Chengdu Sports Aid
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Chengdu Sports Aid (CSA) is group of volunteers, Chinese and foreign, based in Chengdu, seeking to relieve some of the hardships of the Sichuan earthquake victims, through community sports days and other fun events.
Information about up-coming CSA trips and events is listed on the SQR Events page.
If you are interested in volunteering for Chengdu Sports Aid, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2011 half-marathon and fun-run
We have received a number of enquiries about whether there will be another half-marathon and 10km fun-run for 2011.
At present, our resources are focusing on the continued development of the Di Kang Le Community Centre project, and we have decided not to organise the half-marathon event for 2011 in aid of SQR.
However, the good news is that there is still a 2011 Chengdu fun-run happening! It’s being put together by a fantastic group of volunteers, some of whom were involved in organising last year’s fun, and is sure to be just as successful, if not more so. More information can be found over at GoChengdoo.
Developing sports skills in quake-affected areas
In early 2009, CSA ran a pilot scheme of small training sessions for groups of quake-affected schoolchildren. The sessions aimed to develop physical- and hand-eye coordination, ball skills, team-playing abilities, and overall fitness levels. The first school to participate in the scheme was the newly-rebuilt Guangji Di Kang Le kindergarten. This scheme was funded by a donation from the Chengdu International Women’s Club that was specifically for CSA activities. At the close of the scheme, project coordinator Cate Papez summarised the weekly activities and the outcome.
Following this, an expanded, longer-term project has been organised by current CSA Coordinator Collette McGuire, focussing on developing sports- and arts-based skills among primary school-aged children that were affected by the earthquake. See the events page for details of upcoming trips.
Sports-based fund-raising events
To date, CSA has organised two fund-raising, combined half marathons and 10km fun-runs:
In July 2010, a charity swim-a-thon was also organised in support of SQR.
A brief history of CSA
The idea of Chengdu Sports Aid can be traced back to the very early days of the earthquake relief effort. SQR was making regular visits to quake-hit towns and villages, bringing not only emergency supplies, but also much-needed toys, games and sports equipment for displaced children whose usual means of release had been destroyed in the disaster.
Children’s Day on June 1, 2008 provided the backdrop for SQR to organise large-scale fun activities for children in three different quake-affected areas. Regular visits continued throughout the summer and the rest of the year, providing a distraction for children who have lost parents, friends and loved ones.
Early in 2009, with growing support from local sports groups, this philosophy was given a name, and Chengdu Sports Aid was born to promote regular volunteer-based sports days and fund-raising community events to supply the visited communities with sporting equipment. The CSA philosophy, not to mention the volunteers, formed an integral part of the SAME (Sport, Art, Music, English) Camps run by SQR during the summer of 2009, reaching over 4,000 children in seven weeks of activities.
Built and run on the goodwill and generosity of a dedicated group of volunteers, with SQR bringing up the logistical rear, the weekly visits of CSA provide valuable outreach opportunities for SQR to learn more of the problems that continue to affect those living in the earthquake zone, make new connections and friends, and show these communities that they have not been forgotten. With the building of a new community centre and playground in Guangji, SQR will be providing a permanent facility for CSA to use.
To find out more about a typical Chengdu Sports Aid trip, see blog entries in the CSA category.