“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.”

Two remarkable quotes made by one remarkable man, Nelson Mandela. At eta we bring both concepts together as we deliver accredited sport and fitness education to our students and instill a sense of community responsibility in our graduates and alumni. We believe that together we have the power to tackle poverty, create opportunities, inspire change. We encourage our students and graduates to use their knowledge they have gained in the sport and fitness qualifications to good use. They have the power to use sport as a tool for transformation.

There is no doubt that sport is good for you. All forms of sport and recreation provide physical, emotional, and mental benefits that help individuals lead a balanced life. However, sport can do so much more. Sport can not only change individual lives but can impact whole communities. Here are a few examples of how.

Improve physical and mental health
The physical benefits of sport are very well known and too extensive to list. However, in summary, physical activity is good for the mind, body, and spirit. It assists in the maintenance of healthy weight, energy levels, concentration and facilitates healthier lifestyle choices. Achieving a sport or fitness goal encourages you to achieve other goals that you set and contributes positively to boosting self-esteem.

Life skills
The pandemic turned the world upside down. Now, more than ever, people need to learn skills such as problem-solving, creative thinking, managing conflict, resilience, adaptability, taking initiative, and empathy. All these skills can be woven into the teaching and learning of sport and physical activity.

Crime reduction
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG) underlines the growing contribution of sport as a tool for the promotion of peace, tolerance, and respect. More specifically, sport offers an important opportunity for building life skills of at-risk youth that allow them to better cope with daily life challenges and move away from involvement in violence, crime, or drug use. A sense of individual purpose is created, and more often a sense of community purpose too.

Employability
Some research suggests that being involved in sport can equip young people with specific ‘core’ and ‘soft’ skills that may raise their level of employability. Employers are increasingly seeking employees that possess core employability skills that can be gained through the playing of sport or the engagement of disciplined physical activity.

Community togetherness
Sport creates conversations by providing a common ground, and a unified sense of purpose. A love of the game and the passion brought to the field forges bonds between participants. Heroes are created in sport and can become positive role models for the team and wider community. These heroes can be the participants, the sport coaches, the trainers, or the instigators.

Conclusion
In conclusion, it is evident in these few points that sport does have the power to change the world through individuals and communities. So, if you are enthusiastic about sport, why not investigate making a career of it and ultimately, you will be changing the world. Have a look at the website to see how you can sign up for one of eta’s distance learning courses in July.

Referencing
Lyras, A and Peachy, J.W. (2011). Integrating Sport‐for‐Development theory and praxis. Sport Management Review, 14, 311‐326. Elsevier.

Coalter, F. (2013) Sport for development: What game are we playing? Routledge, Oxon, UK.

The sustainable Development Goals https://sdgs.un.org/goals

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