes UNOSDP values and the five concepts of EPICS – Environment, Peace , IT and innovation, Culture and Sport. Assistant Secretary General and Special Advier to the Secretary General, Mr. Kim Won-soo and Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, Mr. Wilfried Lemke attended the EPICS forum.
Mr. Kim Won-soo and Mr. Wilfried Lemke took part in a round-table session and Mr. Lemke gave the opening and closing speeches. Jessica Wishart directed the YLP group presentation, which included traditional dance presentations from each cultural group at the YLP and highlighted the power of sport in overcoming racial, cultural and social barriers. The forum draws 500 University students and is broadcast on national television and also streamed online.
 
As an assistant organiser Jessica Wishart contributed to the evaluation process throughout the program and provided assistance to presenters and participants. Jessica said “The YLP is a powerful too for building the capacity of participants to deliver more effective programs at home. The train-the-trainer model employed allows the reach of the program to go significantly further than the participants who attended. It was heart-warming to see how much the participants grew in knowledge and friendship during the 12 days.” Jessica will be presenting on her experience at the UNOSDP YLP at Sport Matters Inspire.Unite.Change. Conference in Brisbane, Australia, from 29 September to 1 October.
 

Click here to register for the Sport Matters conference


Check out the photo albums on Facebook of Week 1 and Week 2 of the program!  

 

Sydney Spring Sail - Twilight 2014

July 31, 2014
 

Get your tickets for a spectacular harbour cruise & celebrate 'Peace  Day' with our Champions, partners and supporters.



The annual Sport Matters Sydney Spring Sail is back for 2014 and we would love you to join us for the 2014 Twilight Cruise.

Date: Saturday 20 September 2014
Time: 4.30pm-6.30pm
Departs: Campbell's Cove Wharf


In 2014 we have a range of options available for ticket purchase, with proceeds from the event supporting the ever expanding programs and activities of Sport Matters throughout Australia, the Pacific, Asia and Africa. Through your support you will be empowering individuals and uniting communities through sport. 

Join us for a spectacular two-hour twilight cruise on Sydney Harbour on board the Southern Swan, an authentic 1920’s Tall Ship with a chance to view a maginificent sunset on the water.

Departing from Campbell's Cove we set sail for a wonderful adventure! Sail though our magnificent harbour, hear about the amazing story of the ship and get involved and help us hoist and set the sails if you want! This is a truly unique part of your experience aboard a Tall Ship. The moment the wind takes over and the sound of the engine fades away is like stepping back in time, an experience thousands of sailors across the ages have felt, as they stood on this very deck!


Your ticket will include a substantial and delicious finger food menu, beer wine, champagne and soft drink and the chance to climb up the mast of a tall ship - an rare opportunity to see our beautiful harbour from the heights of a new perspective!

Purchase your tickets today! Check out the details in the event FLYER, order your tickets below or BOOK HERE.
 

Inspire.Unite.Change.2014


August 1, 2014



Join our 2nd international conference in Brisbane from Sep 29 - Oct to connect, share and learn about sport for development.
 

Join us for a jam-packed program of workshops, networking, break-out & plenary sessions!  
 

Sport Matters will host its second international conference in Brisbane next month. If you are keen to learn more about how sport is used to promote development in Australia and overseas, head to Brisbane from 29 September to 1 October 2014 for a great opportunity for learning, networking and professional development.

The conference theme captures Nelson Mandela’s infamous words about the power of sport to change the world and will feature keynote speakers including:

INSPIRE: Dr Marion Keim – Associate Professor at the University of the Western Cape (South Africa) and Director of the Interdisciplinary Centre of Excellence in Sport Science and Development.
UNITE: Ollie Dudfield – former Sport for Development Adviser at the Commonwealth Secretariat & UK Sport (Melbourne)
CHANGE: Dr Marianne Meier -  Project Officer at Terre des Hommes (Switzerland) heading up an international project called ‘Children WIN’ looking at the impact of mega-sporting events on children.

A series of workshop sessions at The University of Queensland are an opportunity for delegates to build practical skills in participatory development approaches, cross-cultural communication, disability inclusive development, and monitoring and evaluation. The conference program includes a welcome reception, plenary panels and break-out sessions at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre on topics such as; safeguarding children, gender-based violence and harnessing the power of athletes as role models.

Hear from Sport Matters Champions:

Liesl Tesch - six-time Paralympian (wheelchair basketball & sailing) & Sport Matters co-founder
Pat Farmer - ultra-marathon runner, former Member of Parliament and advocate for peace

The BCEC is the venue of the upcoming G20 Summit so it's a great time to explore the role of sport in promoting economic development. There’ll also be an ‘Island Style’ conference dinner at Brisbane City Hall which is the perfect place to create new networks across the sport and development sectors!

Visit the conference area of our website to learn more and to register.

#InspireUniteChange

  
  

Sport Matters at the UNOSDP Youth Leadership Programme


August 6, 2014



Sport Matters will join the United Nations Office of Sport for Development and Peace at the 11th UNOSDP Youth Leadership Programme in the Republic of Korea.

 

Sport Matters representative is set to join UNOSDP in the Republic of Korea.
 

Whilst on missions as the Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, Mr Wilfried Lemke, identified a great need to provide training and develop the skills of youth working and volunteering in sport for development and peace. Mr Lemke discovered that many of the talented young people using sport to invoke positive social change within their communities, lacked resources and access to education.


After 10 successful programs, the UNOSDP will be holding its 11th camp in the South Korean city of Gwangju from 19 to 30 August, 2014 in partnership with the Gwangju 2015 Universiade Organising Committee.

The YLP will bring together approximately 30 youth, aged between 18 and 25 who are working or volunteering in sport for development and peace in their home nations. The 11th YLP was open to participants from Iran, Indian Subcontinent, South East Asia, Central Asia, Far East, China and Oceania/Pacific. 

During the program the youth will participate in both practical and theoretical sessions to build their skills, and empower them to deliver more effective programs. The Youth Leadership Programme aims to:

Enhance the quality of sport for development and peace programs in their organisation
Increase the number of organisations in the community that are aware of how sport and play can contribute to development and peace
Reflect on their own perspectives and approaches to development
Identify and problem-solve barriers to implementing programs in their communities
Share strategies, approaches and best practice in sport for development and peace
Learn to advocate for sport for development and peace
Create standards to guide the development and implementation of programs.
 
Jessica Wishart will be representing Sport Matters at the camp and is looking forward to an exciting cross-cultural experience:

“I am thrilled to be able to represent Sport Matters, an organisation that I love and respect, at the UNOSDP Youth Leadership Programme. This is an incredible opportunity to build my own skills in program design and delivery, as well as develop new networks for Sport Matters within the sport for development and peace community.” said Jessica.

Sending a representative to the Youth Leadership Programme to assist the local organising committee is a great opportunity for Sport Matters to build relationships with future leaders from across the globe and with UNOSDP staff and partner organisations. Stay tuned for regular updates from Jessica who will fly out of Sydney on 14 August and join an enthusiastic team of young leaders in Gwangju on August 18! 

Find out more about the UNOSDP Youth Leadership Programme  

You can also join Sport Matters 2nd International Conference in Brisbane under the theme Inspire.Unite.Change. where Jessica will share her experience in the Republic of Korea! Click here  for registration details.
 

  
  

IDSDP is here!


April 4, 2014



Sport Matters launched a social media campaign in Sydney to celebrate the first International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP).

 

Sport Matters Champions, partners and supporters in Sydney welcome in the first IDSDP.
 

The Sport Matters Champions; Paralympian Liesl Tesch, rugby league legend Petero Civoniceva, and ultra-marathon runner Pat Farmer joined over 50 supporters at Hickson Road Reserve in Circular Quay under the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.
 
The celebration was in honour of the inaugural IDSDP on April 6 which is the newest International Day to join the United Nations calendar. Sport Matters Chairperson Michael Pilbrow opened the proceedings, followed by an official welcome from CEO Jackie Lauff.
 
Australian-based NGO, Sport Matters, believes in the power of sport to contribute to development and peace and appointed three Sport Matters Champions to help raise the profile of their work using sport to make a positive and long-lasting impact on development in Australia, the Pacific, Asia and Africa.
 
Christopher Woodthorpe, Director of the United Nations Information Centre for Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific gave a wonderful overview of how the United Nations system is embracing sport for development and peace, and read the UN Secretary General’s message.  
 
“Our celebration today is an opportunity for all of us who believe that sports can be instrumental in personal and societal development to unite and celebrate together. By working as a team we can use the power of sports to build the peaceful and prosperous future we want.” said Woodthorpe.
 
Sport Matters co-founder and six-time Paralympian Liesl Tesch, gave a moving address on the impact of sport on her life and her perspective on the impact of the Paralympic Movement around the world. She also shared some examples of Sport Matters projects in South Africa, the Solomon Islands and Laos promoting human rights, including people with disabilities and empowering children and youth.
 
Petero Civoniceva is house-hold name in Australia and Fiji and a legend in the sport of rugby league. Petero has recently retired from a very successful playing career and last year captained the Fiji team in the Rugby League World Cup. Petero spoke of his journey in sport, why sport matters for him and his family, and how the NRL are stepping up to promote development and peace through rugby league in Australia and in the Pacific.
 
Pat Farmer shared his passion for sport and development that seems to never ‘run out’! Pat is an ultra-marathon runner who has run around Australia, across North America – twice – and has run from the North Pole to the South Pole all in the name of development. Next month Pat will embark on his next epic adventure running through the Middle East to promote peace and tolerance through sport.
 
The three Sport Matters Champions, armed with a smart phone, launched the Why Sport Matters social media campaign with the call “Ready, set, TWEET!”
Sport Matters announced their first Gold Podium Partner, OnTheGo Sports, and the company’s Founder and Managing Director received a plaque of recognition from Sport Matters CEO Jackie Lauff.
 
The WHY SPORT MATTERS social campaign is now in full swing! It’s a great opportunity for you to showcase why sport matters for you, for your organisation, or for your country.

Join us on Facebook by liking, commenting or sharing posts on sportmattersAU. If you on Twitter, follow us @sportmattersAU then tweet, re-tweet and favourite IDSDP posts. Our campaign will finish at 5pm (Sydney-time) on Sunday 6 April. 
 
No matter where you are in the world we want to hear from you. Connecting with Sport Matters online to celebrate the first IDSDP and very quickly you’ll feel the power of sport to unite, to inspire, and to change the world!

The campaign hashtags for Twitter are #IDSDP #whysportmatters #sportmatters

  
  

 Gold for OnTheGo Sports  


April 4, 2014



Sport Matters is proud to announce OnTheGo Sports as our first Gold Podium Partner!

 

'Everyday Matters' at OnTheGo Sports.
 

OnTheGo Sports is an Australian owned, Performance sports apparel and accessories brand that designs, produces and distributes products that aim to inspire the lives of individuals in an active, adventurous and fun manner. The Canberra based company has joined forces with Sport Matters out of a shared passion for the role that sport can play in changing lives in Australia and in developing communities around the world.
 
OnTheGo Sports are guided by a simple mission: To make every day matter, and by doing that, give every person the opportunity to live an active and healthy life. OnTheGo Sports realise that business can be an amazing vehicle to change the world and are excited to make everyday matter through their new partnership with Sport Matters.
 
“We are so excited to have Sport Matters as our first global humanitarian partner! With the help of Sport Matters, we can trust that day in and day out, our funds and our products are giving children and youth of today more opportunity to engage in sport programs, that not only enable them to get active, but that also make a meaningful difference in their lives.” said Founder and Managing Director Mick Spencer on the new partnership.
 
As a Sport Matters Gold Podium Partner, OnTheGo Sports, will support sport for development initiatives for three years and to start with will get behind new projects in Timor-Leste, Fiji and in Australia.
 
