All posts tagged Power Of Sport:

October 29, 2009 | Comment


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance      
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
- William Ernest Henley

I know the story. The 1995 Rugby World Cup. South Africa’s improbable run to the final match. Mandela’s beleif in sport’s unifying ability. I heard about this remarkable, power of sport moment from Archbishop Desmond Tutu at The Beyond Sport Summit. Archbishop Tutu said that it was a transformational moment for all of South Africa. He exuberantly shared the story of how he witnessed sport’s ability to make a positive difference in his nation!

A BALL Can Change the World!

October 23, 2009 | Comment

The Finals of 2009 Homeless World Cup/Milano with Buddy from Buzz Films


Though the teams may be gone and the army barrack tents where they stayed taken down, the energy remains. Relive the grit and glory of the final match- Ukraine v Portugal. The Ukraine pulled it out in a closely-contested match, where one teams goal always seemed to meet with a counter goal from the other squad. But words can’t do it justice. Check out the video to see the joy of victory and the agony of defeat unfold for yourself. And to get one last jolt of energy from lives being changed.

Learn more…

Got HOPE?!

October 22, 2009 | Comment

Youth sports is an enterprise worthy of a bailout

If the high school and youth sports programs in your town aren’t already having trouble paying their bills, they will soon.

And if that doesn’t sound like headline-worthy news in this battered economy, just wait. You’ll have your pick of headlines from the ripples it creates soon enough: fatter kids, more dropouts and less safe streets. You also won’t have to wonder why the college and pro teams you follow from the couch don’t seem quite as good as they used to be.

The public-private partnership that helped make youth sports part of the fabric of every neighborhood in America for decades is going broke.

“Sports are something everybody takes for granted, but already for some kids in some places, those programs are a lifeline,” said Paul Caccamo, executive director of Up2Us, a coalition of school and community-based sports programs from around the country.

“It’s already an endangered species in some inner cities, some rural areas and now, even middle-class suburban kids are getting hit with pay-to-play fees. We know as that cost goes up, participation goes down. ... And while we don’t know for certain how many it’s affected in all those places already,” he added, “it’s got to be in the hundreds of thousands.”

Beginning Wednesday, Caccamo and an army of do-gooders will descend on Washington, D.C., bearing that message, some provocative research and high hopes of drawing attention to the problem and bending a few influential ears in Congress and even the White House.

During two days of conferences, co-hosted by Up2Us and the Laureus Sport For Good Foundation, the people struggling to keep those programs running want to make policy-makers and the public understand how close they are to the tipping point. It’s not about learning to make do with less money; in many neighborhoods, any less will mean having to do without.

Read More…

A ball/sports can change a life - I know this first-hand & I’ve witnessed it in communities all over the globe. Countless times President Obama has expressed how sports helped to shape his understanding of the team concept & how to be a coachable team member (he regularly plays pick-up hoops on the White House grounds & he even has a former Duke baller as his personal aide) - without a doubt, he’s a believer in the power of sports.

Generation Next deserves the same opportunities that President Obama & I had via sports to learn lifelong, catalytic lessons! So, I firmly believe that youth sports programs in the US are absolutely worthy of a bailout.

Show youth sports…the MONEY!

October 14, 2009 | Comment

22 August 2009 in Berlin. (AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL)

Monaco, 13 October 2009—On the occasion of the 19th Georges Bertellotti Golden Podium Awards in Monaco, “Peace and Sport L’Organisation pour la Paix par le Sport” unveiled the 2009 winner of the Peace and Sport Image of the Year Award in an â??avant-première’ announcement.

This prize rewards the best image of fraternity through sport. It is awarded in partnership with SPORTEL Monaco and the news agency, Agence France-Presse.

The 2009 winner is a photograph of the granddaughter of the German athlete Luz Long and the granddaughter of American champion Jesse Owens, with IAAF President Lamine Diack during the medal-giving for the long jump at the 2009 Athletics World Championships in Berlin.


The presence of the two young women in Berlin for this major sporting event carries on the courageous and unforgettable friendship that their grandfathers began during the 1936 Olympics.

