Lebanon: Line Up Live UP Initiative Empowers Youth to #ChooseSports

21st October 2020 – Lebanon

Sport can be a powerful tool to engage youth and promote positive values, building resilience to violence, crime, and substance use. With this in mind, UNODC’s ‘Line Up Live Up’ initiative has been rolled across the world in recent years, offering a sports-based, life skills training curriculum designed to help young people in vulnerable settings.

Most recently, Line Up Live Up, part of the Youth Crime Prevention through Sport initiative under the Doha Declaration Global Programme, partnered with UNESCO and the Ministry of Public Health of Lebanon to organize a four-day Training of Trainers in Beirut. The second one of its kind in Lebanon, this training brought together some 15 women and men working in the sports, youth, and social sectors from a range of areas, including Burj El Barajneh municipality, Chabibeh Sporting Club, Nusroto, Jousour Al Nour, and Peace of Art NGOs from Arsal, Beirut and Bekaa.

While respecting COVID-related distancing measures, participants learned how to use sport to promote valuable life skills among youth and encourage them to make assertive and positive life choices. Promoting fair play, equality, and respect; increasing awareness about violence and drug use; and building key life skills, such as resisting negative peer pressure, coping with anxiety, and critical thinking, are all key components of the Line Up Live Up curriculum shared with and practiced by the participants during the Training of Trainers.

To address the traumatic effects of the Beirut Blast in August, the training also incorporated a special session on mental health in times of crisis. The learnings and insights of this discussion are also valuable in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to increased levels of anxiety and mental health problems.

With support from UNESCO, participants also held in-depth discussions on the push and pull factors leading to doping in sports and on ways to protect young people and athletes from such risky practices, in line with the International Convention on Anti-Doping and national efforts in preserving fair play.

The trainers, now equipped with practical resources, will soon take the lead and train young people in their communities to positively influence their attitudes and behaviour.

This recent activity builds on previous work conducted in Lebanon under UNODC’s Youth Crime Prevention through Sports initiative, which also promotes youth life skills in Roumieh prison. A recently signed agreement between UNODC and the World Health Organization will further support the implementation of the Line Up Live Up training in Roumieh prison, benefitting 120 youth. The trainings are conducted in partnership with the Ministry of Justice to support the rehabilitation and reintegration process of boys and male youth in conflict with the law, many of whom were convicted or accused of engaging in acts of violent extremism.   

UNODC will continue engaging partners and promoting the use of sport to prevent violence and crime, including violent extremism by applying UNODC guidance tools including the Line-Up Line-Up training curriculum and the Technical Guide on Preventing Violent Extremism through Sport.

Additional information:

International Convention against Doping in Sports

Line Up Line Up Training Curriculum

Technical Guide on Preventing Violent Extremism through Sport

Youth Crime Prevention through Sport