Advancing Sport in Timor-Leste
The international events seek to foster new levels of athleticism in the community, bringing a variety of positive benefits for communities and individuals – in particular youth. By providing opportunities for participation from the grassroots to elite athlete development, it is hoped greater interest will be fostered and new sporting role models spawned in the community. In this way sport serves to engage and inspire youth to be constructive members of their communities, encouraging positive sporting values: including teamwork, dedication and mutual respect. The scale and international connections of these events provide marvelous opportunities to leverage local and international support for equipment and facilities. The events also serve as a catalyst for promoting local and international partnerships. Finally the national squad programs will identify and develop local sporting talent through intensive training, nutrition and team building activities.
Providing Opportunities for Economic Development
The events provide employment for several hundred Timorese and make a contribution to community economic development. Where-ever possible local suppliers have been engaged and funds directed at the grassroots level. In particular, strong opportunities exist in the field of sports and adventure tourism.
Boosting Tourism, Shifting Perceptions
A key goal of the proposed events is to showcase the peaceful conditions and natural beauty of Timor-Leste to an attentive international audience. News about Timor-Leste has been dominated by episodes of violence and instability that the country has experienced in past years, obscuring many of the positive programs and policies that are bringing the country forward. The international events have proved powerful in shifting perceptions about the country, however the positive stories, experiences and messages generated by these events must be continually renewed and reinforced through further headline grabbing activities.
Strengthening Peace, Harmony and National Pride
The value of sport as a social connector is one of its most powerful development attributes. These sporting events connect individuals and communities across the bairo’s of Dili and the districts of Timor-Leste, as organisers, hosts, volunteers supporters and participants. Involving local representation and drawing out the best of Timor-Leste, these events serve as focal points for national pride, embracing and rejoicing in the natural and human assets of the country. In the process of consultation and implementation of these events, communities will be engaged in cooperation and problem solving, enhancing community harmony and resilience. These large scale, city and nation wide activities also present the opportunity to demonstrate and reinforce the growing effectiveness of internal security institutions.