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Friday, December 16, 2011
CFP: Sports Symposium (Philadelphia, PA)
Sports Symposium 2012
Graduate School of Non-Profit Management
“Sports as Caring: Dimensions of Therapy and
Life Skills in Sports and Community Recreation”
DATE: Saturday, March 3, 2012. 10AM – 5PM.
LOCATION: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA.
Sports have for millennia served as a community building and social relationship enterprise. From the breadth of family game-time to competitive global Olympic competition, amateur athletics, to professional enterprises sports serve the human community as a means of life balance between work and play bringing people together culturally, socially, physically, and aesthetically.
Caillois in Man, Play and Games defines sports as “isolated from the rest of life” building a separate social location for one to live life. Play in its most raw form has no purpose except for pure leisure. Though organized games have objective rules and structures for play that provides boundaries for the execution of leisure, yet a world of “make-believe” (p. 9) still emanates in sports, setting it “against real life” (p. 11). Huizenga argued in a similar vein that games and play in this way counteract the idea that all of society is being immersed into a pure scientific worldview and lives for an objective rational life. We play and know that when we play we must be more than merely rational beings, for play is irrational. Indeed, sports are a challenge to the daily drudgery of life.
Emerging out of this play element is the use of sports as a tool for therapy and life skills development to care for people. For instance, across Americas’ inner cities we find organizations that use sports leagues as a means for counteracting gang culture. Compton United Soccer is playing at Kelly Park in the former heart of gang warfare in South Central Los Angeles, featured at last’s year’s symposium. Equestrian programs are active in helping in physical rehabilitation while providing the disabled children with activities to enhance self-esteem and social relationships. The recent tragic events of a death at the Winter Olympic Games brought this to the worldview as the chaplain and mental health networks combined to provide grief counseling and memorial to the athletes and fans. This symposium will discuss the various dimensions and tactics used by non-profit and professional sports organizations within these realms.Two primary outcomes relate to the sports as caring theme: therapy and life skills.
“Sports as Therapy”
This section of the symposium focuses on the means and practices of using sports as a tool for therapy of the whole person. Of particular interest are background programs in counseling, chaplaincy, disability service, physical rehabilitation, and fusions of psychology, sociology, and health. On an amateur, collegiate, or professional level, therapeutic programs are critical to the success of the athlete beyond expertise in a specific sports activity. This involves issues of injury recovery, psychological motivation and counseling, travel fatigue, disability, competition, and self-esteem.
“Sports as Life Skills”
This section of the symposium focuses on organizations and projects that use sports as a means for building life skills. Teamwork, coaching, mentoring, discipline, and education all combine to teach and motivate youth in particular to overcome obstacles and build neighborhood care. The intersections between crime reduction, increased school grades, and enhancement of family life and friendships are of critical importance in understanding how sports are a means to broader positive effects on the community. This section will present various creative means on how this is accomplished.
CALL FOR PAPERS, PRESENTATIONS, WORKSHOPS:
We invite papers, panel presentations, professional development workshops, and poster sessions on topics related to these topics, or other sports and community recreation presentations that fit within the broad criteria of the theme of sports as caring.
An abstract of 150 words and a short biography should be sent to Prof. Hans Tokke, Convener, firstname.lastname@example.org.