Sport for most of us is an important part of our everyday lifes, beloved hobby and joyful amusement. But sport can be so much more. The Germany-based organisation ONE TEAM shows to the world how important sportive activity is for young people worldwide and what training and playing together means for the future of children near and far. An awesome project which EMERALD BERLIN supports with a brand-new statement-collection.
A few years of soccer-practice, karate-lessons up to the orange belt, for years of basketball, even a summer of tennis-lessons – having such options as a kid seemed a normal thing. Trying out so many different sports in my youth was a lot of fun – and my parents were relieved to have some hours a week for themselves. During those years I spent a lot of my spare time on the skateboard, collected a whole lot of bruises and destroyed my best set of pants. (That meant trouble!) Around the corner of where I lived back then, there was a skate-pool, a few ramps and rails on a playground. If the weather was good enough one could count on everyone hanging out there. Always with me: my brother and a whole bunch of kids from the neighbourhood.
"Had I not had sports I would surely have used my free time and energy for all kinds of mischief."
How many wonderful hours I spent with my friends, how many victories and defeats I experienced with them and how many times my mom was mad when we came home late from playing ball, cloth all dirty, all of those memories I will forever cherish. How strongly all of this affected my character and me personally can be hardly overestimated. Had I not had sports I would surely have used my free time and energy for all kinds of mischief. One very special moment I remember vividly. It was shortly before summer holidays began. My basket-coach gave me the key to the training ground and said to me smiling: “I don’t want to hear any complaints!” Those were by far the best weeks of my young teenage life.
Sports for everyone?
What seems to us so weirdly self-evident and normal remains but a dream for most people in many regions and countries around the world. Enjoying sports where and when you please? A real luxury you must be able to afford. In many countries of the world it begins with the fact that even young people spend their time working. Those who live in real poverty don’t have no free time like we are used to. In many cases the younger generation even lacks the time and money to go to school. Doing sports or having frequent training-lessons in a sports-club is unthinkable. The schools in less rich countries are also nowhere near as well equipped as the ones we went to.
"What was just a normal part of life to me and my friends, was really a privilege and not “normal” at all."
And even if time was not the issue: the fantastic opportunities sports-associations and public sporting fields are offering us, those are basically unknown in most countries you can think of. Seeing attractive sportive activities as something normal? Think again! Often doing the sport of your choice doesn’t really work without the right equipment – which needs to be payed for. Tennis rackets, soccer balls, dumbbells, fitnesstracker, running shoes – that’s what it takes sometimes. No need to say that the money for this is usually lacking. In short: what was just a normal part of life to me and my friends – enjoying victories together, dealing with defeat, developing team spirit and leaving school-stress on the playground near-by – was really a privilege and not “normal” at all…
“Our vision is to use the power of sports!” (ONE TEAM)
Sport as a great chance
A very special non-profit-organisation from Germany recognized this very fact and helps organising bombastic sports-events for kids and young adults around the world. “Our vision is to use the power of sports”, write the voluntary employees of “ONE TEAM” on their website. What’s behind all this? The Frankfurt-based organisation started in 2017 as a social-start-up making dreams come true. Offering sports, education, health and equality through events, tournaments and workshops to young people – that’s their mission. Today the organisation is running active programs in six countries and reaches more than 2.000 kids with a variety of different sports opportunities. In other words: they are working to make a beautiful dream become reality – and open up new horizons for everyone involved.
"That’s the power of sports: it helps us find ourselves and gives us a new positive attitude."
“Experiencing team spirit, discovering one’s own talents, just being a child for once: all of that can be achieved by sports. But those who have to grow up in poverty not only have restricted access to education, skills training and health programs but also to sports”, explains ONE TEAM. This is where the founder Benjamin Pahlich, his 10 voluntary co-workers and many many other supporters start their work. One look at the ONE TEAM homepage is enough to see how incredibly powerful the experience is which the organisation offers and how much joy and energy the sports-projects in Namibia, Bhutan, Honduras or Tansania set free.
