Webinar: Levelling the Playing Field: Building Equality and Inclusion with Sport

January 30, 2013

Learn how two youth-focused programs in Greenwich (UK) and Montreal (Canada) are using the power of sport and games to cultivate cross-cultural understanding, empathy, equality and fair play. Sport and recreational activities have enormous potential to build bridges between communities. Team sports, in particular, help develop social networks, forge friendships, and overcome differences by promoting mutual understanding.

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Featured Good Ideas

    • In Montreal, Canada, Play It Fair! is a play-based program that uses games to teach children to focus on their common experiences and not their differences. Its human-rights approach appeals to children’s innate sense of fairness, teaching respect for difference while helping them develop positive and constructive responses to conflict.   Watch the video presentation
    • In Greenwich, UK, The Charlton Athlethic Race & Equality (CARE) partnership is the first collaboration between a UK local authority and professional football club. CARE  gives young people, particularly those from disadvantaged communities, the opportunity to interact with people from different backgrounds. Opportunities range from accredited sports coaching qualifications and film production to women’s football and digital photography. Watch the video presentation

Learning Takeaways

Use sport/games to illustrate teamwork and a participatory approach to problem solving

The Play It Fair (PIF) program promotes fair play in games by creating concrete experience for youth to understand inclusion, tolerance, cooperation, and respect for diversity. For example, they promote a different version of musical chairs. When the music stops, a chair is removed, but instead of excluding a player, the children have to cooperate together to include all the children in the activity. The children have to work together to figure out how everyone can share and develop a sense of fair play.

Find strategic partners whose mission aligns with yours to help your program grow

Both programs, PIF and CARE rely on the efforts of partners to deliver and expand their work to new audiences. CARE’s partnership with the local professional football club was instrumental in bringing in-kind resources and bringing in a celebrity football player as a champion for the project, which instantly boosted participation rates. PIF partnered with the City of Montreal’s Parks & Recreation programming as part of the city’s vision and response to its growing diversity. Having the City as a key champion gave PIF the credibility to expand into other local jurisdictions.

Engage key partners in the monitoring and evaluation process as part of the stakeholder engagement strategy

All programs need to show their impact to partners and funders, but also need to maintain multi-level buy-ins from stakeholders. Integral to CARE’s work is a standard monitoring and evaluation system used to collect data and measure against key targets in the program including the use of exit interviews, focus groups, questionnaires, and case studies. The monitoring and evaluation process allows CARE to make necessary interventions and adjustments to the program, but always in consultation with their partners to ensure targets are being met through a collaborative process.


Amy Cooper, Education Specialist, Equitas, Montreal
Amy Cooper is an Education Specialist for Equitas – International Centre for Human Rights Education in Montreal. For 5 years she has designed and delivered education initiatives that focus on the community engagement of children and youth through Equitas’ Play it Fair! and Speaking Rights programs. Amy has also been responsible for conducting the delivery of Equitas’ International Human Rights Training Program, while additionally supporting the development of new educational programs in Central Eastern Europe/Former Soviet Union. She contributes actively to the Equitas Online Community by moderating e-learning virtual conferences internationally. Her background is in teaching with a focus on social justice education. She has a M.A. in Education and a Graduate Diploma in Community Economic Development.

Ruth Morrison,  Program Officer, Equitas, Montreal
Ruth Morrison is a Program Officer for Equitas – International Centre for Human Rights Education in Montreal. She collaborates with partners across Canada in the promotion of children’s and youth’s rights and participation in their communities through the coordination and implementation of the Play it Fair! and Speaking Rights! programs. Before joining Equitas, Ruth worked in partnership with various community and non-profit organizations in Montreal, Burkina Faso, Argentina and Ecuador with a focus on empowering youth, children and women. She has been an integral part of teams building programs with and for youth addressing issues of bullying, prejudice, discrimination, self-esteem and youth engagement.

Dr. Michael Seeraj, Programme Manager, Charlton Athletic Race and Equality Partnership (CARE),  Greenwich
Dr Seeraj is the Programme Manager of the award-winning Charlton Athletic Race & Equality (CARE) Partnership. CARE is the only project of its kind in Europe to be led by a local authority (Royal Borough of Greenwich) and a professional football club (Charlton Athletic FC). He is also a Board Member of the English Football [Soccer] Association (The FA) Equality Advisory Group, and took part in the European Union (EU) Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) study looking at Racism and Equality in Sport. CARE’s key objectives focus on targeted community engagement programmes designed to promote equality, tackle discrimination and facilitate social inclusion. CARE also deliver a wide range of innovative training programmes centred on key themes relating to Equality, Diversity and Sport.

Technical Requirements

No cost to participate. You will need a computer with internet access and speakers or a landline telephone. Pre-test System Requirements (Adobe Connect requires the Flash Player plugin, version 10.3 or above to run).

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