by Alex Lichtig (SMBA ’16)
In conjunction with Escuela Universitaria Real Madrid, SDSU Sports MBA facilitated an interactive taskforce session at Doha Goals in Los Angeles. The session about diversity and inclusion in sports began with an intro from each of the three panel members. The panel discussed their various foundations and how they use sports as a tool for social change. The three organizations represented in the organizations were:
Fútbol Más –Fútbol Más facilitates social workshops for at risk and underprivileged youth via soccer.
Fútbol Más creates safe spaces for kids to play soccer and builds inclusiveness in communities in South America. By focusing on the positive side of sports and society, they are able to change a culture of differences into a culture of understanding and inclusion.
Urece – Anderson Dias, creator of Urece is a gold medal blind soccer player from Brazil. Through Urece, Dias creates awareness and acceptance for blind athletes. Urece encourages access to sports for blind people to allow sports to have the positive impact on their lives that so many people feel.
SIDOC – SIDOC has various programs including its successful soccer program in Cali, Colombia. The neighborhoods of Cali suffer from gangs, illegal drug trafficking and high levels of violence. Through various sites in the area, SIDOC provides places for youth to play soccer. They select coaches from the local communities to teach the kids and, with the help of family involvement, are able to transform community spaces.
After the in depth look at each of the organizations and the impact they are having in the community, each panelist explained a challenge their organization currently faces. SDSU Sports MBA Director Scott Minto (SMBA ’06) and Pedro Díaz Ridao from Escuela Universitaria Real Madrid then mobilized audience members into teams to generate ideas for the organizations to overcome their challenges.
Several ideas were generated by the audience member teams to assist the organizations overcome their greatest challenges. Although the short panel may not have been able to generate expansive solutions to the complex challenges presented, the important first steps of generating ideas were taken during the panel. Through dedicated support, these organizations will continue to change societies and cultures with the power of sports.