Johann Koss, former Olympian and founder, Right To Play (l.), and Sanjay Khanna, co-founder, Resilient People and Climate Change (r.) Photo: Nancy Zorzi, Right To Play
During the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, Sanjay Khanna, co-founder of the Resilient People and Climate Change, which in late 2010 will be launched as an international NGO to address the psychological and social impacts of climate change, met and interviewed Johann Koss, five-time Norwegian Olympic speed skating medalist, and Toronto-based founder of Right To Play.
Right To Play is an international NGO whose mission is “to improve the lives of children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world by using the power of sport and play for development, health and peace.” Its athlete ambassadors, some of whom are recruited from the Olympic movement with others recruited from professional sports such as hockey and soccer, visit disadvantaged areas in Africa, Asia and elsewhere, where Right To Play trains local coaches to use sports as a medium through which an environment can be nurtured in pursuit of long-term social, educational and health goals.
From a Resilient People and Climate Change perspective, Right To Play’s slogan — “Look After Yourself. Look After One Another.” — provides a simple, powerful and effective message of personal and social resilience that connects well with one of our aims, which is to promote self-knowledge, sharing and cooperation as ways to safeguard individuals and communities from the psychological and sociocultural harms that are likely to grow as climate impacts become increasingly severe.
Resilient People and Climate Change applauds the work of Right To Play and will follow it closely in the coming years — for inspiration and for potential areas where play can help to communicate within communities about wise and resilient ways to prepare for climate impacts.