The Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development and Peace Working Group (CYSDP) has grown tremendously within the past year, adding a number of new team members from across the multicultural Commonwealth. While you may be aware of the CYSDP’s mission and vision, it’s important to know who our members are. Every month we’ll introduce a CYSDP member to give you a deeper insight into the lives of youth leaders and practitioners in Sport for Development and Peace (SDP), starting with our chairperson – Ms Assmaah Helal.
Tell us about yourself and the work that you do.
As the Programme Coordinator of Football United and Operations Manager of Creating Chances, I project manage and oversee development and implementation of program activities and special events; development of facilitators, volunteers and youth leaders; establish and maintain relationships with various stakeholders.
In addition to my role as chair with the CYSDP I am on the advisory committee for GoActive which advises on best practice and delivers inclusive sports programs for women and girls from culturally diverse backgrounds. To keep balanced I play football and love all things nature and cycling.
What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment in the SDP sector?
I was the lead author and developer of Creating Chances’ sports education curriculum and programme, which was developed as a joint initiative of Rugby Youth Foundation and Football United at the University of New South Wales as Australia’s first social enterprise to use sport to make measurable impact in social inclusion, education, employment and health. I was also the co-author of the CYSDP’s SDP advocacy toolkit, which was fully endorsed by the Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport and has enabled hundreds of youth leaders develop their capacity to advocate for SDP issues in their communities.
Moreover, I contributed to an advocacy campaign that led to FIFA passing a law that allows wearing of head covers for religious reasons during football matches. This has allowed more Muslim women to compete in football.
How has your involvement in the CYSDP enhanced your work?
My involvement in the CYSDP has provided me several opportunities to enhance my capacity as a senior staff member in my organisation, and the work I do to contribute to sport for development in Australia and globally.
I have presented at various advocacy forums and significant events on SDP and delivered capacity building workshops to young athletes. These experiences have provided me with the skills to work in a variety of contexts with the ability to engage and network effectively with diverse stakeholders including youth leaders, community leaders, non-government and government officials, decision makers and policy makers.
My current role as chairperson is providing me with strategic development skills and opportunity to give our members the autonomy to lead on initiatives that enhance CYSDP’s mission. These skills and experiences are transferred into my work where I am better able to lead staff and volunteers to contribute to positive social change.
Follow Assmaah on Twitter at @assmaah
For more information on CYSDP, visit us at:
Website – http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/cysdp/
Facebook – Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development and Peace Working Group
Twitter – @CommYouthSDP
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