Looking into the faces of this kids and young adults you find pure enjoyment and happiness. The often difficult and demanding everyday lifes of these youngsters, their worries and struggles, everything seems forgotten. At ONE TEAM-events the participants are not only having a lot of fun and get to know new people and new types of activities. Much more they are getting to know themselves a lot better. That’s the power of sports: it helps us find ourselves and gives us a new positive attitude.
Experiences for life
Discovering one’s own talents and skills and showing what you can do at a public tournament, that’s where some of our most precious childhood-memories were made. Such experiences can change a persons life, his or her self-esteem and give hope and optimism. And even more so: Sport has the power to chase away negative thoughts, it’s one way of getting kids off the streets and teach them the right values. And that’s exactly what ONE TEAM wants to achieve. Respect, discipline, team-spirit, - all of these virtues can benefit those young people on their life journeys and give them a strong backbone for all the challenges ahead. In less fortunate regions of the world it often is this type of motivation which makes personal development possible. That’s why sport is so important.
"social skills, environmental protection, health education, sustainability and many other topics are being combined with sports activities."
One short clip on the ONE TEAM homepage shows teenagers of all age groups in Ruanda skating, playing basketball, football, handball and showing off some of their incredible skills in dancing and acrobatics. The atmosphere at these events: indescribable. And if it was only about sports and having fun, it would already be a great idea. But it is in fact about so much more: social skills, environmental protection, health education, sustainability and many other topics are being discussed in a playful manner and combined with sports activities. This is how the projects of ONE TEAM lay the groundwork for educational success.
Some of the projects focus on supporting girls and young women who in many cases are being disadvantaged and marginalized even more than boys. ONE TEAM explains: “In a safe space those young people can enjoy their favourite sports and learn something valuable about everyday life, for example about how you prevent an HIV-Infection or about climate change. They are getting empowered to become agents of social change – and thereby they take part in shaping their societies sustainable development.”
Local roots, boundless happiness
What an NGO from Germany can do when it cooperates with local groups and associations in the project countries, that’s been shown by ONE TEAM in an exceptional manner. Having a lasting and sustainable impact on the region, that’s what the organisation is all about. Support for the sports-projects therefore is always long-term. Donations made by supporters are used by ONE TEAM according to the 80-20-principle right where the money is needed: “for example to organise trainings and tournaments, for maintenance of sports fields and equipment and pay the salaries of professional coaches”. In addition the local economy is supported by “buying sports supplies at local shops”. A great number of professional athletes has already joined ONE TEAM as ambassador and helps get the message out into every corner of the sports-world.
"ONE TEAM does not only contribute to the United Nations Development Goals but also helps the whole of society to build a better future."
To motivate German businesses and companies to support sports-projects for kids around the world ONE TEAM has developed a number of good ideas which also benefit the corporations and allow them to show-case their corporate social responsibility. Why not have a crowdfunding-campaign or a network-event and thereby collect donations for ONE TEAM? Sports equipment manufacturers and shoe companies support ONE TEAM for example by donating 1€ to the cause per sold item.
Through this type of fundraising and intelligent public relations many young people were supported and given the chance to enhance their personal development. This way ONE TEAM does not only contribute to the United Nations Development Goals but also helps the whole of society to build a better future. Empowering the next generation and making them strong for all that comes ahead, that is sustainability in its most effective form. And who does not want to become a part of this movement and help out?
"If you’d like to support ONE TEAM have a look at our collection on our website and tell your friends and family all about this wonderful project."
EMERALD BERLIN is thrilled to help ONE TEAM with our very unique campaigning-strategy to become even more popular and successful. To achieve this goal we have teamed up with the fitness- and lifestyle-blogger Lauralamode and created a fashion-collection which aims on making the organisations message even more popular and visible on social media. Be sure to check the Instagram-Account @Lauralamode! As always YOU are the most important piece of the puzzle. If you’d like to support ONE TEAM than have a look at our collection on our website and tell your friends and family all about this wonderful project. What piece of our collection do you like the most – and why? Tell us in our comment-section! We thank you for all your help and we count on you!