Learn More…

September 18, 2009 | Comment

Press Release 09/17/09

During National Coach Appreciation Week, Members of Congress, Coaches, and Youth Launch -
Coach for America

New national program will recruit, train 10,000 college grads to become coaches in underserved communities.

Washington, DC (Vocus) September 17, 2009—At a Capitol Hill press conference recognizing National Coach Appreciation Week today, members of Congress, coaches, and youth announced the launch of Coach for America, a first-of-its-kind national program designed to recruit 10,000 recently graduated college-athletes to participate in a year of training and service. Coach for America is a project of Up2Us, the leading national coalition focused on youth sports and development. Coach for America participants will receive sports and youth development related training and will serve, teach, and support children and youth in communities across the nation.

Read More…

September 13, 2009 | Comment

Photo credit © FOTO UP AGENCY

Posted on 13/09/2009

Today Ukraine defeated Portugal 5-4 in the final of the Milan 2009 Homeless World Cup, the annual international football tournament that gives people who are homeless the opportunity to change their own lives. 48 nations, 500 players from all 5 continents of the world were united in the Arena Civica, Milan, Italy for the 7th Homeless World Cup.

Mel Young, President, Homeless World Cup, closing the competition said: “Congratulations to the players. Your spirit of fair play, courage and determination is a true example to the human race. This is what the united nations can look like. People standing together creating change. A ball can change the world.”

Milan officials handed over to Brazil for the Rio 2010 Homeless World Cup in a high energy display of samba and colour with the Brazilians promising to deliver the best tournament ever next year.

77% of players involved in the Homeless World Cup experience a significant life change; no-longer using drugs and alcohol, moving into homes, jobs, education, training, repairing relationships and becoming coaches or players with semi-pro teams. 94% claim to have a renewed motivation for life.

Yes, Mel…A Ball CAN Change the World & the HWC is prooof of it! Well Done…

Got Dreams?!

September 12, 2009 | Comment

Nike and Homeless World Cup/HWC are delighted that Buzz Films is the winner of the “Spiritus Concordia Victoria” Film Competition and will produce a short film capturing the Spirit, Unity, Victory of The Milan 2009 Homeless World Cup, which takes place in the Arena Civica, Sempione Park from 6-13 September 2009.
About BUZZ Films & Buddy…

Buzz Films presenter, Buddy is capturing the spirit and essence of the Homeless World Cup/HWC, which unites 500 players from 48 nations in Milan.  Buddy’s last assignment was for National Geographic with a trip through Outer Mongolia.

Here’s Buddy in BUZZ Films’ episode #6 - The Players…

Homeless World Cup, MILAN 2009 - The Players from Jan-Paul Bednarz on Vimeo.

Latest HWC Results…
Stay tuned for more episodes from Buddy & BUZZ Films!

Got HOPE?!

September 08, 2009 | 1 comment

Nike and Homeless World Cup/HWC are delighted that Buzz Films is the winner of the “Spiritus Concordia Victoria” Film Competition and will produce a short film capturing the Spirit, Unity, Victory of The Milan 2009 Homeless World Cup, which takes place in the Arena Civica, Sempione Park from 6-13 September 2009.
About BUZZ Films & Buddy…

Buzz Films presenter, Buddy is capturing the spirit and essence of the Homeless World Cup/HWC, which unites 500 players from 48 nations in Milan.  Buddy’s last assignment was for National Geographic with a trip through Outer Mongolia.

Here’s Buddy in BUZZ Films’ episode #3 - The Parade…

Homeless World Cup, MILAN 2009 - The Parade from Jan-Paul Bednarz on Vimeo.

Stay tuned for more HWC episodes from Buddy & BUZZ Films…

Got PLAY?!


September 07, 2009 | Comment

Nike and Homeless World Cup/HWC are delighted to announce Buzz Films as the winner of the “Spiritus Concordia Victoria” Film Competition.

