What is the GSF?
In a nutshell the Global Sport Fund is a 10-year project to provide on-going opportunities for youth living in developing countries to actively participate in amateur sport to meet two purposes:
- Health: Regular participation in an active sport can lead to improved physical and mental health and wellbeing.
- Prevention: Impressionable youngsters are at the age where they are exposed to various temptations, among them using drugs, drinking alcohol, or other acts that can lead to delinquency. Through a programme of coaching to promote values, such as balanced competition, respect for oneself and others, and maintaining self-control at all times, young people are less likely fall into temptation.
GSF-supported activities will be models for what can be accomplished by sport on and off the field by helping young people make choices that will improve their lives. In the words of:
His Highness the Heir Apparent
Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani,
President of the Qatar Olympic Committee
"This is an opportunity to team up and help young people around the world learn the benefits of a healthy lifestyle."
How does it work?
It awards grants for mini-projects run by NGOs in communities in Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Central Europe that use the GSF programme to coach youth (boys and girls) between the ages of 11 and 17 years in fair play as they participate in organized sport.
Additionally, the GSF arranges 1-week camps in the various regions for selected youth leaders, coaches and mentors to go through its own programme directed by core trainers. Successful participants are expected to go back and pass on the learning through peer-to-peer and group training.
Why the GSF?
The idea for the GSF emerged from running a couple of "football without borders" competitions for children from different countries, some of whom were from regions in which conflict had been taking place. Bringing those children together was an attempt to bridge the divide, to get them to take part in a sport together, and to have them find new respect for each other.
The lessons learned led to the creation of the GSF as a partnership between the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Qatar Olympic Committee ( QOC), with the emphasis on building a drug prevention component into it.
The GSF has a zero tolerance policy toward the use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
Any organized sports that involve individuals playing in teams are preferred. The range can include, but not limited to football, tennis, swimming, netball, basketball, takraw, badminton, lacrosse, hockey, or activities that are common to a region.
As a Fund
It needs donors to make contributions in order to keep the Fund in a position to run camps and award grants to NGOs. The more contributors the Fund can attract, the greater will be its involvement with communities in youth-in-sport projects. The QOC is the major contributor to the GSF.