The “Friendship Game”

{Jane Lee}

I was never a fan of sports growing up as a girl since I was young. Sports for me has always been an activity to promote health and fitness. But today, my understanding towards this term went beyond how I perceived it to be. We explore how sports can be a tool for social change, and that’s a whole new level of conversation that I am exposed to. It talks about how social class and religion is not what we care about in the arena and how everyone shares the same right and rules when it comes to sport.

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In this speech given by Peace and Sports, there was a friendship game participated by 200 children from Burundi, Congo, and Rwanda, where everyone comes together to practice sports. With that, our ‘friendship game’ began in Young Pioneers’ and Challengers’ Meeting where everyone is being given raw material of only cardboard, plastic bottle, string, scissors and tape to play the sports of table tennis, chess and fencing. With the limited resources provided, our young creative mind managed to help us create ratchet for table tennis, sword for fencing, and human chess with different people acting as king, queen, bishops, knights, pawns, and rooks.

It was a unique experience for me as I have never imagined playing sports without the real equipment. Also, it took us a lot of discussions, collaboration and innovation to create a recycle item that works as good as the real equipment. All of us enjoyed playing the games, and I believed friendship has been forged in this process and we managed to understand each other better through ‘sports’ in this multinational participants group.

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Other than that, today we experienced the power of Yoga for about 30 minutes that allows our body an opportunity to stretch and our mind an opportunity to be refreshed. It was a full day of sport based activity as we explored how peace can be connected to sports and social business, which most of the times these 3 words are not exactly brought together for discussion. All these conversations were sparked to bring in ideas for Olympic 2024 which will be held in Paris.

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With that, it arrives at the end of the meeting between young people before GSBS. Even though every one of us is very young when it comes to our engagement and experience with social business, but we are very grateful to have forged this connection with like-minded people who all believe our collective role in bringing change for a better world. Even though it was the first time for me to meet everyone in the meeting, the connection feels warm coz we know we are all associated with social business. I wished this connection can be nurtured and we can support each other’s growth along the journey of venturing into social business in our respective country.

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