Sports and violence topic of URI’s panel discussion

Sports and violence topic of URI's panel discussion

KINGSTON, R.I. — November 22, 2000 — Pick up any number of sports publications and the subject is frequently violence. Yet sports can be used as an approach to developing positive attitudes.

A panel of experts will discuss “Sports and Violence: Problem or Solution?” on Tuesday, November 28 in the Barry Marks Auditorium, Room 271 Chafee Social Science Center from 7:30 to 9 p.m. The panel is part of the University of Rhode Island’s Honors Colloquium Series “Nonviolence: Legacies of the Past, Bridges to the Future.” The program is free and open to the public.

Panelists include Dan Doyle, executive director of the Institute for International Sport at URI. Doyle founded the Institute in 1986, based on his experiences in Europe as a prep basketball player and later visiting Cuba as the head men’s basketball coach of Trinity College. The Institute is based on the concept of the power of sport as a medium to foster friendship and goodwill.

To achieve its objectives, the Institute focuses on the youth of the international community. Doyle believes that the world’s best hope for peace lies in the hearts, hands, and early life experiences of the world’s youth. Education and cultural awareness, which enable future leaders to design workable solutions, are at the core of the Institute.

Its initial program, Sports Corp, was launched in 1987 when the Institute sent volunteers to Ireland, Burundi and Czechoslovakia. Expanding on the model, Belfast United was launched in 1989. Designed to act as a medium for cross-religious communication in Northern Ireland, Belfast United has brought together equal numbers of Protestant and Catholic youth. Since its advent, more than 350 young men and women have participated. When the peace accord was signed in Northern Ireland, a number of Northern Ireland political and educational figures pointed to Belfast United as one of the most meaningful programs in bringing about the truce. The Sports Corp and Belfast United model has expanded to include 150 countries around the globe.

Doyle also conceived the World-Scholar Athlete Games. The first games were held in the summer of 1993 at URI to much acclaim. The second Games followed in 1997. The third World Scholar-Athlete Games, slated for 2001, are expected to host more than 2,000 participants, ages 15 to 19, representing 160 countries and all 50 states.

Other panelists include:

  • Marcia Sage, currently on fellowship at the Institute for International Sport. Sage is president and founder of The Sports Ethics Institute, a non-profit organization recognized for its educational work and achievements in sports ethics, including the first international conference on ethical issues in sports. Sage’s background includes the practice of law and service as a tax and legal counsel in healthcare for various multinational employee benefit consulting firm clients. She incorporated The Sports Ethics Institute in the State of Florida. Among the SEI’s current efforts is the joint production with the Institute of International Sport of a conference on Ethics and the Sports Media. The conference will immediately precede the 2001 World Scholar-Athlete Games.
  • Sandy Padwe from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Before joining Columbia, Padwe was a senior editor at Sports Illustrated for 12 years, directing coverage of professional football, basketball, boxing and track and field, among others. He also directed reporting on major investigations into corruption and abuses in the sports world. He currently serves as consultant to ESPN. He has authored three books on basketball and golf and has been named Sportswriter of the Year by the National Headliners Club.
  • Richard E. Lapchick, founder and director of the Center for the Study of Sport in Society. Since its inception in 1984, the Center has attracted national attention to its pioneering efforts to ensure the education of athletes from junior high school through the professional ranks. The Center’s Project TEAMWORK won the Peter F. Drucker Foundation Award as the nation’s most innovative non-profit program and was named by the Clinton Administration as a model for violence prevention. The Center’s MVP gender violence prevention program has been so successful with college and high school athletes that the U.S. Marine Corps adopted it in 1997.