In Timor-Leste, Sport Matters is working together with local partners to design a sport for development program for children and youth. What they want is more access to education, less smoking and drinking, and less violence in their communities in Dili and in surrounding districts. They have chosen to use football, basketball and volleyball as their tools empower youth to lead, to grow and to build their own future.

OnTheGo Sports have customers all over the world who are looking for quality, custom-made products. No matter where you are, when you make a purchase with OnTheGo Sports, they will donate tailor-made product for Sport Matters programs in Australia, the Pacific, Asia and Africa.

OnTheGo Sports support ultra-marathon runner and former Member of Parliament, Pat Farmer, who is about to embark on a Middle East Peace run to promote tolerance peace from 1 to 20 May. Pat Farmer is so dedicated towards making a difference that he ran from the North Pole to the South Pole to raise funds that helped bring clean water to developing communities. Pat Farmer also joins Paralympian Liesl Tesch and NRL legend Petero Civoniceva as a Sport Matters Champion

OnTheGo Ambassador Pat Farmer and Founder and CEO Mick Spencer will join Sport Matters to celebrate the first International Day of Sport for Development and Peace on Friday 4 April 2014 from 10am – 11am at Hickson Rd Park. Join the celebrations in Sydney, support or us in person or what the event live online. CLICK HERE

Join the conversation on Twitter by using the hastags #IDSDP #whysportmatters #sportmatters

To learn more about OnTheGo Sports and check out their fantastic product range at www.onthegosports.com.au

Any questions regarding IDSDP or otherwise, please send to info@sportmatters.org.au or check out the MEDIA RELEASE

Learn more about IDSPD here.

Read how 20 international organisations are celebrating the inaugural IDSDP here.
 

  

Tackling youth challenges through sport in Timor-Leste  
 



January 31, 2014


Youth in Timor-Leste had their say in the design of a new sport for development project.

 

Local Youth Leaders at a basketball court in a Dili sub-district.
 

Sport Matters headed to Dili in January to consult with young people on a new sport for development program. Sport and play were identified as major priorities for children and youth at a series of Rotary Leadership training workshops. Sport Matters was approached to design a new strategy to engage youth through sport in Timor-Leste.
 
During the week long visit, Sport Matters met with children and youth in Dili and Aileu with the view to activating two pilot projects in the coming months. The voices of youth in many sub-districts of Dili and Aileu were captured in the new program design along with input from key stakeholders such as national sport federations.
 
The major challenges identified by youth different slightly for each village but broadly included limited access to education, issues related to smoking and drinking, and conflict between youth. Football, volleyball and basketball were selected by youth in both districts as the most popular sports.
 
Contact our team if you’d like to get involved in this program & stay tuned for more details as this program takes shape!
 
Click here to see some photos of our visit to Timor-Leste.  

 

February Fishing Fever!



January 15, 2014


Sport Matters has caught Fishing Fever! Enjoy a fun day of sport fishing AND help Sport Matters make a difference in Australia and overseas through sport.  
 

Relax, enjoy a fun day out on the water and catch a feed of fish!


To kick off the new year Sport Matters is hosting a deep sea fishing charter on 22 February 2014. Cruise Sydney’s spectacular harbour then head offshore to experience deep sea fishing at its best on reefs and fish feeding grounds a few nautical miles outside Sydney Heads. Try your luck at catching snapper, trevally, flathead, morwong, kingfish and many more!

Date: Saturday 22 February 2014
Time: 6am – 2pm

Tickets: $200 per person (including GST)
 
Your ticket includes:

  • Deep sea fishing charter from 6am – 2pm

  • All bait, rods, reels and equipment supplied

  • Professional advice from seasoned experts

  • BBQ and Salads for Lunch

  • Beer and soft drink (please drink responsibly)

  • Anything you catch – you keep! (Bag limits apply) 


You can choose from 3 pick up points: Sydney Fish Markets, Milsons Point Wharf or Rose Bay Wharf. Just indicate your preference when you make your booking and please contact our team at info@sportmatters.org.au if you have any questions.

Join us after the fishing charter at The Rugby Club in Pitt Street Sydney to watch Australia's opening Super Rugby matches.
 
Don’t miss this unforgettable experience on Sydney’s most popular deep sea fishing charter! Places are limited. BOOK NOW!  https://fishingfever.eventbrite.com.au
 
Click here to check out the flyer for our February Fishing Fever fundraising event.
.

 Sport Matters meets UNOSDP 



November 29, 2013


Sport Matters met with Mr Wilfried Lemke, UN Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace during his first official mission to Australia.  
 

 

Wilfried Lemke with Sport Matters team members at Circular Quay.

 

Sport Matters was delighted to host the United Nations Office of Sport for Development and Peace on their first visit to Sydney on Tuesday 26 November. Mr Wilfried Lemke is the United Nations Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace and he travelled with Maren Kroeger, a Programme Officer at UNOSDP.
 
After spending the day in Canberra meeting with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian Sports Commission, Mr Lemke spent the day in Sydney meeting with NGOs and sporting federations with an interest in sport for development.
 
First up was a meeting with Sport Matters Board Members Liesl Tesch and Jackie Lauff, and Communications Coordinator Jessica Sims at Circular Quay.
 
ChildFund Australia hosted a networking lunch at their offices in Surry Hills that was attended by executive representatives of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), ChildFund Australia, SurfAID, AFL, The Big Issue and Sport Matters.
 
Mr Lemke visited Rugby League Central at Moore Park where he joined over 60 secondary school students at the NRL Learning Centre for the ‘In League In Harmony Program’. In his address to the students Mr Lemke reflected on the core values of sport that contribute to social inclusion including respect, communication, understanding differences and friendship.
 
The UNOSDP Delegation visited Australia on route to the Pacific Youth and Sport Conference that takes place in Noumea, New Caledonia, from 2 – 7 December in conjunction with the Pacific Sport Ministers Meeting.
 
Check out some photos from the UNOSDP visit  
 

 

A Sunday SPIN at Wheelout in the Capital



October 20, 2013


Wheelout in the Capital is a wheelchair basketball competition with a twist!
 
 

The Wheelie Mammoths from MDS won the 2013 Wheelout trophy!
 

Wheelout in the Capital’ is a wheelchair basketball competition with a spin that took place on Sunday 20 October at The University of Canberra's UCFit basketball courts. Over 150 people attended the event including players, sponsors, volunteers and spectators.
 
The event was part of the Centenary of Canberra’s signature weekend that celebrated all things that SPIN including cars, bikes, pottery wheels and of course basketball wheelchairs! Wheelout in the Capital was hosted by Sport Matters, in partnership with Enable Development, and proudly supported by the ACT Government.
 
Six teams participated in the round-robin competition including Aspen Medical, ANU's College of Engineering and Computer Science, Radford College, the Embassy of Timor-Leste, Macarthur Disability Services, and the Disability Information Support Hub (DISH).
 
Students of Radford College helped deliver the event by scoring, refereeing and running a geo-caching activity alongside the basketball competition. Specially made ‘caches’ were hidden across the campus and people had great fun searching for them hidden inside things like fence-posts, power-points and even a tree-stump!
 
The Wheelie Mammoths from Macarthur Disability Services won the basketball tournament and took home the coveted Wheelout trophy after a close battle in the finals against staff and students of ANU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. The Wheelie Mammoths also won the inaugural Wheelout competition in 2012 which supported a project in the Solomon Islands.
 
More than three quarters of the participants tried their hand at wheelchair basketball for the first time at Wheelout in the Capital including Australia’s Ambassador to Timor-Leste, HE Mr Abel Guterres. His team, ‘Haksolok’ (which means happiness in Tetun) included staff from the Timor-Leste embassy and Nelson da Silva, a program coordinator from the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dili who travelled to Canberra especially for the event. Nelson overseas the wheelchair basketball activities in Timor-Leste and he impressed the crowd with his wheelchair skills winning some of the novelty races with his impressive speed! Special thanks to Radford College for sponsoring Nelson’s visit and hosting him during his visit to Canberra.  
 
A big thank you to our team from Sport Matters who delivered the event including our board members Liesl Tesch, Jackie Lauff, Belinda Barnier and Adrian Lauff and team members from inter-state including four-time Paralympian Curtis Palmer who joined us from Melbourne and our referee coordinator Elissa Barden who flew in especially from the Gold Coast.
 
Wheelout in the Capital raised nearly $3000 to kick-start a new sport for development program in Timor-Leste that will use sport to promote leadership and life skills for children and youth across Timor-Leste. 

Click here to check out some photos of the Wheelout in the Capital action!

 
 

Sport Matters new Chairperson



October 30, 2013


Atma Maharaj was appointed the new Chairperson of Sport Matters at the October board meeting held in Canberra.  
 
 

Non-Executive Director Atma Maharaj takes the reigns of Sport Matters
 

Atma Maharaj has been a Non-Executive Board Member of Sport Matters since April 2011. He brings extensive experience in governance, leadership and strategic thinking and the team at Sport Matters wish him well in his new appointment as Chairperson of the organisation.
 
Jackie Lauff remains the CEO of the organisation and an executive director on the board, and she is delighted with Atma’s appointment.
 
“October was a very big month for Sport Matters. We delivered a host of activities including our first international conference, a photo competition, announced our new Scientific Committee, secured our full membership with ACFID, and also came to the end of our second financial year.” said Jackie Lauff.
 
The Scientific Committee will coordinate the program and call for abstracts for our 2014 International Sport for Development Conference. That Committee is chaired by Dr Stephanie Hanrahan of The University of Queensland and reports to the Research, Training and Development Board Committee which Dr Stephanie Hanrahan also sits on.

Sport Matters attended the 2013 ACFID Council where the membership of the Australian Council for International Development congregates each year. This year Sport Matters was formally ratified as a full member of ACFID and we are thrilled to join the ACFID family and look forward to making a positive contribution to the sector.

Our CEO, Jackie Lauff, joined the full ACFID Council and she was joined by Michael Pilbrow for the Chairs and CEOs dinner and by Belinda Barnier at the networking breakfast on the theme ‘Upscaling the Sector’. Jackie also addressed the ACFID Council during the Member Forum and took the opportunity to formally introduce Sport Matters to the ACFID membership.

Stay tuned for some exciting new developments at Sport Matters under the stewardship of Atma Maharaj. We are preparing some innovative approaches using sport for development in Australia and overseas and look forward to engaging new partners, sponsors and donors on that journey.

Check out Atma Maharaj’s board profile   

 
 

A Sunday SPIN at Wheelout in the Capital



October 20, 2013


Wheelout in the Capital is a wheelchair basketball competition with a twist!
 
 

The Wheelie Mammoths from MDS won the 2013 Wheelout trophy!
 

Wheelout in the Capital’ is a wheelchair basketball competition with a spin that took place on Sunday 20 October at The University of Canberra's UCFit basketball courts. Over 150 people attended the event including players, sponsors, volunteers and spectators.
 
The event was part of the Centenary of Canberra’s signature weekend that celebrated all things that SPIN including cars, bikes, pottery wheels and of course basketball wheelchairs! Wheelout in the Capital was hosted by Sport Matters, in partnership with Enable Development, and proudly supported by the ACT Government.
 
Six teams participated in the round-robin competition including Aspen Medical, ANU's College of Engineering and Computer Science, Radford College, the Embassy of Timor-Leste, Macarthur Disability Services, and the Disability Information Support Hub (DISH).
 
Students of Radford College helped deliver the event by scoring, refereeing and running a geo-caching activity alongside the basketball competition. Specially made ‘caches’ were hidden across the campus and people had great fun searching for them hidden inside things like fence-posts, power-points and even a tree-stump!
 
The Wheelie Mammoths from Macarthur Disability Services won the basketball tournament and took home the coveted Wheelout trophy after a close battle in the finals against staff and students of ANU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. The Wheelie Mammoths also won the inaugural Wheelout competition in 2012 which supported a project in the Solomon Islands.
 
