As we all know, KPI is not just about sport. Our goal is to use sport for social change, in particular, gender equity. We believe the best way to introduce the gender equity discussion is through fair play. As you may have read in previous posts, our fair play attributes are respect, community, contribution, responsibility, and moral courage. Each month we focus on one of those attributes and it is weaved throughout our daily program. Eventually, as our coaches become more comfortable with our program and discussion points, we will start introducing topics, such as gender-based violence, AIDS, sugar daddy/momma issues.
All that being said, today’s blog post is going to focus specifically on sports and a few of our amazing athletes! One of the best parts about sport is gender-equity can be displayed without even having to have a conversation. For the next two weeks we are preparing for the KPI Track & Field Olympics and so will focus on running, hurdles, shot put, and discus.
This week we focused on running. We emphasized how to run short distance vs long distance and how to turn effectively without losing time or space. Three of our girls, Francoise, Delephine, and Lea were dominating! The boys were surprised to say the least. Delephine raced against John, one of our fastest boys, and was neck and neck with him the whole time. It was a lot of fun for the coaches to watch them compete and it was obvious that the boys were taking note. Delephine is an amazing runner. She is FAST!
If Delephine was in the US, she would be part of a track program without a doubt. But, here in Rwanda, such programs are very hard to find. Delephine’s school, Mwanabiri, is the poorest school in the sector. It does not even have a sports program. At KPI, Delephine has the opportunity to nurture her gifts and continue to improve as both an athlete and a person.
At KPI, every day, the kids have the opportunity to learn from each other and respect each other’s differences and strengths, both as athletes and people, just by playing. Sport is an incredibly powerful tool and we are so grateful we have the opportunity to share it with our kids in Gatagara.