Value Education Through Ultimate Frisbee, One All Trust Chennai
Updated: Aug 4, 2019
Based in Chennai, One All is an NGO that aims to create strong value system through Ultimate Frisbee among youth, irrespective of their background, caste, age and gender. Children and young adults are guided to apply these values to develop life skills.
Bridging Social Gaps through Frisbee
Growing up under circumstances where preservation of “me and mine” is primordial and aggression is the primary language of self-defense, children mimic the behavior of their elders and swearing, bullying and violence is accepted as the norm, making the children vulnerable to adult and peer abuse.
One All aims to bring about change at the grassroots level to promote value education and interpersonal harmony, cascading this change right across the community.
Frisbee is a less heard of sport, but it is an easy game to understand using simple equipment, which is the Frisbee. It is a sport of camaraderie and communication; it is a self-refereed, non-contact sport where players must avoid contact, leaving no scope for violence or cheating. Each player is responsible for him/herself, unlike other games such as dodgeball and football. Therefore, it promotes accountability and responsibility, immediate conflict resolution though amicable communication, decision making, gender equality and bonding. It is a practical method for children to learn their values and apply them in their daily lives.
Frisbee is a mixed gender game with 7 players in one team, consisting of 3 boys and 4 girls or vice versa. This helps in ensuring that each team member knows and encourages the strengths of their fellow mates, irrespective of any bias. Furthermore, teaching Frisbee to kids as an unknown sport ensures that no one has an advantage over others, as they are all beginning on the same page.
One All believes that children are more malleable and open to accept change, and through them, gradually the entire community will be impacted. Currently, One All manages 5 schools with 30-80 children per school and 1 community with 7-10 girls and 15 boys, along with children from the tribal community.
There are several issues One All is hoping to address, including the following: a) Influencing the gender inequality in the community by encouraging the boys and girls to play together with respect and acceptance. Though it has been an uphill task, they have managed, over time, to convert parent perceptions and enroll girls and to knock down the “taboo” barriers and inhibitions of girls when they play with boys
b) Teaching the children to question stereotypes and making them understand that boys and girls can do everything
c) Convincing parents that their young girls are safe and will not become targets for men on the beach when they play.
Children now rush home from school to come out to play!
To fulfill the larger purpose of change in community, One All also conducts home visits to stay close to the parents to understand their problems and needs and ensures that no one drops out. One All also runs capacity building programs for volunteers and also conducts
teacher training programs in schools.
We met the team of young founders and volunteers of One All, in Chennai, just before a One All session at the nearby beach. Their love for Frisbee as a sport and their dedication to change the community and make them more accepting through the sport was clearly evident.
They shared their journey with us, described the challenges, the persistence and determination constantly required to reach out to the community.
We witnessed the warm-up exercises which had several decision-making games, observed them motivating each other regardless of gender, heard them discuss their feelings on situational perceived wrong. Change begins with the first step and One All has taken it.
After the Frisbee session, the children had a fun game of dancing and forming groups for mingling together. Their laughter ringing in the air as we walked back after saying our goodbyes is an indicator that their care is already showing a soft impact.
One All is to works with one private school and one public school at the same time, and through the collections from private schools and donations, enrolls new public schools and communities.
One All has designed a very impacting curriculum that integrates life skill development with sport and is complementary to conventional education systems, implemented in several schools and a community.
One All aims at increasing its footprint and ramp up its capacity development program for extended reach of its mission and is a cause worth supporting.