– Nelson Mandela
To reach these ends, we have cultivated a dynamic network of experts and volunteers, ranging from coaches and players to university professors and physicians, all who share our commitment to impact communities around the world through sport.
Since 1992, SportForward has conducted a wide variety of sports projects in more than 60 countries. Along the way, we have learned valuable lessons about building meaningful cross-cultural relationships. These lessons-learned uniquely position us to create and support sustainable programs, where true progress begins and lasting change is achieved.
Encouraging societies where all citizens are valued and treated with mutual respect.
Inspiring the self-confidence and passion for individuals to pursue their dreams.
Supporting community learning and growth by sharing knowledge and skills.
Restoring hope and healing to broken communities, families, and relationships.
"We have an obligation to the abilities we DO have, not the disability."
― Jim Abbott, New York Yankees One-Handed Pitcher
Imagine being hidden away because you live with a disability. Maybe it is from birth. Maybe you were hit with shrapnel on your way home from school. Maybe the doctors made a mistake during a routine vaccination. Armed conflict and limited access to good medical care account for the vast majority of physical and intellectual disabilities in the world, particularly in the areas in which our work is focused. Living with a disability often comes with a stigma that prevents full participation in local society. Sadly, people living with disabilities are not the only individuals that are isolated from society; there are stigmas that accompany those living in poverty, those living in rigid caste systems, and those in ethnic or religious minority groups.
Sport is able to create space in all societies for people to belong, regardless of ability, wealth, or status in the community. We want to provide opportunities in sport that elevate these often over-looked groups.
Adaptive Sports Camps in Iraq
200+ youth living with disabilities
Sports: Wheelchair basketball, Ultimate frisbee, sitting volleyball, kickball, bocce
Lasting impact: Train-the-trainers program, mentored volunteers are continuing this work today
“Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness, heart, talent, guts. That's what little girls are made of; the heck with sugar and spice.”
― Bethany Hamilton, professional surfer
Suppose, as a little girl, it did not occur to you that girls could shoot baskets or play catch – that girls simply did not play sports. Perhaps you dreamed of playing for your country one day – but that was simply not allowed. Even if it was, your dad, brother, and friends may not be able to watch or even see pictures. This is the reality for women and girls living in areas where they are discouraged from sport participation.
In culturally appropriate ways, we seek to give them a voice and opportunities to play, so they can discover for themselves the fulfillment that sport brings.
Women’s basketball in the Arabian Peninsula
Sports: Basketball training, games, tournaments, and coaches training
Lasting impact: Train-the-trainers programs with local basketball coaches and PE teachers
“Looking after my health today gives me a better hope for tomorrow.”
― Anne Wilson Schaef, author & psychologist
It may seem like everyone knows that what you eat affects your health, but we cannot assume this “common” health knowledge is, in fact, universal. When all the passengers on a sinking ferry boat drown because they never learned to swim; when a sprained ankle leads to amputation; when teenage girls are obese and diabetic because they are not allowed to participate in physical activity – it is in situations like these that health & wellness education truly matters.
Sports is our answer to these challenges – it brings people together for fun and recreation, serving as a medium for teaching about exercise and physical health & wellness. Even something as simple as combining sport and hygiene in our programs can educate an entire community and change lives.
"Clean Hands. Clean Game." in Pakistan's largest IDP/refugee camp
6,000 displaced and refugee kids
Sports: Basketball and soccer tournaments combined with hygiene awareness and education
Lasting impact: Train-the-trainers programs for local mentors
“Sport has the power to change the world … Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.”
― Nelson Mandela, international statesman & peace advocate
Picture a community ravaged by flood or other natural disaster; picture a city torn apart by conflict and civil unrest. No matter the specific details, individuals affected by these tense and frustrating circumstances are forced to exist in survival mode, struggling to meet their basic needs. Those displaced by natural disaster need a release from these tensions to prevent conflict from arising, and even a simple pick-up soccer game can provide this. Those living in areas of conflict need more intentional efforts, bringing together youth from all sides to create opportunities for mutual understanding and cooperation.
Sport can bring hope and healing to communities in which lasting peace seems impossible.
Baseball Peace Clinic for Palestinian and Israeli youth
Participants: 40 Arab Muslims & 40 Israeli Jews
Events: Baseball training and scrimmage
Lasting impact: Ongoing baseball events at the baseball facility
Broce Manufacturing | Chick-Fil-A
Creative Vega | Dillingham Benefits
First Baptist Church Norman | Fowler Inc
Global Land Partners | GODSA
King Kopy | Landstar Homes
The Mont | Norman Optimist Club
OU HSC | Providence Road Church
Scott Sabolich Prosthetics & Research | SSASA
Sports Animal 98.1FM | Sports Talk 1400
Julia Chew State Farm Insurance
Sublime Signs | Transcript Press
205 East Main Street,
Norman, OK 73069