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Qionah is graduating for a non-profit organisation

Graduate Sport Studies

Qionah graduate Sport Studies Let's keep the ball flying

'Playing sports was such a big part of my childhood and brought me so much joy, I wanted to create the same joy for others.'

Qionah lived in Curaçao for most of her life and is a huge sports fan. She grew up doing all kind of sports such as volleyball, kickboxing, tennis, and softball. She also loves everything that has to do with the world of arts, especially photography. When Qionah finished High School, she initially considered studying photography. However, as an athlete, she wanted to explore the world of sports. That is why she chose Sport Studies. We spoke to Qionah about her internships and graduation project. 

Where did you do your internship in year 2?  

‘At the Curaçao sports federation Fundashon Desaroyo Deportivo Korsou. This internship allowed me to go back home and see the business side of the sports industry there. I worked on increasing sport participation amongst the youth of a town called Barber. My day-to-day tasks helped me to set up systems in place and increase participation of the local youth. I made sure the community became aware of all the local sport opportunities and that necessary sport equipment was provided. I also made sure there were enough people to organise the sports activities and I created a manual for the implementation phase.’ 

Can you tell us something about your current internship at Let’s Keep the Ball flying?  

‘Let’s Keep the Ball Flying is a non-profit sport development organisation based in the Netherlands. It also organises and supports projects in various countries around the world, such as Greece, Tanzania, and Lebanon. My main task is helping to establish a Volley Beyond Border pilot programme in and around Dutch refugee centres. I am creating a manual for all parties involved and setting up meetings with the refugee centres to find locations for the pilot programme. I am also busy with finding volunteers and doing desk research. For my field research I am participating and assisting in volleyball training sessions to get a better understanding of what refugees want and need when it comes to sport activities.’ 

What can you tell us about your graduation project? 

‘My graduation research focuses on the integration of refugees through sport participation with the help of refugee centres and the local municipalities. I am evaluating how the sport programmes in the refugee centres can have a positive impact on the integration process of the refugees and how the entities involved, play a role. 

Qionah at her internship organisation Let's Keep the Ball Flying

Why did you want to do your graduation internship at a sport for development organisation? 

‘Coming from a family of baseball players, I experienced firsthand how much positive impact sport can have on your life. Playing sports was such a big part of my childhood and brought me so much joy, I wanted to create the same joy for others. That is why I chose internships that would introduce me to the ins and outs of sport development and give me a better perspective of what it would be like to work in this field. After my graduation I will definitely continue exploring my place in sport for development. How and where exactly, I do not know yet.’ 

What is your highlight of the Sport Studies programme and why?  

‘I cannot choose one, there were many. However, I think the best ones must be the people I met and the opportunities and support I got to step out of the box. For example, during my third study year, I got the chance to explore other personal interests: I chose a photography minor which also opened doors to create and curate my own photography exhibition as an elective credit assignment.’ 

Do you have any tips for upcoming first-year students of Sport Studies? 

‘Be open to the experience, even the ones that you feel are pointless. Take all the opportunities you get to make the experience your own. It will go faster than you can imagine, but it will be a great 4 years if you just go for it.’