More than three quarters of the participants tried their hand at wheelchair basketball for the first time at Wheelout in the Capital including Australia’s Ambassador to Timor-Leste, HE Mr Abel Guterres. His team, ‘Haksolok’ (which means happiness in Tetun) included staff from the Timor-Leste embassy and Nelson da Silva, a program coordinator from the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dili who travelled to Canberra especially for the event. Nelson overseas the wheelchair basketball activities in Timor-Leste and he impressed the crowd with his wheelchair skills winning some of the novelty races with his impressive speed! Special thanks to Radford College for sponsoring Nelson’s visit and hosting him during his visit to Canberra.  
 
A big thank you to our team from Sport Matters who delivered the event including our board members Liesl Tesch, Jackie Lauff, Belinda Barnier and Adrian Lauff and team members from inter-state including four-time Paralympian Curtis Palmer who joined us from Melbourne and our referee coordinator Elissa Barden who flew in especially from the Gold Coast.
 
Wheelout in the Capital raised nearly $3000 to kick-start a new sport for development program in Timor-Leste that will use sport to promote leadership and life skills for children and youth across Timor-Leste. 

Click here to check out some photos of the Wheelout in the Capital action!

 
 

Sport Matters inaugural conference made an impact in Canberra

 

October 20, 2013


The first Sport Matters conference brought people together to listen, learn and network on the theme ‘Celebrating the Impact of Sport for Development’   

 

Nelson da Silva from Timor-Leste sharing his journey at the official welcome reception.
 


Sport Matters hosted its first sport for development conference at the Ann Harding Centre at The University of Canberra. Over 60 delegates joined the inaugural conference representing sport organisations, aid and development agencies and universities.

Two practical workshops sessions were held on Thursday 17 October that focused on program design and monitoring and evaluation and participants explored specific tools and processes applied in sport for development.
 
HE Mr Abel Guterres, Australia’s Ambassador to Timor-Leste hosted a welcome reception at the Timor-Leste Embassy. Conference delegates and invited guests were officially welcomed to Canberra by the Ambassador followed by warm words of welcome from Nelson da Silva, from Dili, Julia Lonsdale from Radford College and Jackie Lauff, Sport Matters CEO.

The conference began on Friday 18 October with addresses from Jackie Lauff, Kevin Thompson from the University of Canberra and Marc Purcell the CEO of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID).
 
The keynote speakers from ChildFund Laos, Chris Mastaglio and Lao Khang, shared a very comprehensive insight into their sport for development project in northern Laos and set the scene for a deeper analysis on capturing impact and the challenges of embedding sport for development activities within development programs.
 
The concurrent break-out sessions explored a diverse range of sport for development programs and initiatives internationally and in Australia, and cross-cutting issues of health, disability inclusion and development practice.
 
The conference theme was designed to celebrate the impact of sport for development but also to examine the tools and approaches used to measure that impact. Some specific research examples set the scene for small group discussions on research needs and priorities in sport for development.  
 
A live panel session stimulated a lively discussion on the current issues and covered safe-guarding inclusion, effective partnerships, social inclusion and future directions. The panel was live-streamed and we were honoured to have the Head of Sport and Development from the Swiss Academy for Development online from Switzerland and Sophie Beauvais, Director of the International Sport for Development team at the Australian Sports Commissions.
 
The conference closed with the announcement of Sport Matters Scientific Committee members:

Dr Stephanie Hanrahan (chair), The University of Queensland
Dr Emma Sherry, La Trobe University
Dr Nico Schulenkorf, The University of Technology Sydney
Dr Anne Bunde-Birouste, The University of New South Wales
 
The winners of the Why Sport Matters Photo competition were announced with the winning photo from Kenya taking out first place, followed by entries from Laos and Brazil.
 
We are so grateful to the support of ChildFund Laos in bringing Chris Mastaglio, Lao Khang and Boua to Canberra, to Radford College for supporting Nelson da Silva’s stay in Canberra and to the conference speakers who travelled from interstate or overseas to share their work.

Sport Matters is delighted with the success of this inaugural conference and looks forward to building on this platform for a bigger and more comprehensive conference in Queensland in 2014. We will be putting out a call for sponsors and keynote speakers soon!

Conference presentations and photos will be available soon HERE

#ImpactS4D
 


 

Kenya wins our International Photo Competition!

 

October 20, 2013


The winners of the WHY  SPORT MATTERS International Photo Competition were announced at the closing session of the Sport Matters conference.   

 

The winning photo entry from Kenya
 


 
Congratulations to the winning entry from Kenya in our international photo competition! Bernard Ochieng Oluma is the proud owner of a new Go Pro camera to capture the action at their sport for development projects in Kenya. Second place went to a photo of girls in the h’mong community of Nonghet, Laos, and third place went to ‘From Dusk to Dawn’ taken in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
 
Over 30 entries were received from around the world including Kenya, Laos, Brazil, Timor-Leste, Trinidad, Ghana, Nicaragua and Australia. Our panel of expert judges from the Swiss Academy for Development, Photo Access and Sydney Sports Photography selected six finalists based on composition, colour, originality, creativity and impact. The winners were announced at the closing session of the Sport Matters conference in Canberra. 

Check out the finalist photos on Facebook.



 

Sport Matters 2nd Birthday on board the Sydney Spring Sail



September 30, 2013


Sport Matters celebrated its second birthday on board a Sydney Tall Ship.       
 

Sport Matters co-founders on board the first Sydney Spring Sail.
 

Over thirty guests joined the inaugural Sydney Spring Sail on Sunday 22 September and were treated to a beautiful spring day on Sydney Harbour.

The two-hour cruise on board the Southern Swan explored spectacular Sydney Harbour. Many sailors took up the opportunity to climb the mast for a bird’s eye view of the city and the sparkling Harbour.

On behalf of the whole team at Sport Matters, thank you to everyone who joined the inaugural Sydney Spring Sail! Your support will make a difference and helps us use sport for more than sport in developing countries. For the sailors who joined the cruise – click here to see the answers to the Sport Matters Birthday Trivia! 

Thanks also to the fantastic management and staff at Sydney Harbour Tall Ships for hosting our crew. The Sydney Spring Sail will be back next September and will be a regular feature on the Sport Matters calendar.
 
Check out the Facebook Album to see some great photos from the sail.

 

 

ImpactS4D Conference Content



November 15, 2013


Videos, presentations and photos are collated capturing the content of our ‘Celebrating the Impact of Sport for Development’ conference.  
 


 

ACFID CEO Marc Purcell gave a welcome address on aid and development.

 

Photos, videos and speaker presentations are captured on the Sport Matters website and we encourage you to take a look.
 
Check out all the conference content in our what we do section and check out our latest news.  

#ImpactS4D
 
 

 

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Sport leads to real inclusion in the Solomon Islands



October 20, 2013


Wheelchair basketball is the newest sport to join the Solomon Islands National Games.


 

Basketball is creating new opportunities for people with disabilities in the Solomon Islands.

 

Sport Matters headed back to Honiara in August to deliver some more capacity building workshops and supported a sports day for over 350 people. The Solomon Islands National Games took place in September in Tulagi province and for the first time, people with disabilities were included in the Games with the introduction of wheelchair basketball as an exhibition sport.
 
Sport Matters has formed a formal partnership between a host of Government, Non-Government Organisations in the Solomon Islands and Australia to support ongoing development through sport in the Solomon Islands. The project was profiled in a recent publication released by NCD Child and NCD Free released in conjunction with the recent High Level Meeting on Disability and Development hosted in New York in September.

Kurt Thomson, a Rollerblaze ambassador joined Sport Matters team in the Solomon Islands with the support of the Community Based Rehabilitation program of the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services.

Check out the case study on this project released by NCD Child   
 
 

 

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Wheelout is back in Canberra!



July 12, 2013


Wheelout in the Capital is Sport Matters' major fund raising event this year. Don't miss your chance to play the fastest game on wheels!     
 
 

The Wheelie Mammoths winning a tip off during last years Wheelout fundraiser.
 

Sport Matters will host its major fundraising event in Canberra called Wheelout in the Capital on Sunday 20 October in partnership with Enable Development. The event is a wheelchair basketball competition open to the public and to corporate teams and aims to raise funds to support a new sport for development initiative in Timor-Leste.
 
Wheelchair basketball is an activity well suited to breaking down barriers because it enables people with and without disabilities to participate together; it’s a team sport and a great equaliser that showcases the abilities of people with disabilities.
 
Sport Matters uses wheelchair basketball to promote the rights of people with disabilities in developing countries. Last year, the inaugural Wheelout fundraising event took place at Australian National University (ANU) which supported a new disability-inclusive sport for development project in the Solomon Islands.
 
Wheelout in the Capital is a Centenary of Canberra project proudly supported by the ACT Government. Our goal is to bring 20 teams together at ANU Sport for a day of fun, food and prizes. It will be hosted on one of the biggest weekends of the Centenary of Canberra celebrations called SPIN which features a host of activities on wheels or that spin such as car clubs, cycling events and pottery.
 
Preceding the event, the Timor-Leste embassy will host a welcome reception on Thursday 17 October from 6pm – 7.30pm and Sport Matters will introduce their first sport for development conference at the University of Canberra on Friday 18 October. The conference is titled ‘Celebrating the Impact of Sport for Development’ and will bring together keynote speakers from Australia aid and development agencies, regional sport federations and young people from developing countries to share their stories.

On Sunday 20 October, Wheelout in the Capital begins at 10am with a skill development session led by Paralympians and local representative players. Registration includes a fun-filled day of basketball, lunch and prizes and no prior basketball experience is necessary! The gold medal match will tip off at 3.30pm and fundraising contributions for this project are tax deductible through our partnership with Rotary World and Community Service (RWACS).
 
Sport Matters is working with the Rotary Club of Dili and a host of other in-country partners and will use football, volleyball and basketball to develop life skills and leadership training for over 300 young people across Timor-Leste. The proceeds of Wheelout in the Capital will contribute towards sports equipment, capacity-building workshops and community sport events across Timor-Leste creating sport and play opportunities for children and youth across the country.  
 
Click here to check out the Wheelout in the Capital Flyer

Click here to download the Registration form  

 
 

Conference to celebrate the impact of sport

 

August 26, 2013


Registrations are now OPEN for Sport Matters inaugural conference ‘Celebrating the Impact of Sport for Development’ on Friday 18 October.   

 

Hear first hand stories of impact from Laos, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste.
 


Sport Matters is committed to building the capacity of development, sport and community organisations in the sport for development sector. Our first conference will be held at The University of Canberra with the central theme of 'celebration' to coincide with the Centenary of Canberra and the city's 100 year birthday celebrations.  
 
The conference program will include invited speakers from the Australian Government, our development partners along with Australian and regional sport federations. There’ll be a chance to hear first-hand stories of how sport is making an impact on the lives of young people in our region with presentations from Laos, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste. We will also hear some of the latest innovations in international and community development with new tools and resources that sport for development professionals can utilise.
 
There will be two workshop sessions on offer before the conference where sport for development professionals can learn practical skills and tools on the topics 'Applying participatory approaches in sport for development' and 'Simple tools to measure impact in sport for development'.   

A welcome reception will be hosted on the evening of Thursday the 17th October at the Timor-Leste Embassy in Deakin, Canberra. The full-day conference will be held at the Anne Harding Conference Centre at the University of Canberra in Belconnen from 9am - 4.30pm.

The Conference features keynote speakers Glen Keys, CEO of Aspen Medical and Chris Mastaglio, Country Director of ChildFund Laos followed by a spectacular line up of speakers including; Dr Kate Armstrong from NCD Child, Nelson da Silva from the National Centre for Rehabilitation in Timor-Leste, Nick Savaidis, Founder of Jinta Sport and Dr Stephanie Hanrahan from the University of Queensland. Check out the draft conference program for more details.

