SAMOA SPORTS FOR DEVELOPMENT PROJECT


This document describes a sport for development program designed to increase the participation of children, youth, adults and elderly people from 20-30 village communities in regular, quality sport and physical activities.

Samoa is one of four countries in the Pacific region to benefit from a targeted Australian Sports Outreach Program (ASOP) activity. The ASOP is a sport for development program aimed at using sport for individual and institutional development that contributes to social development. It is managed in collaboration between the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). The Strategy for the Australian Sports Outreach Program outlines principles and approaches that will be applied to develop quality activities that deliver valued and sustainable outcomes.

Goal and purpose
The Samoa program complies with the principles outlined in the joint strategy for the ASOP . The goal stated in this strategy and the overall goal for the Samoa program is:
‘Increased capacity to deliver inclusive sports based
programs that contribute to social development.’

The stated purpose of the Samoa program is:
‘Increased participation of village communities in regular, quality sport
and physical activities run by qualified village-based facilitators.’

Program outline
The program is a village based sport and physical activity program designed to encourage the whole community to get active. Regular sport and physical activities will be conducted by local facilitators for all groups in participating village communities, including:
• children
• youth and adults
• elderly
• men, women, boys and girls
• people with a disability.

To encourage commitment from village communities, consultations will be conducted to identify sports and physical activities they are interested in. An existing group or sport committee set up for the program in each village will put together a plan, identify local facilitators and coordinate the program. The Program Management Team will then engage National Sport Federations and other training providers to deliver training to local facilitators.

Village communities will be able to choose sport activities that are competitive or recreational. It is anticipated that training and recreational games will be conducted mostly during the week with sport competitions in and between different villages to be run on Saturdays.

Low impact physical activities, such as walking, swimming, aerobics, jazzercise, stretching and dancing will be conducted for elderly community members and those that are not interested in playing sports. Children will participate in the Fiafia Sports Program and traditional Samoan games conducted mostly in primary schools by teachers, and after school in places such as the local Pastor’s House by volunteers.

The program will commence in four villages from the same district in each of Upolu and Sava’ii (8 in total). Following the initial set up, the program will be extended in years 2 and 3 to at least 20 villages.

Program activities have been designed to contribute to the following outputs:
Output 1: National organisations and local structures support program activities.
Output 2: Social marketing program is delivered.
Output 3: Training providers supported to deliver formal training to local facilitators.
Output 4: New skills in running sport and physical activity programs are developed by members of participating villages.

Program benefits
The United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Sport for Development and Peace states that “well-designed sport-based initiatives are practical and cost-effective tools to achieve objectives in development and peace.” Research has demonstrated the direct role sport can play in advancing health and community development, advancing the rights of women, reducing anti-social behaviour, building community and national identity, achieving international recognition, fostering character development among citizens and contributing to economic development.

The program aims to achieve the following primary benefits:
• increased capacity of people from participating villages to manage sport and physical activity programs (including sport administration, planning, event/competition management, monitoring and evaluation)
• increased capacity of local facilitators to deliver regular, quality and inclusive sport and physical activity sessions.

In addition to this, potential social development outcomes identified by both government officials and village communities during consultations for the program were:
• improved health of participants
• increased skill levels of youth and women
• reduced social problems
• improved village cohesion.

Village communities will be encouraged by program staff to choose the social development benefits they want the program to either achieve or contribute to achieving. Activities will then be designed around these benefits. Consultations during the design process indicated that a key issue is the heavy burden placed on families, communities and the Samoan government by rising health care costs and poor health due to increasing levels of non-communicable (lifestyle) diseases.

Led by the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (MESC), the program aims to work with the Ministry of Health (MoH), the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development (MWCSD), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and sporting bodies to build on current physical activity programs, develop new strategies to promote sport as another active lifestyle choice and get people active.

A key component of the program is providing opportunities for local facilitators (including youth and women) to develop new skills by accessing recognised training opportunities. The program aims to engage MWCSD to enhance existing programs for youth, women and children and ensure the implementation of quality sport and physical activities that reflect community priorities through training and ongoing consultation.