Israel has adopted the University of Brighton programme which uses football to bring together communities in conflict.
Football for Peace (F4P), which has operated in Israel, Palestine, Northern and Republic of Ireland, The Gambia, South Korea and South Africa since 2001, uses value-based coaching to break down barriers.
The announcement by the Israeli Sport Authority followed participation by PE lecturers from the University’s School of Sport and Service Management in a five-day ‘Sport for Life’ training event which involved 50 Arab and Jewish Israeli sports leaders.
The three lecturers were praised by the Israeli Sport Authority at the German Sports University based in Cologne, and each received commendations from the Regional Director for the Israel Ministry of Culture and Sport Gazi Nujeidat.
The three, Dr Gary Stidder, University pf Brighton’s Principle Lecturer, and Senior Lecturers Warren Smart and Simon Green, delivered training sessions based on the F4P curriculum and methodology.
Sessions included orienteering, trust games and problem solving activities as well as football, basketball and volleyball. The purpose was to provide values-based activities designed to promote trust, respect, responsibility, equity and inclusion in preparation for a large national event in Israel in June for boys and girls from different Arab and Jewish communities.
Dr Gary Stidder, Co-founder and Deputy Director of the ground-breaking F4P International, said: “It was an honour for all us to receive these award in recognition for our work with Football 4 Peace and the Israel Sports Authority.
“This is testament to the impact that values-based teaching in physical education can have on societies where there are deep social divisions.
“Football 4 Peace is a multi-dimensional research; education and social engagement platform that utilizes sport innovatively to deliver generic and bespoke ‘values-based’ palliative training and coaching programmes designed in and for areas suffering from high levels of cross- community conflict and various forms of political disorder and social disintegration.
“The F4P curriculum and associated teaching resources emphasise a holistic approach to the education of trainers and young people through a specific pedagogical model designed to promote emotional well-being, personal development and responsible citizenship.”