During the conference, the winners of Sport Matters international photo competition will be announced and there will be a free panel session live-streamed to our international audience.
 
Following the conference, Sport Matters will host a major fundraising event – Wheelout in the Capital to support a new sport for development project in Timor-Leste. Wheelout in the Capital is a wheelchair basketball competition open to the public and corporate teams. The event will take place on Sunday 20 October at UC Fit at the University of Canberra and is part of the Centenary of Canberra celebrations.
 
Don’t miss the first Sport Matters conference in Canberra! Visit https://sportmatters.eventbrite.com to register before Friday 4 October.


 

Enter the WHY SPORT MATTERS International Photo Competition

 

September 10, 2013


Sport Matters invites you to showcase the power of sport and why sport matters in your community through our international photo competition.  

 

Why does SPORT MATTER to you?
 


Sport for Development is all about using sport for more than sport. Sport has enormous potential to make a difference in the lives of individuals and communities all over the world. Sport is often used with purpose to address development goals such as health, education and economic development.
 
Enter the WHY SPORT MATTERS photo competition to be in the running for some great prizes including a ‘GO-PRO’ camera - a great addition to your toolkit to capture Sport for Development in action!
 
Winners will be announced at the Sport Matters Conference ‘Celebrating the Impact of Sport for Development’ at The University of Canberra on Friday 18 October. Whether you’re planning to join the conference in person or not, you can get involved in showcasing your Sport for Development activities by entering the international photo competition.

Sport Matters has appointed a panel of judges with expertise in photography, sports photography and Sport for Development. Finalist entries will be open to the public for online voting via the Sport Matters Facebook page. So you get to have your say in choosing the winners!

All finalist photos will be displayed at the Sport Matters Conference  at The University of Canberra on Friday 18 October. Delegates attending the conference will have one final opportunity to vote in person and the winners will be announced at the closing of the conference. 
 
Entering is easy! Simply email your completed entry form and your image to registration@sportmatters.org.au. There is no entry fee, photographs may be submitted from any country in the world AND there is no limit on the number of entries per person.
 
Entries are open NOW until midnight on Friday 4 October 2013.  
 
Click here to view PHOTO COMPETITION FLYER the ENTRY FORM and TERMS & CONDITIONS.    



 

Taking sport to youth in Timor-Leste

 

July 31, 2013


Youth in Timor-Leste will have their say in the design of a new sport for development project.  

 

Access to sport and play is important to children and youth in Timor-Leste.
 


In early September Sport Matters will head to Dili to consult with young people on a new sport for development project. Over 300 young people across Timor-Leste have completed Rotary Leadership training and identified three priority areas in tree planting, water and sanitation and sport and play for children and youth.
 
During the week long visit, Sport Matters will meet with youth leaders and hold focus groups with community youth clubs in Dili and Aleiu with the view to activate two pilot projects in the coming months using sport to address targeted development goals. The scoping visit in September will ensure young people’s voice are not only captured but are central to the new project design using sport to promote leadership for children and youth.
 
Initial consultations have revealed that football, volleyball and basketball are very popular sports for children and youth in Timor-Leste and we anticipate they will feature prominently in the new project which will kick off with some pilot projects in Dili and Aleiu in the coming months.
 
The scoping visit coincides with the closing ceremony of the annual Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) which will be held in Dare and will be a great opportunity to connect with young leaders.
 
Sport Matters will work closely with the Rotary Club of Dili and Club across District 9685 in Australia. Through our partnership with Rotary, donations towards the Timor-Leste project are tax deductible via Rotary Australia World and Community Service (RAWCS). 
 
This year the proceeds of our Wheelout in the Capital event in Canberra on Sunday 20 October will support this new sport for development project in Timor-Leste.
 
Stay tuned for more details as this project takes shape!
 
Click here to make a donation towards the Timor-Leste project.    



 

A basketball first for the Solomon Islands



July 31, 2013


Wheelchair basketball is the newest sport to join the Solomon Islands National Games.


 

Basketball is creating new opportunities for people with disabilities in the Solomon Islands.

 

Following Sport Matters capacity building workshops in February, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced that wheelchair basketball will be included as an exhibition sport for the first time in the Solomon Island National Games.
 
Starting with basketball, people with disabilities will now have an opportunity to showcase their abilities on a national stage which will go a long way to advocating for the rights of people with disabilities. 
 
The National Games will be hosted in Tulagi in the Central Islands Province. The Games were scheduled for June but were postponed to September.
 
Sport Matters will head back to Honiara later this month to help our in-country partners prepare for their first participation in the Solomon Islands National Games. The week-long visit will include a two-day train-the-trainer basketball workshop building on the activities introduced in February.
 
The visit concludes with a planning forum with key stakeholders and the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding between Sport Matters, Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, People with Disabilities Solomon Islands and Gold Coast Recreation and Sport.
 
Sport Matters has formed a partnership with Rollerblaze, a wheelchair basketball club on the Gold Coast which is a program of Gold Coast Recreation and Sport. This is the first Australia sport partnership for Sport Matters which will provide sustainable links between Australia and our partners in the Solomon Islands through basketball.
 
Kurt Thomson is a Rollerblaze ambassador who will join the Sport Matters team in the Solomon Islands with the support of the Community Based Rehabilitation program of the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services.
 
During the upcoming visit, Sport Matters will present two new basketball wheelchairs for use in the Solomon Islands sports outreach activities. The two wheelchairs were kindly donated by the Rotary Club of Woden Daybreak.  
 
Check out an ABC Asia Pacific TV news report on the project and a radio interview with Nina Davis President of Solomon Islands National Paralympic Committee.                      
 
Click here to donate to Sport Matters.   
 
 
 

The Global Poverty Walk set sail at Sydney Harbour

 

June 28, 2013


Matt Napier arrived in Sydney on Friday to celebrate the end of his 4500km walk across Australia bouncing an AFL ball to raise awareness about global poverty.  

 

Sport Matters was officially launched with their vision statement unveiled on a Sydney Tall Ship.
 


Despite the wet weather, over 60 supporters met Matt Napier at the Opera House and joined him for the final leg of The Global Poverty Walk around Circular Quay. Along the way Matt walked through a guard of honour formed by the Rotary Club of Sydney Cove and the walk officially finished with a breakfast celebration on Campbell’s Cove wharf alongside a Sydney Harbour Tall Ship.
 
Dr Helen Szoke, CEO of Oxfam Australia thanked Matt for his extraordinary effort on behalf of the Make Poverty History coalition and the Australian Council for International Development. Andrew Phillips from GWS Giants Football Club and Alex Johnson from the Sydney Swans each presented a signed jersey from their clubs to Matt in recognition of his effort using AFL to raise awareness about the plight of the world’s poor. Channel 7’s Sunrise captured the celebration with an interview with Matt live on air and Matt shared some of the highlights and challenges of the journey and why he is so passionate about this cause.
 
Sean O’Connor, Liberal Candidate for Sydney (representing Federal Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott) and the Mayor of Leichhardt, Darcy Byrne (representing Tanya Plibersek, Federal Labour Member for Sydney), attended the event and reinforced their support of a foreign aid budget equivalent to 0.5 per cent of gross national income and congratulated Matt Napier on completing his epic journey across the country.
 
Sport Matters co-founders Jackie Lauff and Liesl Tesch officially launched Sport Matters during the event with the unveiling of their vision statement ‘More Sport. Less Poverty.’ on the top sail of a Sydney Tall Ship, with the help of Matt and Wendy Napier pulling the ropes. It was a very special occasion for Sport Matters who announced their membership with ACFID, the Australian Council for International Development surrounded by supporters of development and supporters of sport. Joining the family of aid and development organisations under the ACFID umbrella is a significant milestone and Sport Matters looks forward to contributing to the sector and putting sport firmly on the development agenda.
 
Supporters were encouraged to join the Movement to End Poverty campaign and special guests including Olympic beach volleyballer Kerri Pottharst, Paralympic Sailing coach Tim Lowe, and Captain Kindness from World Kindness Australia signed the Movement to End Poverty petition.
 
Celebrations continued after the formalities with ZOVA Sports, Street Soccer and African Theatres’ Mwamuka Group entertaining the audience with sport, music and fun. The ‘Road to 2015’ Photo Exhibition was on display and over a dozen organisations hosted to stall sharing some of the life-saving work of Australian aid and development charities.
 
Who knows what’s next for Matt and Wendy Napier but the celebration at Circular Quay was a very fitting end to The Global Poverty Walk and Matt’s 4500km walk from Perth to Sydney.
 
Check out the photo gallery on Facebook!

 

Sport Matters joins ACFID



July 3, 2013


Sport Matters is delighted to announce it has been awarded membership with the Australian Council for International Development.

 

Sport Matters is a Provisional ACFID member and a signatory to the ACFID Code of Conduct.

 

The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) is a network which unites Australia’s non-government aid and international development organisations to strengthen their collective impact against poverty. Sport Matters submitted an application for full membership in January and was awarded Provisional Membership status by ACFID’s Executive Committee at their June 2013 meeting.
 
Our co-founder Liesl Tesch, announced our ACFID membership during her address at our official launch on Friday 28 June at the finale event of The Global Poverty Walk. The event celebrated Matt Napier’s 4500km walk from Perth to Sydney bouncing an AFL ball to raise awareness about global poverty. It was a very fitting occasion to officially launch Sport Matters as supporters of development, and supporters of sport came together. 
 
As a member of ACFID Sport Matters can now be engaged in and informed by dialogue on emerging issues that affect the sector, and have the opportunity to contribute to and influence decisions affecting its work and credibility. Sport Matters is now a signatory to the ACFID Code of Conduct, which is a voluntary, self-regulatory sector code of good practice. As a signatory we are committed and fully adhere to the ACFID Code of Conduct, conducting our work with transparency, accountability and integrity.
 
Our Provisional Membership status will last until the next annual ACFID Council in October 2013, at which time we anticipate becoming Full Members, subject to ratification by members at the ACFID Council.
 
Joining the family of aid and development organisations under the ACFID umbrella is a really significant milestone for Sport Matters and we look forward to contributing to the sector and putting sport firmly on the development agenda.
 
 
Learn more about ACFID and the ACFID Code of Conduct.
 
 
 

Sydney Spring Sail is set for September



August 1, 2013


Show your support of Sport Matters by joining our tall ship cruise on Sydney Harbour on Sunday 22 September.       
 
 

Don’t miss our inaugural Tall Ship cruise on Sydney Harbour.
 

Join us for a spectacular two-hour cruise on Sydney Harbour on board the Southern Swan, an authentic 1920’s Tall Ship and support Sport Matters!

The proceeds of this event will support Sport Matters work using sport to empower individuals and unite communities in Australia, the Pacific, Asia and Africa.  
  
Tickets cost $120 
When: Sunday 22 September
Time:   11am – 1pm
 
Tickets include a two-hour sailing experience on an authentic Tall Ship, a delicious and substantial finger food meal and drinks. 

Be at Campbell’s Cove wharf at the Rocks by 10.45am to make sure you don’t ‘miss the boat’! 
 
The Sydney Spring Sail coincides with Sport Matters birthday and will be a regular feature on our event calendar. Join our Board and our team for a spectacular afternoon on the water.
 
Places are limited. Book now to secure your spot on board the inaugural Sydney Spring Sail!
 
Bookings can be made through Sydney Harbour Tall Ships.
 
 

Sport Matters goes solar with Sungevity



August 1, 2013


Sport Matters has become the newest charity partner of Sungevity Australia.      
 
 

Power your life with Sungevity Australia.
 

Sungevity Australia is a powerful new force in the Australian residential solar market with a firm belief that the world will be a cleaner and greener place when everyone has an opportunity to go solar. Sungevity aims to put solar on every roof in Australia and build the world’s most energised network of customers who power their lives with sunshine.
 
