Where There’s Play There’s Beautiful Possibilities
June 21st 2016. For the past two weeks CAC has been working with ChildFund Korea and Chevrolet FC in Incheon, South Korea to build a sustainable pathway for using sport as a social impact tool. This culminated in the unveiling of a new Chevrolet FC pitch by Manchester United legend Gary Bailey at the ChildFund Borame Center in Incheon.
Throughout the two weeks CAC worked closely with ChildFund Korea, other local partners and coaches to ensure the new pitch could be used effectively over the coming months and years. ChildFund Korea provides safe spaces for children who have been physically and mentally abused. Teachers at the ChildFund Borame Center attended CAC training which focused on child rights, problem-solving and communication. During the two weeks we also traveled to Ulsan to work with the local ChildFund staff and help them use sport as a social impact tool. In addition, we engaged coaches from FC Incheon, a soccer academy working with many local children, and students from Incheon Universities Department of Sports and Exercise Science. Involving NGO’s, clubs and universities ensured a cross-sectoral deep impact which will reach children from various communities and backgrounds.
In South Korea children of all ages are under intense pressure from families and institutions to succeed in school. We regularly heard stories of children going to school and studying for 15 hours a day simply to keep up with their classes. This has led to incredibly fast progress for the nation which is at the forefront of design and technology. A common term in Korea is ‘pali pali’ or faster (which contrasts with a common Swahili term ‘pole pole’ or slowly!). Unfortunately this pressure has also led to an increasing number of South Korean children committing suicide. Taking a break from their studies and simply enjoying sports and play is not always an option for South Korean children. The importance of encouraging participation in sports to challenge this culture can’t be underestimated. Where there’s play, there’s beautiful possibilities.