Buzz Films will see up and coming presenter, Buddy, capture the spirit and essence of the Homeless World Cup/HWC, which unites 500 players from 48 nations in Milan in September.  Buddy’s last assignment was for National Geographic with a trip through Outer Mongolia.

Over 75 submissions were received from filmmakers from 5 continents when Nike and Homeless World Cup/HWC put the call out with a $50,000 fund to produce a short film capturing the Spirit, Unity, Victory of The Milan 2009 Homeless World Cup, which takes place in the Arena Civica, Sempione Park from 6-13 September 2009.
About BUZZ Films & Buddy…

Here’s Buddy in BUZZ Films’ episodes #1 & 2…The Arrival & The Draw

Homeless World Cup, MILAN 2009 - The Arrival from Jan-Paul Bednarz on Vimeo.

Homeless World Cup, MILAN 2009 - The Draw from Jan-Paul Bednarz on Vimeo.

Stay tuned for more HWC episodes from Buddy & BUZZ Films…

Got PLAY?!

September 07, 2009 | Comment



There are one billion homeless people living in our world today.

The Homeless World Cup exists to end this, so we all have a home, a basic human need.

The Homeless World Cup/HWC is an annual, international football tournament, uniting teams of people who are homeless and excluded to take a once in a lifetime opportunity to represent their country and change their lives forever. It has triggered and supports grass roots football projects in over 60 nations working with over 25,000 homeless and excluded people throughout the year.

The first tournament took place in Graz 2003 uniting 18 national teams. 6 years on 56 nations were united for Melbourne 2008, which included the first Women’s Cup. We are on the road to Milan 2009 from 6-13 September.

The impact is consistently significant year on year with 73% of players changing their lives for the better by coming off drugs and alcohol, moving into jobs, education, homes, training, reuniting with families and even going on to become players and coaches for pro or semi-pro football teams.

The Homeless World Cup/HWC supporters include UEFA, Nike, UN, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Ambassador Eric Cantona and international footballers Didier Drogba and Rio Ferdinand.

Latest HWC results…

Got Hope?!

September 05, 2009 | Comment

HWC Press Release

United Nations backs Homeless World Cup

3 September 2009, With just three days until the kick off of the 7th Milan 2009 Homeless World Cup, the United Nations have announced their support with a message from the special adviser to the United Nations Secretary General on Sport for Development and Peace. The Milan 2009 Homeless World Cup welcomes 48 nations to the Arena Civica, Sempione Park, Milan from 6-13 September 2009.

The United Nations considers sport as a powerful tool to promote education, health, development and peace. Sport unites people of all social classes, cultures and religions in a positive and educational way.

As the Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, Wifried Lemke said: it is with great pleasure that I offer my support to the “Milan 2009 Homeless World Cup”, a football initiative which has been uniting teams of homeless people to take a once in a lifetime opportunity to represent their country and change their lives forever.

The Homeless World Cup initiative is an extraordinary example of the application of sport as a tool for community development. The Homeless World Cup has triggered the establishment of over 50 local grass roots projects working with people who are homeless and excluded from society. 

The impact of the Homeless World Cup has been consistently significant with a large majority of players changing their lives for the better, by coming off drugs and alcohol, moving into jobs, education, homes, training, reuniting with families and some even going on to become players and coaches for professional or semi-professional football teams.

Considering the increase in the number of participating teams from 18 national teams in the year 2003 to 48 national teams for the current event in Milan, the Homeless World Cup is well on the way to realizing its vision - a healthy, abundant, confident world where everyone has a home, a basic human right. 

The initiative has been a very successful means to raise awareness of issue surrounding the homeless and to improve the image of homeless people amongst the general public. The positive impact that this project has been able to have on individuals from more than 70 countries makes it an initiative that deserves any additional support it can obtain.

I look forward to a continued collaboration with the Homeless World Cup initiative and wish all participants the very best in this life-changing experience!”

I had the honor of meeting & spending time conversing with Wifried Lemke at the Beyond Sport Summit & Awards - he’s a “true believer” in the power of sport movement!

The 7th Annual Homeless World Cup kicks-off tomorrow/September 6th in Milan, Italy!

