Since its conception in (2006), Sports Without Borders has established itself as a mainstay in the sports and not-for-profit sectors of Victoria, doing innovative work that has been praised the world over. However, there are many other international institutions, groups, and organisations who are doing great and similar work in the ‘world community’ in these important areas.
Sports Without Borders has been in recent contact with some of these organisations and has found a real synergy in vision, activities and philosophy.
Sports Without Borders Sweden
The founder of Sports Without Borders in Sweden (not affiliated with SWB here in Melbourne), Admir Lukacevic, started a movement in Landskrona and has received funding which includes a scholarship from The King's Young Leadership Foundation.
In an approach that gives children and adolescents power over their own lives through leader-led sport, it’s based on initially introducing Sports Without Borders as an organisation and a chosen leader in their sports classes. As the project gains momentum and new leaders are recruited from among the young people, the project spreads to new residential areas.
This approach is not dissimilar to leadership capacity building activities in the Australian Somali Football Championships that SWB sponsored in December 2010. The City of Moonee Valley and the Somali community got together and established leadership programs around this event. Sports Without Borders in Melbourne will continue to develop leadership capacities for young people and consult with other organisation about the best practices and approaches in these areas.
An article on SWB Sweden
Peace and Sport
The message Peace and harmony is spread through the Olympics and other sporting events locally and internationally. Peace is engendered into sport by sportmanship as different nations come together to celebrate a common love for the sport they play.
Under the official patronage of Prince Albert II of Monaco, the international organisation Peace and Sport works towards fostering tolerance, respect, social stability, reconciliation and sustainable peace through structured sport teaching in young generations, particularly in disadvantaged areas of post-conflict zones and extreme poverty.
Peace and Sport is currently delivering sports programmes aimed at the re-integration of youth, focusing on street gangs, in Dili, East Timor. Begun in February 2008, the programme is aimed at providing national unity by empowering youth through sports and therefore allowing them to socially re-integrate and work together in a non-violent way.
Sports Without Borders’ head of Community and International Development, Anne King, recently attended a Peace and Sport conference, resulting in SWB signing a major partnership agreement to deliver sustainable projects in Australia through sport practices.
Peres Centre for Peace
The Peres Centre for Peace, founded in 1996 by President of Israel and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mr. Shimon Peres, undertakes many activities to build bridges to new and nurturing relationships between Israelis and Palestinian. The centre quotes, ‘Sport has the unparalleled ability to transcend barriers of language, politics, and religion and can thus be a powerful peace-building tool’.
One of the ways in which they do this is through sports programmes, such as their "Twinned Peace Sport Schools" program, which assimilate the sides, promoting ties between Israeli and Palestinian youngsters through sport training (football or basketball) and peace education.
In 2008, Sports Without Borders was involved with the Peres Centre for Peace when their combined Palestinian and Israeli football “Peace Team” which visited Melbourne to participate in the AFL’s International Cup. SWB showed great care by hosting the team and providing support and expertise for international visitors. SWB Chairperson James Demetriou had a hand in managing the team and training the players also providing advice that was very important to the success and harmony of the team's stay in Australia.
The team is currently having tryouts to attend the 2011 AFL International Cup in Melbourne. Fingers crossed they can get the necessary funding and support for another trip to Australia and SWB can play a part.