There are many reasons to be passionate about sports charities. Everyday they are helping under-served youth and communities, while bringing people together through sports that are known across the world. It wasn’t too long ago when former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright met with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-il all because she brought along a signed Michael Jordan basketball. Kim Jong-il was a diehard basketball fan, who knew that would make the difference? Even at the highest level of government sports can be used to create peace around the world.
A charity that I am passionate about and see real change coming from is Project Air. Their mission is to use yoga to relieve some of the pain that comes with trauma in the wake of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. The organization’s main focus is on HIV+ women and children, using yoga to help them seek a healthier and happier life. Yoga has mental healing effects unlike any other sport. It is not about winning in the slightest, but about one’s personal journey with body and soul.
I have grown up with a yoga-loving mother and have met amazing people through yoga classes and retreats with her. One experience that stood out was when my mother and I stayed at an ashram in Maryland for a week. With a few other yogis we woke up every morning for three hours of yoga preceded by meditation in the afternoon. One afternoon half way through the retreat our yoga group sat in a circle atop a hill on the ashram. We went around sharing with the group what our emotional and physical setbacks were, how we could move past the things that had plagued us in life so far. For one woman in her forties that was the relationship with her mother, for an older man it was his wife who passed away from cancer. Next we gave our attention to a young man in his twenties. He smiled before speaking of what held him back. He told us of his tours in Iraq as a soldier. The hurt and pain he and the rest of the soldiers had seen was enough trauma to change them. He believed that the yoga training he had before going to Iraq had given him a different perspective and peace that the other soldiers didn’t have and he wanted to help create a program that would show these other men and women how to deal with trauma during and after war. I hope he has found a place like Project Air.
Sports like yoga have made a real difference in the lives of those dealing with poverty and other forms of trauma. For this young man it was evident how powerful the practice of yoga was for him.
Recently, we have made upgraded many of the features on YungPost as well as added a number of new ones. All these tools are designed to give you a better understanding of our message, and how you can now get involved with our cause. It’s important that you guys can make a difference, as we need everyone’s help to spread our message across the globe.
Get Involved Page:
Our biggest new feature is the Get Involved Page. On the page, you are now able to make a difference and help YungPost and charities that use sports for social change reach the whole globe. Here are the updates:
Recently, we have been able to get 2 interviews with individuals in Hong Kong who have worked with charities or organizations that use sports to change lives. Mr. Li Tak Nang gave us insight into the Homeless World Cup organization, which helps marginalized people through the power of football. He talks about the success of the organization, and how he has helped start a local league based on the similar ideas in Hong Kong. Mr. Victor Li talked about his work with the Hong Kong Paralympic Team as a rowing coach. He describes a few success stories and how working as a coach for the disabled changed his life.
Thank you for your continued support of YungPost! We will continue improving on the site, and will keep you guys posted on our progress!
Copyright © Palestine MMA
Despite a gallant effort, Palestinian boxers get a sharp dose of reality at ‘The Al Baq’aa Club International Championship’, which was held at the Arena Stadium – Sports City, Amman from 26 April – 1 May, 2013.
Palestinian boxers were outclassed in every division and according to Palestine MMA Boxing Coach, Nader Jayousi, it has got nothing to do with a difference in talent, but everything to do with lack of preparation. Team Palestine was assembled just weeks before the tournament and received no funding support from the local governing body.
Palestine MMA provided a $500 grant to Islam Irshaid and coach Nader Jayousi to assist with their travel expenses, without the grant, both would not have been able to compete, missing an invaluable learning experience
Coach Jayousi made a harsh assessment of the technical standard of Palestinian boxers insisting, “Palestinian boxers are way behind the rest of the Arab world, our boxers do not have the experience nor preparation to be able to compete on an even playing field”. Jayousi suggested that both the Jordanian and Iraqi teams looked dominant – “ You have to understand, the Jordanians conduct regular training camps in Cuba and Kazakhstan and the Iraqi’s get regular experience competing and sparring with world class fighters at international level – we don’t get those opportunities” he added.
Jayousi, on his technical assessment of the team’s performance highlighted the realities of what needs to change if Palestine was to become competitive at an international level. Although there is a large contingent of very talented boxers in Palestine, the local infrastructure, expertise and support currently doesn’t exist and a serious investment needs to be made in the future if we want things to improve.
Palestine MMA was established for this reason and coach Jayousi has been working with local and international professionals to put the foundations in place to ensure sustained success at all levels in future.
“I would like to thank Palestine MMA for the grant they provided for both Islam and myself, it really provided us with the opportunity to get some international experience” said Jayousi. “We have now began the review process with Palestine MMA Director, Michael Dahdal, to see what we need to put in place in the next 12-24 months to be more competitive” he added.
“Islam and Nader only managed limited preparation for this tournament, since they were only notified a couple of weeks before hand” said Palestine MMA Director, Michael Dahdal. “It really is a whole system that needs to be improved, breakdowns in administration and planning are just as significant as the coaching and athlete preparation”. We have a saying in Sports Development, Dahdal added; “a team is only as good as the organisation behind it – and I think that’s true”..
Palestine MMA is currently continuing its work in trying to establish a training facility and programs in the West Bank to support our future athletes, coaches and administrators.
Palestine MMA is Non-Profit initiative
*Islam Irsheid was supported by coach Nader Jayousi (Palestine MMA) who also attended the championship.
Reblogged with permission from Palestine MMA
Although the Palestine Boxers did not achieve winning results, the fact that Palestine sent competitors to the tournament is a commendable achievement. Of the 6 Palestine participants, one was from Palestine MMA. We hope that Palestine MMA will continue to produce more top class martial art athletes, as its clear through their mission and vision that their participants are both talented athletes and caring citizens.