Got Hope?!

August 25, 2009 | Comment

I’ve had the honor of cultivating a friendship with Awista since 2006 when I learned about her amazing, life-changing, power of sport work via the 2006 ESPY Awards. We quickly discovered that we shared the same passion, intention and commitment to making a difference in the lives of others via sport & play. Awista was also gracious enough to share her story about sport & play’s impact on her personal growth and her lifelong chase (aka her Red Rubber Ball!) in my recent book, The Red Rubber Ball at Work.

More Inspiration Here…

Enjoy the read & enjoy your chase…

August 19, 2009 | Comment


The tone of irreverence, the Tutu chuckle that rises to a cackle, fills the air. The archbishop is on stage, and in his element. His interviewer, Michael Parkinson, a veteran British talk show host and sports writer, struggles to get a word in as Tutu works the audience of 500 people near St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

The theme is “Beyond Sport.” The room is filled with people who are on their own crusades and using sports beyond its simple goals of fitness and triumph. Some want to wean street gangs off lawlessness through rugby, or fight crime in Rio de Janeiro through boxing, or use soccer to educate kids on the dangers of land mines in Sarajevo.

“Beyond Sport” is a catch-all phrase used by a London-based organization to recognize what is going on beyond the playing fields. We hear social workers who give their all to use sport’s popularity and discipline to alleviate inequality and wasted human potential. Some, like Dikembe Mutombo, a former National Basketball Association giant from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Lucas Radebe, a former South African soccer captain, lend their fame to HIV/AIDS work in Africa.
Read More from Rob Hughes…

August 17, 2009 | Comment

On Day 3 of the Beyond Sport Summit & Awards gathering, Archbishop Desmond Tutu shared his wonderful insights & wit about sport’s role in assisting to bring the nation of South Africa together in 1995 & how sport will play a pivotal role in the overall transformation of South Africa. Sir Michael Parkinson shares in the banter with the archbishop. Enjoy!

Got Sport?!

July 27, 2009 | 1 comment

This video is adequate (at-best) when sharing the amazing passion, purpose, intention and commitment of my new BFF, Lewis Gordon Pugh - The Human Polar Bear. Environmentalist. Explorer. Swimmer.

I met Lewis at the Beyond Sport Summit & Awards event in London a few weeks back. Watching his video on Day 3 of the Beyond Sport Summit & Awards was inspiring, emotional and left me in awe of the human spirit and our capacity to endure seemingly insurmountable challenges/obstacles. Lewis’ video was a tremendous reminder to me of how courageous we can be - even a diminutive, fast, 6 year old boy in 1964.

According to a wise man: Courage is shown in acts, not in words; it is not bluffing, arrogance, or madness. A courageous man or woman is the one who dares to do what he or she finds is right, and bears the consequences of his or her acts—whether they are political, social or individual.


July 14, 2009 | Comment

2009 Winners

Congratulations to all the winners of the inaugural Beyond Sport Awards. The winning initiatives were named on the final day of the Beyond Sport Summit and, in the case of the Beyond Sport Community Awards, received £10,000 of funding each and a substantial package of technical support to help them grow and become sustainable.

The winners were chosen from the Awards Shortlist detailed below with representatives from each of the shortlisted projects flown to London for the three days of the Summit.

The winners were announced on the final day of the Summit, with the successful projects in the six Beyond Sport Community Award receiving funding and a package of support especially designed to aid them in becoming sustainable in the future.

The Beyond Sport London Legacy Award

In partnership with The Mayor of London and The Evening Standard, the Award celebrated the best project or initiative in London which uses sport as a vehicle for positive social change and provided a tangible legacy for Beyond Sport’s Host City for 2009.

A shortlist of 5 projects for this Award was announced on Monday 15th June with each project receiving an invitation to attend the Beyond Sport Summit.

