A new collaboration is emerging with Barbarian Rugby Football Club in Bogota, Colombia, which has been using the University of Brighton’s Rugby for Peace curriculum and methodology to bring its community together.
A group visited the programme and began formalising relationships in June 2018 and this July Dr Gary Stidder and Dr Tom Carter from the School of Sport and Service Management visited to work with the Fundación Buen Punto. Established in 2014 the Fundación Buen Punto’s objective is incentivising sport, and reaching children and young adults that find themselves in unfavourable situations with limited resources, or with some form of physical or psychological disability, and who are at risk of exclusion from society.
Fundación Buen Punto use internationally, academically-proven values-based project methodology to build community relations and provide life-changing opportunities. Sports currently include surfing, Rugby Union and Australian Football. They structure and manage projects in former conflict areas in Colombia such as the Chocó, with the support of individuals, private sector and national and international development agencies.
During the course of the week 60 coaches and teachers were trained with a festival at the end of the event for 340 children, 60 of whom had additional learning needs or disabilities.
Rugby and Football 4 Peace co-founder and Deputy Director Dr Gary Stidder said: “Over the past 18 years Football and Rugby 4 Peace International has developed a multi-dimensional research, education and social engagement platform that utilises physical education and sport innovatively to deliver generic and bespoke ‘values-based’ palliative training and coaching programmes designed in and for areas suffering from high levels of cross-community conflict.
“It is just as relevant in South America, and in particular countries such as Colombia, where there are various forms of political disorder and social disintegration.”