2017 - Croatia

Croatia for me was an amazing experience and when I think back to the time we, World at Play, spent there one moment really stands out for me. We did some great work individually with each of the three homes we went to however the session in the park where we combined the users from all three homes really highlighted how sport and play can change peoples lives. It was incredible to see teenagers and children of different ages, backgrounds and homes come together to play as one in a huge game of Tug of Strength. We carried on to play a massive game of football and we even saw some of the teenagers teach the children some of the games we taught them, such as American football. For me this was amazing to see as it proves that combining these individuals from different marginalized communities ignited the compassion in all of them, regardless of who you are we can all learn together through sport and play.   

We also experienced great revelations in our session with the homes individually. Our sessions at the teenagers home was primarily high octane competitive sport and I, as a female who has previously had little experience in football, entered feeling nervous about running these sessions. However, I was surprised to find that by the end of our time there the male teenagers wanted me on their team. In particular, on the last day we were there one of the older boys called me out to play on his team for a great game of football tennis. I hope that my participation in these games helped break some stereotypes about girls in sports for these young men and now I am fully confident for future sessions similar to these.

Dan and Christina