The winning project was announced at the Summit during a special presentation ceremony, hosted by Mayor of London Boris Johnson, on the evening of Wednesday, July 8. The project received £60,000 worth of funding, provided jointly by Beyond Sport and the Mayor of London, over three years. And The Winner Is…

Having the opportunity to spend 3 days with the Awards Shortlist representatives was truly an honor for me. I was humbled by their commitment to changing lives for the better, inspired by their passion for sport and it’s ability to transform communities, and enlightened by their ability to get things done with guile, cleverness, and ingenuity.

A sincere, heartfelt thanks to all of the Beyond Sport Award Shortlist representatives for welcoming me into your special catalytic community!

July 02, 2009 | Comment

Dateline: July 7th - July 9th & beyond…
Locale: London, UK
The Moment: The Beyond Sport Summit
The Details: Beyond Sport seeks to celebrate and support any individual or group, from the grassroots to the global, with the goal to drive positive change through sport. We do this through the Beyond Sport Summit and Awards. The winners of the Awards will receive substantial funding, long-term support, and opportunities to network at the annual Beyond Sport Summit on July 7-9. The Official Shortlist has now been announced. Click here to find out more about the projects that have been identified to participate at the Beyond Sport Summit.

I will be attending this event all next week in London. It should be quite a special moment for me as I have the honor to partner with a clever innovation company, ?Whatif!, for the entire event. On Day 1 & 2, ?Whatif! and I will play the role of Host/Facilitator to the Beyond Sport shortlist social entrepreneurs and provide some teachable moments to further empower their work as human catalysts in their communities.On Day 3then I will host the Beyond Sport Awards with the founder of Beyond Sport, Nick Keller who is absolutely one of my kindred, catalytic spirits.

Here’s a bit more about Nick - Nick Keller is the Founder of Beyond Sport. It was a logical next step for someone who has spent nearly all his working life in sport. In 2000 he set up Benchmark Sport, an entrepreneurial sports company whose brands now include the Sport Industry Group (SIG), Square Mile Sport and Rugby ReUnion. During his career Nick has worked with, and consulted for, an array of blue-chip brands including Bloomberg, HSBC and Virgin Atlantic. He was awarded the Entrepreneurial Media Boss of the Year in 2003 and supports two London-based youth charities.

He has been inspired by sport since childhood and believes that as a restless fidgety pupil, sport was his saviour. Nick still enjoys tennis, running and cycling, and recently completed London’s Marathon and Triathlon. He didn’t enjoy either of these but he did have the idea for Beyond Sport in the shower after, for which he is eternally grateful to the pain, the cramp and the blisters.

Beyond Sport is a BIG moment for the sport for social change movement as human catalysts, thought leaders and business luminaries collide their points of view about the power of sport and engage in meaningful, call-to-action dialogue about sport’s capability to change lives!

A Ball Can Change the World!

June 24, 2009 | Comment

From the GAMECHANGERS website:

Architecture for Humanity and Nike are proud to announce the first recipient of the GAMECHANGERS funding to Skateistan, Afghanistan’s first co-educational skateboarding school. Skateistan works with young boys and girls between 5 - 17 years from all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. With funding assistance from a range of funding sources, Skateistan is undertaking the construction of Kabul’s first indoor skate park at Ghazi Stadium.

Learn more about this amazing sport for a better world project. Got Ollies?!

Got a project idea?! Go HERE!

May 27, 2009 | 1 comment

What’s a “Power of Sport Story?!”

It’s a story that transcends the particular game at hand—be it stick & ball, on ice, on grass, turf, or simply played in an alley or on a street corner with a ball & a makeshift goal.  In a power of sport story, “winners” don’t necessarily win the playoff or championship game; sometimes they are on the losing end on the scoreboard.  But their game is an “Inner Game,” a higher game, a spiritual game that claims a universal victory.

The power in these stories of sport is like an alarm clock, noisily waking people from a heavy slumber.  These moments grab your attention in a loud and profound way like the arena horn marking the end of a half, a referee’s whistle halting play, or a raucous crescendo of cheers from fans reveling in an unbelievable moment.Sport and play are the common denominators and planetary equalizers.  No matter where you look in the world regardless of political or religious system—we ALL play.  Therefore, stories of triumph over illness, poverty or handicap through the use of sport or play resonate throughout our world and help inspire change, and inspire action. The Power of Sport Story can change a life.

