Can you talk for just a minute - no hesitations - no repetition?


In this activity, people have to be quick and inventive to talk for one minute on the relationship between sports and human rights.

Related rights



• To appreciate how human rights are interconnected and indivisible
• To develop critical thinking
• To cultivate self-confidence to express personal opinions


• Statements, one per participant
• A hat
• A watch with a second hand, or a timer


• Make a copy of this sheet  and cut out the statements.
• Fold the strips of paper over and put them into a hat.

Key Date
  • 7 AprilWorld Health Day (WHO)


1. Ask people to sit in a circle.
2. Pass round the hat. Ask each person in turn, without looking, to dip into the hat and take out one slip of paper.
3. Participants then have 5 minutes to prepare to talk non-stop for one minute on the statement written on their slip of paper. The rules are no hesitations and no repetitions.
4. Go round the circle and ask each person in turn to give their "speech".
5. After each "speech", allow two or three minutes for short comments. If people have a lot to discuss, make a note of the topic and agree to return to it at the end.
6. When everyone has had their turn, go back and finish any discussions that had to be cut short.
7. Then go on to the debriefing and evaluation.

Debriefing and evaluationGoto top

Start by reviewing how the activity went and then go on to talk about the issues that were raised and finally the connections with human rights.
• Was it difficult to talk non-stop on the topics for one minute?
• Which were the toughest topics to talk about and why?
• Which of the statements was the most controversial and why?
• What was the most surprising piece of information people heard?
• Which human rights were at stake in each of the statements?
• Is the right to sport a human right? If so, how is it enshrined in the various human rights documents?
• Does everyone in your community have access to sporting activities of their choice? If not, why not? What can be done to remedy this?

Tips for facilitatorsGoto top

This activity works at many different levels and the questions may be interpreted in different ways. It is important to work at the level of the young people. You may wish to say something to provoke deeper thinking, but be aware of the danger of giving the impression that you are expecting "a certain answer".

If you think that the statements below are not of interest to your group, then compose others. If you have a very big group, run the activity in sub-groups.

Encourage reluctant speakers to have a go. Suggest they try to talk for half a minute or even for just twenty seconds or tell them they may first confer briefly with a friend before they talk, or offer to let them have their go later. However, be prepared that some people may not be persuaded.

A good way to get going is to play the association game according to the description. Prepare some word cards with words such as ‘sport', ‘disability' or ‘Olympic games'.

VariationsGoto top

In a small group you can do two or more rounds. People take one slip of paper in each round.
Another way to play is to put the cards in the hat as described in the instructions. Ask one person to pick one statement and to read it out. They start to talk about the topic, but instead of having to talk for a minute, they may stop whenever they want to and the next person has to continue, starting from exactly the last word the previous player used.

This technique of taking statements out of a hat can be adapted to use with any theme or topic you want to discuss.

Suggestions for follow-upGoto top

If people want to continue with the theme of sport and are feeling energetic, try the activity, "Sports for all".

If one of the other themes provoked particular interest, check the list of activities to find an activity on that theme.
The group may like to take a humorous approach to human rights and to play with Pancho's cartoons in Chapter 5: see "Playing with pictures" ; or they may like to tell jokes:  see "Eurojoke contest" in the All Different – All Equal Education Pack.

Ideas for actionGoto top

Decide on one issue to tackle and agree the next stage in taking action. Develop a project to continue working on the chosen issue. Link up with a local organisation which is working in the field. Use the project as a learning opportunity and help people reflect on what they have gained in group work skills and action competencies.


the statements relate sport to each of the 20 Compass themes. This illustrates how human rights are interconnected and indivisible.

Further informationGoto top

HandoutsGoto top

PDFDownload as PDF

Sheet of statements

Sport and general human rights
Do you think that Emmanuel Adebayor makes a good UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador?

Sport and general human rights
Athletes at international level have to agree a code of conduct. Those who then breach the code, for instance, by using a sporting event to make a political statement are penalised. Is this a denial of a person’s right to free expression?

Sport and general human rights
The police have powers to stop football supporters whom they suspect of being troublemakers from travelling to other countries for matches. Is this a legitimate denial of their right to freedom of movement and association?

Sport and general human rights
Do you think that countries should be chosen to host the Olympic Games according to their human rights record?

Sport and children
What would you say to ambitious parents and trainers who force children to train for hours on end? Who should have the right to decide about a young person’s health and how they spend their leisure time?

Sport and citizenship and participation
Many people are born in one country, but then make their home and become citizens in a second country. Nonetheless, they continue to support the national team of their country of birth, instead of that of the second country that has offered them a new home. Should a good citizen support their host country’s national team?

Sport and culture
A culture can be described as the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterises an institution, organisation or group. Is “football culture” culture?

Sport and democracy
Do you think that politicians in your country use sport, or sporting events, to distract and divert people from taking an interest in political and economic issues?

Sport and disablism
To what extent do the Paralympics break down prejudices against disabled people?

Sport and discrimination and intolerance
Is sex testing of athletes necessary to ensure fair competition or is it too great an infringement of people’s human dignity and right to privacy?

Sport and environment
Golf courses are frequently criticised for being both people and environmentally unfriendly because they are often developed on land that was used by local people for farming and forestry. They also require a lot of water, herbicides and pesticides for their maintenance. Does this make golf a human rights issue?

Sport and gender
Some people say that there are few women among the top coaches and sports administrators because of discrimination against women. Do you agree? If you do, what can be done about it?

Sport and globalisation
Sports shoes and much other sports equipment are made cheaply with exploited labour in Eastern Europe and in the Far East. The workers want to continue working and do not call for a boycott. What can we, as consumers, do to avoid being party to their exploitation?

Sport and health
What can be done at a local level to combat the use of drugs in sports?

Sports and the media
Do you think that any particular television company has the right to buy exclusive coverage of any sporting event?

Sport and migration
It is said that one of the easiest and most important ways for immigrants to integrate is through sport and sporting activities.
Do you agree? Why? Why not?

Sport and peace and violence
To what extent do competitive sports promote co-operation and understanding between people and to what extent to they aggravate nationalism and xenophobia?

Sport and poverty
In many countries, sport, but especially football, offers individuals the possibility of a “passport out of poverty”. Should poor countries, therefore, put more focus on football?

Sport and poverty
Most of the football players in Europe get very high salaries for their work. Can this be justified and is it fair?

Sport and religion and belief
Many sports clubs play at the weekend. Is this unfair discrimination against people who want to practise their religion on the Sabbath or on a Sunday?

Sport and disablism
To what extent do the Paralympics break down prejudices against disabled people?

Sport and remembrance
The Olympiastadion in Berlin was Hitler’s show piece for the 1936 Olympic Games, which were used by the Nazis for propaganda purposes. Thus, for many people the building is a symbol of fascism. It has now been renovated although some people wanted to demolish it and others suggested letting it slowly crumble “like the Colosseum in Rome”. What do you think should have happened to such a building?

Sport and war and terrorism
“Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words it is war minus the shooting.” 1945, George Orwell. Do you agree?

Sport and work
Do you agree that professional athletes should have the same rights and obligations as any other worker including, for example, working hours, paying taxes and the right to form unions?