Au.Sungevity.org engages with communities throughout Australia to uphold Sungevity’s vision of Solar for Universal Need. They work with non-profit organisations to energise their supporters, friends, and networks toward powerful solar energy solutions while raising funds for their crucial work.
 
By going solar, Sport Matters supporters can score a triple win for themselves, for the planet and for Sport Matters.
 
For Sport Matters, this new partnership is a great way to cement our commitment to sustainability. ‘The environment is one of our core development areas and many of our in-country partners also care about the environment and are looking for sustainable solutions in their communities. We’re looking forward to a long-term partnership with Sungevity Australia,’ said CEO Jackie Lauff.
 
For every Sport Matters supporter that installs Sungevity Australia’s solar panels, Sport Matters will receive a $150 donation. We encourage our supporters anywhere in Australia to go solar and reduce their carbon footprint. Visit our page and request an iQuote from Sungevity
 
Learn more about Sungevity Australia’s Generate Positive community impact program.
 

 
 

Save the date - June 28!



June 18, 2013


Sport Matters is gearing up for a big celebration on Friday 28 June as we welcome Matt Napier to Sydney on the Global Poverty Walk.     
 
 

Matt Napier will complete his epic 4500km walk from Perth to Sydney.
 

Since the 2nd February Matt Napier has been walking across Australia bouncing an Australian rules football to raise awareness about global poverty. He is on to his 5th pair of running shoes, his sixth Sherrin footy, and is currently on the home stretch from Canberra.
 
Sport Matters Board member Michael Pilbrow, an avid AFL supporter, joined Matt in his home town of Yass, and also on the walk to Parliament House last week together with Senator Kate Lundy, Federal Minister for Sport.

After five months on the road, the Global Poverty Walk will finish on Friday 28 June at Circular Quay. Supporters are invited to join Matt in the final leg of the walk from the Opera House to Campbell’s Cove. The walk will finish at Campbell’s Cove at 8.15am with some short presentations, international entertainment and free breakfast.
 
You can meet Matt Napier and hear first-hand why he is so passionate about global poverty. Meet Captain Kindness from World Kindness Australia, get active with ZOVA Sports, and get on-board a Tall Ship! The ‘Road to 2015’ Photo Exhibition will be on display and a host of development agencies including UNICEF Australia and World Vision Australia, will have stalls where you can learn more about their actions to end global poverty and get behind the Movement to End Poverty campaign.  
 
Sport Matters is pleased to join forces with the Global Poverty Walk, Make Poverty History, Oxfam Australia and Sydney Tall Ships to host the breakfast celebration in Circular Quay. Sport Matters will be officially launched during the proceedings so don’t miss it!
 
To join the walk, supporters can meet from 7am at the Opera House Forecourt (where they’ll be joined by Matt Napier at 7.30am) OR head directly to Campbell’s Cove from 7.45am to form the guard of honour at the finish line.
 
Further details are available in the Sydney event flyer or click here to register to join the fun in Sydney!

Check out the news story featuring Matt Napier and Michael Pilbrow in the Yass Tribune.
 
 
 

Join the Movement!



May 8, 2013


Sport Matters has joined the Make Poverty History coalition to show our support and commitment to improving the quality and quantity of aid.

 

Aid is an effective investment that makes a big difference in people’s lives.
 

Make Poverty History is the largest anti-poverty movement in history and a global call to action to end the injustice of poverty. It’s a coalition of aid and development agencies that aims to get Australia to contribute its fair share towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in developing countries. Make Poverty History calls on the federal government to improve both the quantity and quality of aid, with a focus on an aid program that reduces poverty and achieves the MDGs.
 
Sport Matters advocates for the role of sport in the efforts to eradicate global poverty. We know that sport is well-recognised internationally as a low-cost and high-impact tool for development and a powerful agent for social change. Effective sport for development programs combine sport and play with other non-sport outcomes to achieve specific development goals that may lie for example in health, education or economic development (and that includes the MDGs!). 
 
Sport Matters is proud to stand beside Australia’s aid and development community and pledge our support to the Movement to End Poverty. The Movement to End Poverty petition is a joint action of the Make Poverty History and Micah Challenge coalitions, for all Australians who believe we can end extreme poverty.
 
What we’re asking for:

Since 1990, aid has helped to reduce extreme poverty, including almost halving the number of children around the world who die before their fifth birthday – 14,000 fewer children dying every single day.
 
Let's help make poverty history by giving our fair share of aid – just 70 cents in every $100 of Australia’s national income by 2020.
 
As a step towards contributing our fair share, by 2016 we’re asking our political leaders to fulfil their bipartisan promise to give 50 cents in every $100 to tackle global poverty.


The campaign specifically advocates to make aid more long term and predictable, to improve accountability and transparency, and to ensure that aid is harmonised around country systems, plans and needs. We know that Australians have a long history of helping those in need and we know that aid can make a difference.

Sport Matters is calling on the Australian sporting community, and our supporters overseas to get behind the Movement to End Poverty. 
 
How YOU can support the campaign:
 

  • Add your name to the petition from our home page

  • Encourage players, coaches and officials from your sport team or club to sign the petition

  • Send us a Facebook message or Tweet to show your support


Check out the Make Poverty History website to learn more. 
 
 
 

Connecting with sport in the Pacific

 

April 20, 2013


Sport Matters attended a series of workshops in Fiji connecting with Olympic Committees and sport federations from the Oceania region.  

 

Sport can be an effective tool to address the crisis of non-communicable diseases across the Pacific.


A regional gathering of sport took place at the Sheraton Resort Denarau in Nadi, Fiji, from 17 – 21 April alongside the General Assembly of the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC).
 
Over two-hundred delegates attended the workshops representing National Olympic Committees (NOCs), regional sport federations, and bid committee representatives from upcoming regional and international games.
 
A number of sessions on the official program addressed sport for development with presentations from ONOC staff on regional initiatives related to HIV/AIDS prevention and anti-doping; and the announcement of a new partnership promoting ‘Healthy Lifestyles through Sport’ between ONOC, the regional arm of the World Health Organisation and the Australian Sports Commission.
 
Oceania: An Odyssey to the Olympic Games” a book ‘inspiring stories of the Pacific Island athletes who made the journey to train and compete at London 2012’ was launched at the official opening of the ONOC Annual Assembly.
 
Sport Matters was introduced at the Annual Assembly and joined a two hour networking session which was a rapid ‘speed-dating’ event and a fantastic opportunity to connect with NOCs, regional sport federations and key partners that support sport in the region.
 
Check out the photo gallery or visit the ONOC website for more details.



 

Team-building in Sydney

 

March 20, 2013


Sport Matters hosted a two-day Volunteer Training workshop at The Rugby Club that brought together team-members from inter-state and overseas.


 

Part of the team on Day 2 learning about the 'how 'and 'why' of sport for development.
(Photo credit: Fiona Ferguson)


 
The program introduced sixteen volunteers to the activities and purpose of Sport Matters and also specific tools the organisation uses to implement sport for development projects. Volunteers came from Cambodia, Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and the Central Coast and they were joined on skype by volunteers in Melbourne, Darwin and Gerringong for selected sessions.
 
The training was delivered by Jackie Lauff, Liesl Tesch and Curtis Palmer and was jam-packed with practical activities and classrooms sessions. Day one was an orientation to the activities and purpose of Sport Matters while the second day explored the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ of sport for development.
 
There was a lot of positive energy in the workshop sessions as volunteers from very diverse professional backgrounds united in their shared passion for the role that sport can make in development, and their commitment to using their skills to make a difference in Australia and overseas.
 
During the final evaluation session, the team contributed to a combined statement and reported that the training was an ‘excellent environment for overview, team-building and learning creating a concrete future to look forward to.’
 
Four of our partners from PNG and Timor-Leste and some of our newest volunteers joined the crew for a networking session at the Art House followed by a team dinner. Congratulations to Curtis Palmer, Huy Nguyen and Jessica Sims who were the recipients of the first Sport Matters Volunteer Awards for their outstanding contributions to the organisation.   
 
Sport Matters will host two volunteer training sessions each year and the next session will be held in August in Sydney.  
 
Check out the photo gallery or register to become a Sport Matters Volunteer and get involved in our activities and events. 

 

 Wheelout Solomon Islands

 

February 28, 2013


Sport Matters joined forces with Enable Development to deliver two weeks of capacity-building activities in Honiara aimed at promoting the rights of people with disabilities. 


 

Honiara locals David and Francis stood out as strong leaders on  the basketball court.
 

Wheelout Solomon Islands brought together twenty-six people with and without disabilities and was designed to develop leaders with the skills to play, coach and referee wheelchair basketball at the community level. Jackie Lauff and Curtis Palmer from Sport Matters delivered a train-the-trainer basketball workshop, a professional development workshop on inclusive development through sport and a full-day planning forum with key stakeholders during the two week visit to Honiara.  Curtis Palmer is a four-time Paralympian in wheelchair rugby and a strong advocate for the rights of people with disabilities.
 
Participants with and without disabilities were introduced to the essentials of basketball, how to plan and deliver safe sport sessions and how to use sport to speak up. The project was supported by the Switzerland High Commission in Canberra, Aspen Medical and proceeds of the Wheelout@ANU fundraising event. Following the workshop, local partners organised a Basketball Showcase in Honiara that attracted local media attention and over a hundred spectators. 
 
Save the Children Australia engaged Sport Matters to deliver professional development training for the staff of their Youth Outreach Partnership Program (YOPP). Nineteen staff members from all six provinces in the Solomon Islands attended the two-day training eager to learn how to include people with disabilities in sport and play in their communities. The group had a chance to practice adapting selected games such as football, volleyball and local indigenous games and were joined by students from the San Isidros Care Center to develop their inclusive coaching skills.
 
A day-long planning forum was held at the Commonwealth Youth Program in Honiara to formulate a longer-term strategy for inclusive sport for development activities across the Solomon Islands. The key outcome of the forum was the formation of a Taskforce with representatives from the different stakeholder groups. Casper Fa’asala, President of People with Disabilities Solomon Islands (PWDSI) was elected chair of the taskforce and the ‘Hibiscus Outcome Statement’ captures the content and outcomes of the forum.
 
A documentary film crew from Attitude Pictures captured the action during the train-the-trainer workshop and produced a 30 minute documentary to air on national television in New Zealand. The story follows one of the participants, David, a double leg amputee who lost his legs to diabetes, who learns leadership skill and explores new opportunities through sport.  
 
The next steps determined by the participants and local partners were to develop a local league for wheelchair basketball and host a wheelchair basketball exhibition at the upcoming National Games in June in the Central Islands Province. 
 
Check out some of the action in the photo gallery and promo video or read the full report


 

Tesch conquers Sydney to Hobart

 

December 31, 2012


Sport Matters co-founder Liesl Tesch has racked up another milestone achievement after completing her second Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race yesterday.



 

A very happy Liesl Tesch pictured in Hobart yesterday after the race.
(Picture credit: Sam Rosewarne, The Mercury)


Leaving the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia at 1pm on Boxing Day, fans filled the harbour and lined the Eastern Suburbs to catch a glimpse of the yachts as they left Sydney Harbour and began the journey south.

The Sailors with Disabilities 16-member crew were led by skipper David Pescud. Pescud also skippered Tesch’s first Sydney to Hobart in 2009 which is captured on the DisABLE bodied Sailors documentary series. That was a memorable introduction to ocean racing as Tesch also found the love of her life, Mark Thomson, an avid sailor who was 2IC for this year’s crew and clocked his eighth Sydney to Hobart finish yesterday.

Earlier this year Tesch made her debut in Paralympic Sailing after five Paralympic Games in wheelchair basketball. The call to sail came from Dan Fitzgibbon who saw Tesch in the documentary series of the 2009 race and quickly recruited her to the SKUD18 class. After winning a host of international regattas together, the pair won a Gold medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games which is a phenomenal result.

