Academic in Greece to promote unity through sport
21 April 2017
As part of the activities for the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace of United Nations (UN), Dr Dikaia Chatziefstathiou, Reader in Olympic Studies and the Social Analysis of Sport at Canterbury Christ Church University, worked with the Eleven Campaign to organise a weekend of games, competitions and talks in Athens, Greece.
The aim of the event was to promote the Eleven Campaign, a documentary about 11 children, 11 years old, from 11 eleven countries, who love football and send a message of unity through sport across the world.
Children from the Skaramangkas Refugee Camp in Athens, young players, their coaches and parents and several basketball and football academies, such as AEK, Panathinaikos, Platanias, Aris of Cholargos, all attended the event.
Dr Dikaia Chatziefstathiou, said: “Words cannot capture the emotions for the unique opportunity to live in practice what sport can bring in society through my involvement with the Eleven Campaign. My ongoing research has been on the values of sport and whether or how sport can leverage social capital and social inclusion.
“As a sociologist, I am always critical of the barriers that sport can actually put rather than remove. In this event I truly experienced the power of sport. I saw refugee kids, mainly from Syria and Afghanistan, to play football as a means for education, empowerment and integration. Their life is not easy and they need much more than a ball. But they deserve the right to play too.”