Read our latest Power of Sport story about Kevin Laue from the NY Times - he got offered a scholarship from Manhattan College this week!
Photog: Andrew Shurtleff for The New York Times

Human potential is boundless!

May 24, 2009 | 10 comments

(Here’s my AF basic training pic -circa 1980 - I’m in the front row with the big cheesy smile next to our drill instructor.)

Once again, Memorial Day celebrations will occur all over the nation on Monday marking a holiday that dates back to the late 1800s. There will be moments honoring fallen soldiers and celebrations commemorating a long history of many individuals who demonstrated personal sacrifice and commitment for the country. I’m a military veteran who gave 10 years of service in the Air Force, so this is a day that I always pause and reflect about my time in the military and to think about others who chose to serve in the armed forces.

Last Thursday I presented at the National Patient Safety Foundation conference in DC. The event was attended by hospital administrators from all over the country and some were from military hospitals. I had an opportunity to have several brief and pointed conversations with many of the personnel responsible for caring for the recovery of wounded military members from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. They all shared stories about the positive impact sports is having on the military men and women recovering from their wounds and injuries suffered in combat.

Their power of sport stories reminded me of my time in the service and it took me immediately to my time playing sports, soccer in particular, at the Air Force bases and Army posts where I was stationed during my 10 years. Sports created a great deal of esprit de corps for everyone. It was a great way to blow off steam, have a good time and be connected to our love for any game or sport no matter where we were stationed. As I was remembering my experiences with MWR programs (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) and how vital having a sports outlet was for me, I remembered some great stories I had recently read about men and women in the service today who are dealing with war-related, life-altering injuries and how sports are being used as part of their rehabilitation protocol.

So, I thought it would be fitting and appropriate to share some of stories about how sports are being used in a positive way for the men and women of the armed forces. Many soldiers, airmen and Marines credit sports with giving them much needed motivation to cope with their severe injuries sustained in battle. Many soldiers, airmen and Marines have been able to continue to enjoy their love of sport and play as part of the partnership between the Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Project and Disabled Sports USA and the Paralympic program.

Checkout some of the powerful ways that sports is being used as a “healing” catalyst for our wounded warriors below:

Fresh contenders for Paralympics—The Denver Post
“As much as 15 percent of the U.S. Paralympic team will be drawn from the 31,000 men and women disabled by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Cowboy-Soldier launches Wounded Warrior Sports Program—Army MWR
“Las Cruces, N.M.—Purple Heart recipient Spc. Jake Lowery officially launched the U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Sports Program with an inspirational team-roping performance at Denny Calhoun Arena on May 10-11.

Lowery, 26, of Fort Richardson, Alaska, lost his right eye and sustained massive head injuries when he was hit by an improvised explosive device that killed a fellow Soldier in Fallujah, Iraq, on Feb. 11, 2007.”

California Surfing!—Challenge Magazine, a publication of the Disabled Sports USA in partnership with Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Program.
“WWDSP partnered with the Naval Medical Center San Diego and Brooke Army Medical Center to offer a unique surfing experience. The Billabong Surf School, along with many other supporters such as Surfing Magazine, provided an incredible experience at Trestles Beach on the Camp Pendleton Marine Base.

More than a dozen patients were joined by their family and medical support staff to hit the beach and enjoy a weekend of relaxation and trying to catch the perfect wave. Surfers were offered tuition and inspiration by South African surfing champion Shaun White. BAMC patient Staff Sgt. Justin Lynn said of his experiences, â??Surfing all weekend really made the rehab progress. All around a great weekend. Thanks!’”

Wounded vet plays lacrosse after losing limbs (There’s great video, too.)—NBC Sports
“April 29, 2008: Five years ago, Lt. John Fernandez lost both his lower legs to friendly fire in Iraq. Today, he’s playing lacrosse and is hoping to inspire other wounded warriors.” 

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