Ocean racing is very different to the SKUDs and the crew has been training hard in the lead up to this year’s race. The Sailors with Disabilities crew sailed on a new yacht this year called WOTEVA which is a 52 foot TP52 which Tesch describes as a ‘Ferrari of ocean racing’.

Ashlea Brown from Ten News enjoyed and endured this years Sydney to Hobart on board with the Sailors with Disabilities and reported live news feeds throughout the race.

They crossed the finish line in 26th place at 9.04am on Sunday 30 January and were welcomed by many fans at Constitution Dock in Hobart.

Sport Matters congratulates the entire crew of Sailors with Disabilities and this event tops off a successful year of sport for our co-founder. Even more reason to celebrate as we bring in the New Year!

Sailors with Disabilities make it possible for thousands of people with disabilities to sail all year-round. Check out the Sailors with Disabilities website for more details.


 

Using Sport to Speak Up in Laos

 

December 22, 2012


Sport Matters headed to Laos in November to deliver the second phase of our partnership with ChildFund Laos which brought Youth Leaders from twelve villages together for the first time.


 

Youth Leaders learning to organise local exchange events.
 

The Unite phase of the program prepared Youth Leaders to deliver exchange events and competitions between neighbouring villages. The activities form part of ChildFund Laos’ Child and Youth Participation for Development project which aims to promote voice, power and agency in children and youth in the Nonghet district in the north of Laos. 

Sport Matters delivered a two-day Training of Trainers (TOT) workshop for Youth Leaders preparing them to deliver sport and play exchange events between neighbouring villages. Over two action-packed days, the Youth Leaders learnt or learned how organise sport competition, how to use sport and play to speak up and how to use practical games to break down cultural and language barriers.

One of the learning activities was the “Nonghet Olympics” where Youth Leaders had an opportunity to sign up to a sport, design the draw, score, record the results and determine the finals fixtures. They chose volleyball, football, rugby and sepak tekraw complete with opening and closing ceremonies, prize-giving and fair play awards.
  
The Lao Rugby Federation supported the training with a team of coaches, who play in Lao’s national men’s and women’s teams, and will work regularly with the local staff in Nonghet.

Upskilling local staff and volunteers was an important element to ensure Youth Leaders receive adequate support to deliver weekly sport and play activities and regular exchange events. Professional development training was delivered for staff of ChildFund Laos and Lao Rugby Federation and local volunteers with a focus on communication, presentation and facilitation skills.

Youth Leaders then had an opportunity to speak up at a workshop designed to engage village representatives including village leaders and teachers from across the district. After some practical activities to highlight how sport and play is applied in the program, village representatives identified a number of ways they can support the youth leaders and offered food (such as rice or fruit), money for prizes and transport or local teachers to help. One village even suggested creating a new position on their village council to enable a Youth Leader to represent the issues of children and youth.  

Since the training, the Youth Leaders delivered a series of inter-village sport and play events to celebrate H’mong New Year in December. They were well supported by leaders, teachers and parents and the events brought hundreds of spectators of all ages together and included traditional dances, music and of course sport!

 

Sport Matters celebrates IDPWD



December 3, 2012


Sport Matters joined our partners in Sydney and Canberra to celebrate International Day of People with Disability (IPDWD) on December 3.

 

Sport gave Leonard Kania Junior (PNG) his start in music.
 

Leonard Kania Junior is a 23 year old solo artist in Papua New Guinea on a national tour to promote his first solo album. Sport made a huge difference in his life after he fell from a tree and broke his spinal cord when he was ten years old. It was winning a national sport award that gave him a start in music. Leonard shared his story for a Sport Matters case study and it brings a strong message for parents of children with disabilities,

“It’s not good to neglect us people with disability. Instead we need your help and support, to help ourselves and become independent,” said Leonard.

The case study was part of an exhibition of the Australian Disability and Development Consortium (ADDC) with the theme ‘Removing Barriers: Creating New Futures for All’ to mark IDPWD and to convey the improvement to quality of life and social inclusion that is possible through disability inclusive development practices.

Leonard's case study was joined by others from ADDC members including; CBM, End the Cycle, NDS, Cara, World Vision, Plan, UNICEF and Save the Children and each poster was accompanied by a fact sheet that highlighted some of the challenges faced by people with disabilities in developing countries.

The ADDC exhibition started in Sydney where it was displayed during a conference hosted by the University of Sydney on ‘Creating New Futures for All: Children, Youth, Disability and Situations of Forced Migration’ from 28 to 30 November. The exhibition then moved to Melbourne to CBM Australia followed by the Mandala Foundation’s Vocations in Aid conference.

Liesl Tesch from Sport Matters was featured in an End the Cycle video that was launched on IDPWD by CBM Australia.“The reality is people living with a disability are often being left out from school, from work and from health care and so run a much greater risk of living in poverty because of their disability. Here’s the kicker - millions of people who live in poverty run a greater risk of disability because of things like dirty water, malnutrition and unsafe working conditions,” says Tesch.

Tesch is joined by fellow Paralympian Dylan Alcott, Stella Young, the Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes, Sam Cawthorn and others who get behind the “End the Cycle” campaign to educate Australians about how poverty and disability are related and how inclusion can end that cycle.

Sport Matters also joined a forum at The Australia Agency for International Development (AusAID) in Canberra on December 3 and heard from Mr Ronnel del Rio from the Philippines, and Canberra-local Huy Nguyen. A government advocate from Batangas in the Philippines, Del Rio shared his journey working alongside Government and Disabled People’s Organisations to promote the rights of people with disabilities. Nguyen, from Enable Development, offered his experiences from a recent visit to Vanuatu where people with disabilities had very poor access to assistive devices, including wheelchair provision.

The theme for IDPWD for 2012 was ‘Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all’ and each year the international day aims to promote an understanding of people with disability and encourage support for dignity, human rights and well-being.
 


 

Check out the Sport Matters Case Study and the Fact Sheet from ADDC and learn more about the End the Cycle campaign.


 

Progressing Disability Inclusive Development in the Pacific

 

October 6, 2012


The Australian Government joined the 2nd Forum Disability Ministers meeting in Papua New Guinea.  

 

The Australian delegation attending the forum in Port Moresby.


Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas, led the Australian delegation at the 2nd Forum Disability Ministers Meeting (FDMM) that took place in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, from 3 to 4 October 2012.

Organised by the Pacific Disability Forum the meeting followed the success of the inaugural FDMM in the Cook Islands in 2009 and brought together Government Ministers from 14 Pacific Island countries, national Disabled People’s Organisations and international development partners with the theme ‘Progressing Disability Inclusive Development in the Pacific.’

As part of the Australian delegation, the Chair of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO), Dean Barton-Smith attended the meeting together with Jackie Lauff, Sport Matters’ CEO, in her capacity as a member of the Australian Disability and Development Consortium (ADDC) Executive Committee.

During the deliberations the Australian Government announced a commitment of up to $2 million over four years to use sport as a vehicle to improve the quality of life for people with disability in the Pacific and Ministers identified the value of ‘facilitating exchanges among persons with disabilities, through ―Para Pacific Games type sporting exchanges and broader cultural exchanges.

Barton-Smith offered his reflections on progress made in Port Moresby during an address at the closing dinner. He inspired the audience with his story that includes sporting success in the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and Deaflympic Games.   

A surprise performance at the closing dinner saw Hon Loujaya Toni, PNG’s Minister for Religion, Youth and Community Development, sing ‘Keep the Fire Alive’ a song she wrote and performed during the 1991 South Pacific Games in PNG. The next Pacific Games will return to PNG in 2015 and for the first time will include events for athletes with disabilities in Athletics, Swimming and Powerlifting.

The Forum reviewed the progress of the Pacific Regional Strategy on Disability (PRSD) and made further strides in the promotion and protection of the rights of people with disabilities in the Pacific. The next FDMM will be held in the Federated States of Micronesia.

Read the full Outcomes Document from the FDMM   


 

Paralympic Gold for our Aussie Sailing Duo



September 10, 2012


Liesl Tesch and sailing partner Dan Fitzgibbon recently returned home from the London 2012 Paralympic Gold sporting matching gold medals around their necks.
 

A Gold medal performance from Tesch and Fitzgibbon at the London Paralympics.


The pair had only sailed together for 18 months after Beijing sailing bronze medallist Daniel Fitzgibbon spotted Liesl Tesch on a documentary titled ‘disABLE-BODIED SAILORS’.

Tesch successfully trialled for a position on the Sailors With Disabilities yacht to compete in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and was later invited by Fitzgibbon to ‘come and try’ sailing on the 18 foot Paralympic class SKUD18.

After winning their first three international regattas together Tesch retired from wheelchair basketball, a sport that earned her two Silver and one Bronze medal at Paralympic Games. The London 2012 Games were Tesch’s sixth and Fitzgibbon’s second Paralympic Games and the pair have proven that they have what it takes to be the best in the world.

Sadly, Tesch’s mother lost her long battle with cancer on the first day of competition. Enormous amounts of tenacity, resilience and persistence saw the pair stay on top of their game during the regatta and finish ahead in gold medal position with one race up their sleeve. Our condolences from Sport Matters go out to Liesl and her family, together with congratulations to her and Dan on a win that means so much.

The Paralympic Games are truly a celebration of ability but this story also highlights the power of sport to unite teammates, families and nations and reminds us that anything is possible.

Visit our Press pages for more stories capturing Liesl’s Paralympic sailing journey.

 

Leading through Sport in Laos


August 30, 2012


Sport Matters partnered with ChildFund Laos to support life-skills development through sport and play as part of their Child and Youth Participation for Development project.
 

Youth Leaders in action leading a ‘Solidarity Circle’ linking sport with life skills.


Sport Matters delivered a series of training sessions and professional development workshops in Laos in August during the first phase of the project, Activate, aimed at stimulating regular sport and play activities across the twelve target villages.

The activities form part of ChildFund Laos’ Child and Youth Participation for Development project which aims to promote voice, power and agency in children and youth in the Nonghet district in the north of Laos.

Sport Matters supported the project with curriculum development, design of a monitoring and evaluation strategy and capacity-building training for staff and beneficiaries. The curriculum included a range of games and learning activities aimed to encourage youth leaders to use their own voices to encourage children and youth in their villages to speak up about issues that are important to them.

ChildFund Laos also supported equipment kits for each village that included locally available materials such as footballs, rope, buckets and first aid equipment. The program included a range of sport skill sessions such as rugby, football, volleyball and table tennis and for many Youth Leaders it was their first exposure to playing and coaching many sports.

During the first phase of the project Sport Matters also delivered professional development workshops for both ChildFund Laos and Lao Rugby Federation staff and coaches to build their capacity to support and sustain the sport for development initiative in Nonghet.

The second phase of the project, Unite, will take place in November when Youth Leaders from all twelve villages will come together to learn how to organise sport and play sessions between neighbouring villages.

Click here to learn more about our work in Laos  


 

Wheelout@ANU raises funds for Sport Matters


August 5, 2012


An action packed day of wheelchair basketball in Canberra raised much needed funds to support a new sport for development project in the Solomon Islands.  

 

Winners! The Wheely Mammoths from Macarthur Disability Services.
 

Sport Matters delivered its first fundraising event on 3 August 2012 at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra in partnership with Enable Development.  Four teams competed in the inaugural Wheelout@ANU Wheelchair Basketball Challenge with many players participating in the sport for the first time. 

The day kicked off with some basic skills demonstrated by two local representative players, Rachel Coady and Soraj Ghulam Habib. The competition was intense with close matches on both courts combined with a host of fun novelty races and prizes.

Union Court at ANU became a sporting showcase during the lunch-break where students and staff where invited to come and try wheelchair basketball and learn about the Solomon Islands project and support our fundraising efforts through the Brindabella Rotaract BBQ or picking up some Pacific Island food from the ANU Pacific Institude.  

