Lima, Peru, which will host the IOC’s 15th World Conference on Sport for All in April, has already embraced the concept of Sport for All, with initiatives flourishing throughout the city.
Successful projects include the Complejo Deportivo Villa Maria del Triunfo – a large sports complex in a deprived area of the city, which is run by the Peruvian Sports Institute. The facility runs programmes for individuals of all ages and reaches approximately 17,000 young people per year, who enjoy participating in sports such as karate, football, volleyball and swimming.
“The Peruvian Sports Institute agrees with the idea of promoting sport as a healthy and positive lifestyle in society,” explains Francisco Boza, President of the Peruvian Sports Institute. “Our job is to promote sports development as a fundamental tool for societal inclusion in our country.”
Fostering social development
Elsewhere, the Estadio Matamula football academy uses football to teach young people, aged between four and 12, about social values, such as teamwork, in order to prepare them for later life.
In Miraflores, meanwhile, the Adulto Mayor initiative, run by Miraflores Parque Reducto, sees a variety of activities taking place specifically for elderly people, including Tai Chi sessions and walking groups.
“Sports are not only for entertainment, they are also an occasion for exchange and understanding among people of diverse backgrounds and beliefs,” explains Jorge Muñoz, Mayor of Miraflores. “This is why I am convinced that sport is a vital key for social development and cohesion.”
‘Practising sport is a human right’
One of the largest Sport for All initiatives in Lima is the Villa Deportiva, located in the port of Callao. This state-of-the-art sports complex provides free facilities for the community, many of whom are on low incomes, and is used regularly by more than 14,000 people. It was built to address issues such as health and education in the local area, which suffers from gang-related crimes, especially among young people. By providing a safe place for Callao’s youth to participate in sports such as swimming, basketball, wrestling and gymnastics, the facility has helped reduce crime in the area.
“Practising sport is a human right and one that we are actively pursuing here in Peru,” explains Iván Dibós, IOC member in Peru. “Sport for All is having a substantial positive impact on levels of physical activity in Peru.”
Sam Ramsamy, Chairman of the IOC’s Sport for All Commission said: “Sport for All means a healthy life and helps to combat health problems like obesity, which is considered a serious health problem around the world.”
Sharing best practice: 15th World Conference on Sport for All
Lima will host the IOC’s 15th World Conference on Sport for All from 24 to 27 April, bringing together some of the leading experts in the field to share their best practices. As part of the Conference, participants will also have the chance to visit the Sport for All initiatives flourishing in Lima.
For more information on the 15th IOC Conference on Sport for All, visit sportforall2013.org