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Key date

7 April
World Health Day


49 Practical Activities and Methods for Human Rights Education >Just a minute

Just a minute

Talk for 'just a minute' - no hesitations - no repetition!
Themes Sport, Globalisation, General human rights
Complexity Level 2
Group size Any
Time 40 minutes
Overview 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 All
  • To share knowledge about sport and human rights issues.
  • To understand how all human rights issues are interconnected and indivisible
  • To develop 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 the sheet below, and cut out the statements.
  • Fold the strips of paper over and put them into a hat.


  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 evaluation

Start by reviewing how the activity went and then go on to talk about the issues that were raised.

  • 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?

Tips for facilitators


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 "a certain answer".

If you think that the statements below are not of interest to your group, then compose others.

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.


In a small group you can do two or more rounds. People take one slip of paper in each round. If you are working with more than fifteen people, work in two sub-groups.

This technique of taking statements out of a hat can be adapted to use with any theme.

Suggestions for follow-up

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

If one of the other themes provoked particular interest, check the index of activities for to find an activity on that theme.

The group may like to take a humorous approach to human rights and reflect on Pancho's cartoons in chapter 3 (see "Picture games - What do you see in Pancho?") or they may like to tell jokes. See "Eurojoke contest" in the all different all equal education pack.

Ideas for action

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.

Further information

"How you play the game: the contribution of sport to the promotion of human rights", Conference in Sydney 1 to 3 September 1999:


Sheet of statements

Sport and discrimination

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

Sport and general human rights

Do you think that Ronaldo makes a good special representative for the "Force for Change: World AIDS Campaign with Young People"?

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 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

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. Which national team should they support?

Sport and discrimination

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 education

Do you think sports lessons should be compulsory throughout formal schooling?

Sport and social rights

Do you think professional sportsmen and women should have similar rights to those of other workers, for instance, the right to form trades unions and the right not to be unfairly dismissed?

Sport and environment

Golf courses are frequently criticised for being both people and environment 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 equality

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 human security

China has a poor human rights record. Should they have been chosen to host the Olympic games in 2006?

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 peace

To what extent do competitive sports promote co-operation and understanding between people?

Sport and poverty

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

Sport and poverty

In many countries, sport, but especially soccer, offers individuals the possibility of a "passport out of poverty". Should poor countries, therefore, put more focus on soccer?

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