Finlay (centre) during a CYSDP-organised workshop for athletes at the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa
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). This month, the spotlight is on Mr Finlay Batts.
Tell us about yourself and the work that you do.
In my role as Executive Administrator at WaterAid Australia, an international non-government organisation working to improve access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene for the most marginalised, I work closely with the Chief Executive who is passionate about the utility of sport to bring the organisation closer to achieving our goal of providing universal access to improving water and sanitation, but also water and sanitation actors elevating sport to provide leadership in the community. In this way, I work as part of WaterAid Australia’s integrated initiative on Sport for Development utilising expertise in business development, implementation, delivery, policy and influencing, and corporate relations to pursue a variety initiatives.
What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment in the SDP sector?
In my previous role at Volleyball Australia, I worked with the Fiji Volleyball Federation to engage women and girls in communities throughout Fiji to increase their levels of physical activity through participation in volleyball. The success of this work was rewarded by success at the Beyond Sport Awards (which recognise organisations and individual projects addressing social issues through sport) in the National Federation of the Year category, beating out the likes of the NRL, ITF and NHL. However this was not the greatest achievement – I was more proud of the approach taken in design and delivery that was completely determined by Fijian cultural norms and community expectations.
How has your involvement in the CYSDP enhanced your work?
The diverse experience of fellow CYSDP members has enabled me to exchange knowledge across different areas of expertise including inclusive sport, social inclusion and youth work. Furthermore, the youth network, spread across successful actors in the SDP space, has facilitated business development and partnership opportunities that may not have been possible otherwise.
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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