More than Just a Game: Football Vs. Apartheid

The title of the post is actually a title of a book. I wrote a post about it on my blog a while back, but there is an upcoming event at UBC, which has motivated me to post again.

Chuck Korr, a professor of History from the University of Missouri is at UBC on Thursday to give a talk titled “Sport and the Struggle Against Apartheid” as part of the Human Kinetics Guest Speaker Series.

The book itself, not to be confused with Lebron James’ book by the same title, tells of how the prisoners on Robben Island – the prison that was used during apartheid to hold political prisoners – organized and ran their own soccer league for a number of years. It details the political struggle that they had to go through to first have the ability to play and then to be able to organize and govern the league on their own terms.

I wont say much more since if you’re interested you should read it or come and see Professor Korr speak.

I believe it will be this Thursday at 12:30pm in Michael Smith Laboratories, 2185 East Mall, Room 102

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Shawn graduated from UBC a number of years ago when he completed a Bachelor of Human Kinetics, followed by a Bachelor of Education. Not really interested in toiling away in a particular school district in B.C., he decided to go abroad and ended up teaching P.E. in China. His last year coincided with the Beijing Olympics and seemed like a fitting way to conclude his time in Asia. Through work and travel experiences he took an interest in international issues and development and completed a Certificate in International Development through UBC Continuing Studies. Shawn returned to Canada and worked for a year as a teacher-on-call before deciding it was time to explore his interest in international development a bit more. He is now working in Lesotho (a small country inside of South Africa) on an HIV/AIDS project run by the Lesotho Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (LENEPWHA). The project has a sport-for-development component that is using soccer to reach out to, and provide services for, orphaned and vulnerable children. At the same time Shawn had also applied to start graduate studies at UBC and will officially start his MA this year. His posts will reflect his personal and work experiences in Lesotho, and the concept of sport as a tool in development.

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