"Life Skills through Sports" Permeates the Daily Life of Two Boys

Wednesday 12 December 2012

Save the Children's Youth, Technology and Careers (YTC) program is a component of the Education Reform Support Program (ERSP), a USAID funded program in partnership with Creative Associates. YTC activities aim at building a framework of life skills to prepare students for the workforce through hands-on learning opportunities based on active partnerships between public schools and local businesses.

While many youth showed enthusiasm during the “Life Skills through Sports” (LStS) Festival that took place at Al Hashmiyeh Secondary School for boys in Zarqa, two young adolescent boys fondly share their experience throughout the program.

Life Skills through Sports (LStS), one of the programs included in the YTC component is a life skills development program utilizing team sports such as football, hand ball, basketball, and volley ball to help the students learn basic life skills that prepare them for life and employment in today’s knowledge economy.

Young children at “Life Skills through Sports” Festival, hold up flags reading different life skills taught by the LStS program.

Nour el Din Zoyoud and Gassem Al Batarneh both 16 year old students attending high school, have only been part of the program for one academic year, yet the apparent positive effect that the program had on them will last them a lifetime.
“I was always a shy kid at school and a stubborn one at home,” said Nour el Din, “But after the skills I learned here, I now participate confidently in class discussions and communicate with my family more. This made me gain their trust because they see my new sense of responsibility.” 

Save the Children has been working in Jordan since 1985. Our programs support affirmative civic action, and link young people to their communities and the growing knowledge economy. The “Life Skills through Sports” program works to improve youths’ communication, teamwork, problem-solving, negotiation and critical thinking skills. It also builds self-confidence. Save the Children’s Life Skills through Sports program has reached 13,520 both male and female students across Jordan so far.
Learning life skills such as, conflict resolution, time management, decision making, team work and communication skills through sports, Nour el Din and Gassem grasp these skills from the game and apply them to their daily life. 

“At our age, we rely on adults or family members to solve our problems for us, and one of the things I learned through LStS is how to make decisions, resolve conflict, and problem solving that allow me to take matters into my own hands and think maturely for myself, which is how I deal with things now,” said Gassem.

Boys participating in team building activities during the festival.

The outstanding progress of Nour el Din and Gassem is apparent in their improved relationships with their families, classmates and teachers. Ibrahim Zoyoud, a P.E teacher leading the LStS program at AL Hashmiyeh School said, “Gassem is now one of the most cooperative students in the program, he’s come a long way.”

Both Nour el Din and Gassem have ambitions of becoming engineers. “I like to help in building my country,” said Nour el Din. They believe that the skills they gained throughout the past year will put them ahead of others when entering the workplace.
Having made the link between LStS and daily life, both boys are teaching these life skills to family members, and other students at their school. Nour el Din, Gassem and their peers have gone beyond sports, transferring these life skills through social media and school events.

“We want to continue these skills as assistants to the teachers even if we are not part of the target group of LStS in order to pass what we learned to younger students,” said Gassem.
Confidence and responsibility is what the twice-a-week program engraved in Nour el Din and Gassem. Their dream of building their country is what the two boys have started by passing their skills to generations ahead. Save the Children continues its long record of developing, implementing and scaling up programs to improve living conditions of and opportunities for Jordanian children, youth, women and families.