UG Sports Directorate Hosts Launch Of International Scientific Network For Sport For Development

Participants in a group photograph

The Sports Directorate of the University of Ghana (UG) has hosted the launching of the International Scientific Network for Sports for Development (INSD). The  ceremony took place during the 2nd Working Group Meeting of the INSD at the University of Ghana.

The launch ceremony was chaired by Prof. Kweku Osam, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Student Affairs) and Board Chairman of the University’s Sports Advisory Board.   Prof. Osam noted that Sports has become a social mobility factor and has helped a lot of people to climb up the social ladder. While maintaining the promince and potential of Physical Education and Sports Studies (PESS) in academia, Prof. Osam underscored the need to import all the intriguing anecdotes about sports into research and scientific based study.

He commended Dr. Bella Bello Bitugu, Director of Sports at UG, and all partners for their effort in developing the network of academic organizations and NGOs for the purpose of contributing to research and evidence based methodology in the field of Sports for Development.

Speaking at the launch, Prof. John Owusu Gyapong, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research, Innovation &Development), stressed on the University’s  preparedness to support the INSD initiative and also indicated that, the initiative has come at a time when the University is making immense strides to integrate Physical Education and Sports Studies (PESS) into its mainstream academic curriculum when the collegiate system takes off next academic year.

Mrs. Pia Feik who spoke on behalf of Deutsche Gesellschaft Für Internationale Zusammenarbeit ,GmbH (GIZ), gave an overview of the objectives of the initiative, which are to strengthen civil society actors in Africa and Germany active in the field of Sports for Development and to promote stronger commitment amongst these civil society actors by developing and implementing joint projects on a peer-to-peer level.

The Executive Director for the International Council of Sports Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE), Prof. Detlef Dumon accentuated that  the launch will forthwith, set the pace for members of INSD, to discuss the results of the mapping study regarding education, training standards and curriculum development for people working in the field of Sports for Development.

The overall aim of this partnership initiative is to further develop a global and multi-disciplinary network of academic organisations and NGOs for the purpose of contributing continuously to the advancement of Sports for Development projects, programmes and policies. Working towards a collection and analysis of different qualification standards, INSD also aims at developing an International Framework for Sport for Development Leaders for the purposes of advocacy, policy development, education and training, as well as implementation and evaluation.

In addition to the founding members of the Network, the International Council of Sports Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE), the German Sports University Cologne, the University of Western Cape, the Organisation of Rural Primary Education Developers, the Breakthrough Chiparamba Sports Academy and the University of Ghana, other stakeholders present included the Sports Advisory Board of UG, Management Committee of Sports Directorate, Ministry of Youth and Sports, National Sports Authority, Play Soccer, Right to Play and other experts.

The INSD was founded in September 2013, at the Transformation and Development through Sports Conference (TADS), hosted by the Sports for Social Change Network in Pretoria, South Africa and supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft Für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) , GmbH. The TADS Conference had been implemented in the context of the initiative ‘Commitment for Africa’, which was launched by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in 2012.