Everyone improved their basketball skills throughout the day but it was the Wheely Mammoths from Macarthur Disability Services (MDS) that remained undefeated throughout the competition and won the Gold medal match.

“The games were tight” says Megan from the Wheelie Mammoths and MDS’ Human Resources Officer, “It was a truly amazing experience to be a part of.”

Wheelchair basketball is an activity well suited to breaking down barriers because it enables people with and without disabilities to participate together; it’s a fun team sport and a great equaliser that showcases the abilities of people with disabilities.

The event raised almost $2,000 to support a sport for development project in the Solomon Islands that will use basketball to promote the rights of people with disabilities. The funds will go towards additional sport wheelchairs and local costs for delivering a train-the-trainer basketball workshop in February 2013.

Sport Matters would like to thank all the participants and volunteers for their support in making the event a success and also recognise our supporters: Switzerland Embassy in Canberra, ANU Sport, Basketball ACT and the Brindabella Rotaract Club. 

The next Wheelout event will be held in October 2013 as part of the Centenary of Canberra celebrations. Join the Wheelout Facebook page for regular updates.
 

Tackling Global Poverty with the Olympic Spirit


July 20, 2012


Sport Matters joined two One Just World forums in Brisbane and Townsville in the lead up to the London 2012 Olympic Games to discuss global poverty and the Olympic spirit. 

 

Panelists Cyrille Ndongo-Keller, Peter Horton (moderator),
Jackie Lauff, Kylie Bates and Bernt Aasen.

(Photo credit: One Just World, 2012)


In Brisbane at Griffith University, an insightful and provocative session was moderated by ABC Radio National’s Warwick Hadfield. Jackie Lauff, Sport Matters’ CEO, shared her perspective on including people with disabilities in sport and development and how sport and physical activity can contribute to community rebuilding after disasters. She also commented on the importance of community ownership and the role of sport organisations in disaster response efforts.

Lauff was joined by an international panel that featured Cyrille Ndongo-Keller, former professional football player from Cameroon and Founder and CEO of Sports Globo Consulting, Kylie Bates a sport for development consultant based in Brisbane and Bernt Aasen, Country Director for UNICEF in South America.

Each forum began with a school session aimed at generating discussion about development amongst high school students around the country. In Townsville, high school students from Magnetic Island also enjoyed a practical rugby league session with players from the North Queensland Cowboys NRL team.

The forum in Townsville took a very different approach with a stronger focus on the role of physical education and the relationship between sport and poverty, moderated by former Australian Wallaby Peter Horton, a Senior Lecturer at James Cook University in Townsville.

One Just World was created to involve the community in conversation and debate on key international development issues facing Australia, the Asia-Pacific and beyond through a series of free after-work speakers’ forums in every state and territory.

Check out some videos of the Brisbane and Townsville forums and learn more about One Just World.

 

WheelOut @ ANU


July 4, 2012


Sport Matters is teaming up with local partners in Canberra to help bring sport to people with disabilities in the Solomon Islands.

         


In the Solomon Islands, Sport Matters will deliver a train-the-trainer wheelchair basketball program in February 2013 to enable people with disabilities to access sport, many for the first time, in partnership with Community Based Rehabilitation, Solomon Islands Paralympic Committee, and People with Disabilities Solomon Islands.


WheelOut@ANU aims to raise $5,000 to support the Solomon Islands program in Honiara, to break down barriers towards disability using sport as a tool for social change. Funds will be used to purchase additional sports wheelchairs, basketball equipment, and delivery of a train-the-trainer workshop.


WheelOut@ANU is a wheelchair basketball competition open to students and staff at Australian National University and corporate teams from Canberra. The day will start at 10am at the ANU Sports Union with a welcome ceremony and teams will have a crash course in wheelchair basketball from local representative players. A round-robin competition with short, fun games will run most of the day with finals and prize-giving at 3.30pm.


Team entries are open now for teams of up to 10 players. Entry is $300 for student teams or $30 for individual entries and we’ll find a team for you. We also have corporate team category with a $500 entry fee which includes donation of a low-cost sports wheelchair for the Solomon Islands. Each player will receive a day jam-packed with competition, lunch and prizes. Team entries close on Friday 27th July 2012.


Join us for a day of fun, food and prizes! Remember, there’s no prior basketball experience necessary.


If you’re unable to join the full day’s competition, join us in the ANU Union Court from 12.30pm – 1.30pm where the Canberra Rotaract Club will be putting on a fundraising BBQ, and for a gold coin donation you can give wheelchair basketball a try yourself!


If you’re not in the ACT and still keen to contribute to the program, contact Sport Matters at info@sportmatters.org.au or phone Huy Nguyen on 0402 207 775.

 

Sport Matters Appoints New Directors



April 3, 2012


Atma Maharaj, Belinda Barnier and Michael Pilbrow were formally appointed to the Board of Directors at a Board meeting in Sydney.

     

Sport Matters Board celebrates three new additions to the team.
(From left: Adrian Lauff, Atma Maharaj, Belinda Barnier, Jackie Lauff,
Liesl Tesch & Michael Pilbrow)

 


New community development organisation, Sport Matters, today appointed three new Directors to its Board.


Sports Matters CEO, Jackie Lauff, said the appointments of Atma Maharaj, Belinda Barnier and Michael Pilbrow will help build a strong basis for the Australian-based global organisation, which has been in operation since September last year.


"I am pleased to announce our three new Board appointments who each will bring unique strengths and expertise to the Board," Ms Lauff said.


"All of these individuals have had extensive experience in community development, sport management and fundraising in Australia and around the world."


"These new Directors will help our organisation build a legacy that will make a difference for people in developing communities on a large scale."


"As well as driving the strategic direction of our organisation the Board will be instrumental in launching some of our first partnerships with community organisations in Australia and abroad," she said.


Sport Matters is a non-profit organisation that designs tailor-made development strategies in response to identified community needs in Australia, the Pacific, Asia and Africa.


"Effective sport for development programs that combine sport and play with other non-sport outcomes can help achieve development objectives and our Board will be pivotal in driving these projects and ensuring their sustainability," Ms Lauff said.


Sport Matters work overseas and in Australia to make a difference to the lives of people in developing communities through sport.


The Board met at the offices of Gilbert and Tobin Lawyers in Sydney where they determined the strategic plan for the organisation moving forward.


For more information on Sport Matters or to donate or become a partner visit www.sportmatters.org.au or email info@sportmatters.org.au

Media contact:  Jackie Lauff +61 (0)409 421 765


Click here to read more on our board member biographies

 

Disability, Sport and Development featured at ADDC Forum



March 1, 2012


Sport Matters joined the Australian Disability and Development Consortium (ADDC) at their first Practitioner Interest Forum hosted in Canberra. 

 

Liesl Tesch sharing her journey.
 

Disability, Sport and Development was the theme of the fourth ADDC Practitioner Interest Forum hosted for the first time in Canberra at the National Disability Services (NDS) office.  

Representatives from Canberra based development agencies, peak disability bodies and sport organisations came together for the one day forum to learn about the latest developments in disability, sport and development.


The forum kicked off with a presentation from CARE Australia on their journey in disability-inclusive development. The presentation highlighted a number of key challenges in embedding disability-inclusive policies and practices across their organisation but also some successes in the Asia-Pacific region.


Sport Matters co-founder and CEO, Jackie Lauff, introduced the landscape of disability, sport and development internationally with key definitions, historical milestones and how sport can make a difference for people with disabilities in the context of development.


AusAID's Development-Through-Sport Adviser, Tony McGee, presented an overview of how sport is used as a tool for development in the Australian Aid Program. Narrowing in on disability-inclusive sport for development activities, Rob Regent from the Australian Sports Commission shared some insights into the Australian Sports Outreach Program (ASOP) with a close look at their programs in Fiji and Vanuatu.


Liesl Tesch, five-time Paralympian and co-founder of Sport Matters, shared her inspirational journey in sport and development providing a first-hand account of the impact of sport on people with disabilities in developing communities.

The audience also heard from Soraj Ghulam Habib a 19 year old landmine survivor from Afghanistan. Soraj lost both of his legs in a landmine accident in Afghanistan when he was nine years old. Soraj shared his story, some the challenges he faced and how he fought for his right to access education and to play wheelchair basketball with his friends after first seeing the game on television. 


The ADDC Practitioner Interest Forums are held quarterly in different states and are a great opportunity for networking and professional development for anyone interested in disability-inclusive development.


For more details on the Practitioner Interest Forum, check out the ADDC website www.addc.org.au


 

Fiji, Samoa and New Zealand join the Australian Deaf Games in Geelong



January 23, 2012



Deaf Sports Australia was delighted to welcome athletes from Fiji, Samoa and New Zealand for their first Australian Deaf Games experience.

 

Sport Matters with the Fiji Rugby 7s team during the XVI Australian Deaf Games.
 


Geelong hosted the Australian Deaf Games for the first time from 14 to 21 January, 2012. The competition is a major sport, social and cultural festival attracting over 900 athletes from Australia and the Pacific region in 16 sports over seven days of competition.


Rugby 7s was one of five new sports introduced to the Games in 2012 and the Fiji Rugby 7s team put on a superb display of rugby talent at the Corio Community Centre, up against experienced teams representing New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

Players united in Geelong from all corners of Fiji, along with a number of Fijian players who are based in Australia, in Fiji's first international deaf rugby competition. The Fiji boys didn't disappoint and demonstrated some phenomenal skills and pace on the pitch.


Fiji finished the tournament in second place after losing the battle with NSW in the final. Fiji's number 12 received the award for 'Best Back' throughout the competition.  


Sport Matters CEO, Jackie Lauff, attended the event together with Christine Walton, Executive Officer of the Australian Disability and Development Consortium, where they met with the Fiji Rugby 7s players and team staff, representatives from Deaf Sports Australia, and coaches from Deaf Rugby Australia.


 

Sport Matters conducts community consultations in Fiji


December 28, 2011


Sport Matters connected with a range of sporting and disability organisations in Fiji in December in partnership with the Australian Sports Commission.


 

Members of Fijian Disabled People's Organisations at a Disability, Sport and Development workshop.
 

The Australian Sports Outreach Program (ASOP) Fiji is an initiative of the Australian Sports Commission aimed at improving the quality of life for people with disabilities in Fiji through sport. Sport Matters conducted a series of community consultations in Suva in an effort to introduce the ASOP Fiji program to numerous disability and sporting organisations, and expand the program through a series of new partnerships.


During a workshop with Fiji based Disabled People's Organisations (DPOs), many participants were learning about the potential of sport to make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities for the first time.


The program highlighted the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and Article 30.5 which specifically addresses the right for people with disabilities to access leisure, recreation and sporting opportunities.


The DPO representatives came from all over Fiji and many had little knowledge about the sporting opportunities available to them having only seen the main sports played in their villages.


As one DPO member said, "The most important thing I have learned today is the number of new sports that members in my organisation can take part in. Nothing is impossible if you are ready."


Sport Matters also addressed dozens of National Sport Federations at a Board of Management meeting of the Fiji Association of Sport and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC). National Federations were introduced the ASOP Fiji program and the importance of creating inclusive opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in sport.


For details about the ASOP Fiji program check out the Australian Sports Commission's website http://www.ausport.gov.au/supporting/international


 

Beyond Sport Summit shines in Cape Town



December 9, 2011


Former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, led an impressive line up of politicians, philanthropists, business leaders and athletes at the Beyond Sport Summit in Cape Town, South Africa.

 

The Beyond Sport Summit with speaker and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
 


The Beyond Sport Summit is an annual event that brings together the best sport-led social innovators with influential, global leaders to address sport's role in driving positive social change. The 3rd annual Summit was hosted at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 5 to 8 December, 2011. 


