Peaceful Society is one of the 6 Social Focus Areas that Laureus Sport for Good provides funding and support to enable programmes to tackle, aligned to the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs).
Laureus’ objective in this area is to resolve conflict, promote community peace-building, and creating safe spaces for young people and children. Sport has a strong history of being used to fight conflict resolution and promote community peace-building. Where there are divisions, sport can channel violent urges in individuals into more constructive endeavours. It is a proven architect for peace.
Case Study – Dean McComb – Active Communities Network (UK)
“When I’m in the ring, I feel alive,” says Dean McComb.
Growing up in one of the most disadvantaged communities in West Belfast, Dean and his group of friends were among the most disengaged in the city as young men. They were expelled, barred and forgotten.
They were threatened and shot at but with the support and guidance offered by Active Communities Network, Dean and his friends were able to make positive choices that kept them out of serious trouble.
Dean along with his brother, Gavin, fell in love with the sport of boxing at an early age. It offered him structure, discipline, and was a skill he picked up quickly.
Dean’s life took a tragic turn when he was hit by the crushing news of the sudden death of his brother, best friend and fellow boxer Gavin. “We grew up loving boxing together, always competed against each other, and then Gavin took his own life,” Dean remembers. “Going back to the boxing club wasn’t the same, because of the bond we had with each other in the gym.”
After four or five tough years away from the sport, Dean built up the courage to get back in touch with Active Communities Network once more, this time with an aim of giving something back.
Today, Dean is a volunteer boxing coach with the organisation in Belfast, and he has shown incredible courage, resilience and fight to return to the sport himself. A man who has been dealt more blows than most is back in training, ready to focus on a positive future both in and out of the ring. “I got back into the sport by helping out with the youngsters,” says Dean. “It relit a fire and I started boxing again, I missed the adrenaline. Boxing makes me feel positive and motivated.”
Annual Review 2019 – Inclusive Society Headline Facts
In 2019 alone, as a direct result of Laureus Sport for Good funding and support:
95,738 participants in Peaceful Society programmes in 2019
83,366 enjoy positive, non-violent and constructive relationships with each other
35,665 accept and respect diversity of opinions and values in their community
40,448 report increased trust