100 days to go: How Hosting the Olympics Can Help Drive Social Change.

With the Rio 2016 Olympics just around the corner, we at Play for Change want to look at how these ancient, ongoing games have enhanced the lives of people around the world.

Over the years, studies have shown that the Olympics provide many benefits to the growth of communities whether in the host country or other parts of the world. Here are some of the examples of how these mega-events inspire positive changes:

When bidding to host the Olympics, countries willing to do so emit confidence and openness which signals trade liberalisation (relaxation of government restrictions, usually in such areas of social, political and economic policy). This in return encourages more overseas business interactions, creating a positive rippling effect which, over time, helps stimulate global demand for millions of products or services around the globe.

As often stated, the Olympics are a mega-event which marks a country’s economic force, compelling others to treat the nation with respect and admiration. It also acts as a foundation for international friendship, bringing teams from all over the world together to compete for gold while adhering to the rules and regulations of each sport. In this respect, the peace-building power of the Olympics can also improve international relations, encouraging higher levels of trade and subsequently bringing about a positive change in countries’ economic performances.

After the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic events, it is safe to say that hosting these major sports events encourages drastic improvements in a country’s transport links and infrastructure. The pressure to meet high demands for these fundamental services provokes countries to act faster, developing transport networks which benefit their communities and increase the productive capacity of local businesses in the long-run.

Although it has been mentioned earlier today that the upcoming Rio 2016 Olympics are predicted to be ‘a great party with a garbage legacy’1, we think that the potential for it to be a catalyst for positive change is still there. It is this potential that drives Play for Change to use sport as a tool for improving children’s lives in disaster-stricken countries. Like the favelas of Brazil, there are disadvantaged communities around the world that need our help and Play for Change wants to do its best through the sport programmes it provides.

So please help by donating and supporting our cause, and together we can all continue to use sport as a tool that inspires national socio-economic improvements for children around the world.

Written by Aaron Jay-Chelliah



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1 ‘It will be a great party, with a garbage legacy’