Tony Blair, an Official Patron of Beyond Sport, gave an insightful interview that covered a range of global issues. Since leaving office Blair launched the Tony Blair Sports Foundation which aims to increase participation in sport by young people who are socially excluded.


"No country has seen the immense power of sport and its ability to bind people together more than the Rainbow Nation – from the Springboks in 1995 to the Vuvuzelas in 2010. This global gathering in Cape Town takes Beyond Sport to the very heart of sport and development", commented Blair.


Fellow Beyond Sport Official Patron, Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, "I've witnessed first-hand the power sport can have on communities and to see so many people in one room talking about how they can use this power for good was a humbling moment." Blair and Archbishop Tutu were joined by an all-star cast of South African politicans, actors and athletes including Paralympians Oscar Pistorius and Natalie du Toit.


The pinnacle of the Summit was the unveiling of the Beyond Sport Awards winners selected from over 400 entries from more than 115 countries. The 12 award categories covered health, social inclusion, corporate and social responsibility, and philanthropy. One particular finalist, Eco-Sports Group, was announced winner of a Judges Award for their program in Bosnia and Herzegovina that focuses on rehabilitation and social integration of landmine survivors and their families through water sports.


A two-day series of insightful panels and practical workshops preceded the Summit that connected social entrepreneurs from the international sport and development community. Delegates engaged in high-spirited discussion and debate on a range of contemporary sport for development themes such as; corporate social responsibility, child protection, and monitoring and evaluation. For the first time in 2011 the Summit also featured Beyond Football, a one day forum with a specific focus on development through football in partnership with streetfootballworld.  


Sport Matters CEO, Jackie Lauff, participated in the workshop series and the Summit where she connected with hundreds of like minded entrepreneurs from all corners of the globe, united in their passion and commitment to sport and development. 


Beyond Sport is a global initiative that seeks to celebrate and support any organisation or individual with the goal to drive positive social change through sport. It is partnered with Barclays Spaces for Sports, TIME International and UNICEF. The next Beyond Sport Summit & Awards will place in London from July 23 to 25, 2012.


Find about more about the Beyond Sport Summit and read about the 2011 award winners at http://www.beyondsport.org/


 

New networks and strategic planning for Sport, Development and Peace



December 4, 2011


The University of the Western Cape held its 2nd International Conference on Sport, Development and Peace in Cape Town, South Africa. 

 

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Willie Lemke (UN Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace) and Tony Karbo (University for Peace).
(Photo credit: UWC, 2011.)


The Interdisciplinary Centre of Sport, Science and Development (ICESSD) at the University of the Western Cape welcomed over 200 guests from 33 countries to their 2nd International Conference from 1 to 3 December, 2011.


The conference brought together representatives from academia, civil society, business and policy makers to create lasting networks and collaboration under the theme, 'Networking and Strategic Planning for Sport, Development and Peace.'


The conference was organised in four working groups; Sport Policy and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), Sport and Peace, Sport and the Environment, and Sport, Physical Activity and Health.


A highlight of the conference was the address by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who recounted his experience of walking into the stadium during South Africa's infamous Rugby World Cup win in 1995 and affirmed his belief in the power of sport to unite nations.


Sport Matters CEO, Jackie Lauff, presented two papers at the conference with an emphasis on disability-inclusion within the working groups on Sport Policy and CSR, and Health. With 15% of the world's population living with disability, including people with disabilities should not be left to the domain of a few specialist organisations but rather be embedded as an integral component to every sport for development program. Eli Wolff from Brown University  focused on disability-inclusion in his presentation in the Sport and Peace working group on December 3, which was also International Day of People with Disabilities.


ICESSD was established at the University of the Western Cape in 2009 as one of the legacies of the Football World Cup hosted in South Africa. The centre aims to promote sport as a powerful tool for development, peace, health, wellbeing and social change through high quality research, and combining the areas of sports, health sciences, community development and wellness.


For further details on 2nd International Sport and Development Conference at UWC visit http://icessd.uwc.ac.za/


 

Caritas Australia hosts ADDC Practitioner Interest Forum



November, 10 2011


Caritas Australia's CEO, Jack de Groot, and AusAID's Director of Disability Inclusive Development, Rosemary McKay, addressed disability and development practitioners in Sydney.

 

Jack de Groot welcomes ADDC Forum to Caritas Australia.
(Photo credit: ADDC, 2011.)

 


The Australian Disability and Development Consortium (ADDC) brought together over 30 representatives from Sydney-based peak disability and development organisations at a Practitioner Interest Forum hosted at Caritas Australia.


ADDC is an Australian based, international network focusing attention, expertise and action on disability issues in developing countries, building on a human rights platform for disability advocacy. Following two successful forums in Melbourne, ADDC partnered with Caritas Australia to deliver a half day forum in Sydney aimed at providing face to face networking opportunities and professional development for practitioners working across the disability and development sectors.


Jack de Groot opened the forum with a warm welcome and an overview of Caritas Australia's commitment to include people with disabilities, which is central to their mission to reach the poorest of the poor. Caritas Australia's Group Leader for South East Asia, Lindsey Daines, followed with a closer look at Caritas' journey towards disability-inclusion. Focusing on the Asia strategy, Daines highlighted specific successes and challenges with examples from their development programs in Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.


Sport Matters CEO and ADDC Executive Committee Member, Jackie Lauff, facilitated an interactive session that encouraged networking and discussion on strengths and challenges in delivering disability inclusive development. Whilst there were some just starting the journey in disability inclusive development, similar challenges were identified by practitioners from organisations large and small including issues such as; influencing organisational culture, staffing and staff turnover, and the struggle to gain stronger support and commitment from management.   


AusAID's Rosemary McKay, Director of Disability-Inclusive Development, gave a very informative report from her experiences as part of the Australian Government's delegation to the fourth session of the Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which took place from 7 to 9 September at the UN Headquarters in New York.


ADDC plans to host four Practitioner Interest Forums each year to bring practitioners together in various states and territories and welcomes suggestions for new themes and focus areas. The next forum will take place in Canberra in February. 


For further details on the Practitioner Interest Forums visit the ADDC website at www.addc.org.au


 

Durban hosts Disabled People's International 8th World Assembly



October 15, 2011


Delegates from 66 countries came together in Durban to advance the human rights, equality and dignity of over one billion people with disabilities in the world at the 8th World Assembly of Disabled People's International.

 

8th World Assembly of Disabled People's International.
 


Over five days of discussion, presentations and round-tables, disability rights activists came from around the globe under the theme "Disability Movement United in creating a society for all through the UN Disability Convention and the Millennium Development Goals".


The theme effectively demonstrates the need for a human rights approach to policy, legislation, service delivery and monitoring mechanisms for disability. Many sessions focused on lobbying efforts for State Parties to sign and ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.


An emerging issue that featured prominently throughout the program was the issues facing people with disabilities and HIV/AIDS, and challenges surrounding access to information, testing and health services. The compounding effects of discrimination and stigma experienced by people with disabilities who are HIV positive have a profound impact on quality of life. 


One presentation that was of particular interest to Sport Matters was on the role of sport in empowering children with disabilities in Niger presented by a lecturer at the University of South Africa. In Niger, where people are living in extreme poverty, sport is used to assist children with disabilities to gain access to education. Sport is part of a targeted strategy to "change what communities think and feel about people with disabilities and by changing what people with disabilities think and feel about themselves."

The audience at that session expressed a high level of interest in providing opportunities for people with disabilities in their communities across South Africa and extending into other African countries, and identified a need across a number of resource-poor settings for support and guidance to initiate community programs.


Sport Matters CEO, Jackie Lauff, attended the DPI Assembly. There she connected people and organisations with similar interests in inclusive sport and physical activity at the community level.


The Assembly was hosted by Disabled People South Africa (DPSA) with strong support from the Ministry of Women, Children and People with Disabilities. A formal outcome of the Assembly was the 'Durban Declaration' which reaffirms the rights of people with disabilities to live in a barrier-free world without discrimination of any kind based on disability.


For further details on Disabled People's International and to see the Durban Declaration visit http://www.dpi.org/


 

Tackling Global Poverty through Sport



October 11, 2011


One Just World explored the role of sport in tackling global poverty at an evening forum at Deakin University in Geelong, Australia.

 

Panellists at the Tackling Global Poverty through Sport forum.
(Photo credit: One Just World, 2011.)
   


Focusing on the first of the UN Millennium Development Goals, to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger by 2015, the forum challenged to role of sport and its potential to address poverty. Warwick Hadfield from ABC Radio National moderated an insightful and provocative session with speakers bringing a range of different perspectives to the debate.


Colin Carter, President of Geelong Football Club and World Vision Australia Board Member, shared his view on sport linking local community sport to the global initiatives of World Vision Australia.


Dr Allison Simons, Assistant Director of International Sport for Development at the Australian Sports Commission, presented the case for sport and its integral role in addressing targeted development goals. She detailed how the Australian Sports Commission addresses key development issues such as health and education through their programs like the Australian Sports Outreach Program that is delivered across seven Pacific Island countries.


The audience also heard a South African perspective from Nick Mould, Director of South African NGO United Through Sport, and Tina Macumber from her experiences with sport and development after a placement with the Samoan Cricket Association as part of the Australian Youth Ambassador for Development (AYAD) program.


Liesl Tesch and Kerry Tavrou from Sport Matters attended the forum and joined the debate on the power of sport to make a difference to global poverty.


"There was some very interesting discussion about the relevance and impact of sport on developing communities," said Tesch. "It's very clear to me from hearing the variety of perspectives in the audience tonight that people have very different opinions about what sport is and exactly how it can contribute to development. Most people don't easily connect the notions of sport and poverty together."


One Just World was created to involve the community in conversation and debate on key international development issues facing Australia, the Asia-Pacific and beyond through a series of free after-work speakers' forums in every state and territory. One Just World is supported by World Vision Australia, the International Women's Development Agency (IWDA), AusAID and a University in each state.


For more details and to see video feeds from the forum visit One Just World
http://www.onejustworld.com.au/forums/raising-the-bar

 

Sport Matters in South Africa with RESPO International



October 6, 2011


Sport Matters partnered with RESPO International and delivered two Train-the-Trainer Basketball workshops in October.

 

Local leaders making a difference through basketball in Elandsdoorn.
 


The first workshop was held in Elandsdoorn, a small village two hours north of Johannesburg. Twenty participants from the local community joined a three day workshop using basketball to break down social stigma towards disability and promote social inclusion.


The group included a mixture of participants with and without disabilities in a targeted strategy to break down attitudinal barriers. In an action packed three days, the program included three core elements: sports coaching, disability-inclusion and basketball.


On the final day, participants delivered an inclusive basketball session to a group of school students from the local community giving them an opportunity to apply their new coaching skills. The training also included a focus on enabling and empowering people with disabilities in Elandsdoorn to lead, advocate for themselves and speak up in their community.


One of the key messages that came out of the workshop was best summarised by one of the school students who in the final session asked, "Isn't it about disabled people having the same rights as everyone else?" 


The second workshop took place in Mitchell's Plain, on the outskirts of Cape Town. Once again twenty participants came together for a three-day workshop to learn how to use basketball to make a difference in their community. The group included people with and without disabilities, a number of whom were reformed gangsters who are wheelchair users after being shot or stabbed. 


The final day practical session saw the Mitchell's Plain participant's introduce wheelchair basketball to a group of in-patients with spinal cord injury from the Western Cape Rehabilitation Centre, their first exposure to wheelchair sport since their accidents.


Both workshops were part of a longer-term strategy by RESPO International using sport to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities in South Africa. One of the key outcomes of the program is the creation of new employment opportunities for a number of graduates of the RESPO Sport and Physical Activity Trainer (SPAT) program who for the first time will have access to full-time employment with the City of Cape Town to deliver disability-inclusive sport and physical activity programs through Recreational Hubs across the city.


Learn more about Sport Matters in South Africa.