Morocco: Sport To Promote Positive Values Among Youth – OpEd


In October 2008, Morocco organized The National Conference on Sport. That major event was marked by the reading of the Royal Letter to the participants. The letter highlighted the importance of sport and its key role as an essential right of every citizen. It also underlined the paramount role of sport as an important lever of human development and for combating marginalization and exclusion.

To implement gradually this strategy the Moroccan government, through the National Human Development Initiative (NHDI), launched the building of new local sports facilities and funded sport projects for disadvantaged youth in poor neighborhoods and in rural areas.

These projects that offered a place for entertainment, relaxation and training for young people and contribute to their socialization and blossoming in the best possible conditions of coaching and security.

Societies all over the world, Morocco is not an exception, show concern about the growth in adolescent problem behaviors (e.g.delinquency, drug use) especially in disadvantaged neighborhoods due to the lack of sport facilities where the youngsters could practice their favorite sports as after school activities.

However, this endeavor to the benefit of youth would be incomplete if it neglected the development of the aptitude for sports. No efforts have been spared. Soccer, handball and basketball courts have been provided in many cities and towns. Multi-purpose halls and swimming pools have been either refurbished or newly built. Spaces reserved to sports clubs (karate, gymnastics) have been opened. The existence of these types of facilities have inspired young people to form associations to encourage others in those areas to foster positive development, while decreasing the risk of problem behaviors.

A totally positive strategy that will enable the youth to integrate through sport and to promote social inclusion and learn values of respect and tolerance. Their coaches and educators on site seek to empower young people with values of fair play, respect and many more. They tend to create social ties and instill positive values through collective sports. Positive efforts that will encourage socialization and improve self-esteem among youngsters. Undoubtedly sport can be a bridge to promote greater understanding within young people and help them to evolve positively.

Said Temsamani

Said Temsamani is a Moroccan political observer and consultant, who follows events in his country and across North Africa. He is a member of Washington Press Club.

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