When sport is more than sport – The Peace Team IC11

The Australian Football League’s (AFL) International Cup 2011 involves 18 male teams and 5 female teams from around the globe competing to become crowned the best AFL country outside Australia.

In 2008 a new team called “The Peace Team” entered the competition. The team comprises 13 Isreali and 13 Palestine players in its squad of 26. They have returned to participate in the 2011 competition (IC11).

This is no ordinary ‘footy team’ and the challenge of putting the team together is no ordinary challenge. Yet the team is here and made it through to the Division 2 semi-finals.

When asked why the team was created, team leaders reported that peace for their homeland was what they wanted. The complexities of creating the team has involved facilitated dialogue sessions because of the long and historic differences between Israeli’s and Palestinians.

I was recently asked, “Gary, when does dialogue work?”

“When all parties choose to dialogue and they share a common purpose, or are willing to discover one.” was my response. The Peace Team is an example of the power of dialogue. Imagine the dialogue that occured to create this team.

While the difference they are making might be small, it IS a positive difference none the less and shows what can be done at any level to improve our world when people have the courage to do so.

You can learn more about The Peace team here.

What efforts are you making to create a more peaceful world; at home, at work and/or in your local community?

Gary Ryan enables individuals, teams and organisations to matter.
Visit Gary at http://garyryans.com