Laura Kientzler

Laura Kientzler


GAME’s mission is to create lasting social change through youth-led street sports and culture. GAME offers youth an education as volunteer GAME Playmakers which are street sports instructors and role models. The youth volunteers learn how to lead weekly practices in street sports and street culture for children and youth in their local communities. Empowerment, life skills, teamwork, active civil society and gender equity and diversity are key components of GAME’s programs. 



Youth empowerment is at the core of GAME’s mission. Young people are the future and are to be listened to, supported, and included if we want sustainable development of our societies. GAME employs a peer-to-peer method that enables young people to empower themselves and initiate positive change for others.

Through the Playmaker Program, GAME offers youth an education as volunteer street sports instructors and role models. This education equips volunteers to plan and lead weekly training sessions in street sports and culture, utilizing a peer-to-peer approach. These training sessions are free and open, creating opportunities for GAME Playmakers to become positive role models in their communities. This method is applied across multiple communities in Denmark, Norway, Greenland, Ukraine, Lebanon, Tunisia, Jordan, Ghana, Somaliland, and Kenya.

Accessibility is a cornerstone of GAME’s strategies, programs, and operations. The goal is to create opportunities that meet the needs and interests of everyone, but with a special focus on socially and economically disadvantaged groups, minorities, women, and girls to attract and sustain their participation in physical activity. GAME’s street sport and street culture DNA and methods have broad appeal to large groups of youth – also the ones who are less likely to engage in civil society. A majority of the children and youth who participate in GAME’s activities are not active in other sports or leisure activities when they first enter GAME’s programs.

GAME’s weekly youth-led activities are designed to strengthen life skills amongst the children and youth who participate with the aim of equipping them to become engaged community members. The peer-to-peer method is thus creating a ripple effect with the local community. Furthermore, by bringing children and youth with different backgrounds together through community sports activities, mutual understanding and tolerance between different communities (social cohesion) will be increased.


Technical details & Operations

GAME’s volunteer programs are built to empower youth by enhancing their life skills through street sports and culture. The Volunteer Playmakers attend two annual education camps, where they are trained in street sports, practice planning, empowerment, life skills, teamwork, leadership, inclusion, gender equity, and civil society. The volunteers are divided into 3 different roles:

Sports Playmaker: The sports Playmaker is responsible for giving children and young people free weekly training sessions, where the focus is on creating positive street sports communities that are accessible for all.

GAME Girl Zone Playmaker: GAME Girl Zone is an activity that is primarily aimed at getting more girls into safe and active communities. The activities aren’t tied to a particular street sport but are based on what kind of activity the participating girls want to do.

Zone Coordinator: The Zone Coordinator role is for those Playmakers who want to take on extra responsibility. This person has a leading and coordinating role in the GAME Zone, which is the local volunteer group.

The Empowerment Method: The GAME Empowerment Method and its Life skills are the fundamentals behind working with all the GAME volunteers and they are embedded in GAME Playmaker education and curriculum, and down to every drill used in the weekly practices.

The GAME Empowerment Method works with three levels: 

Individual Life Skills Level: At the individual level, youth in GAME develop personal skills such as decision-making, goal-setting, and stress-management.

Group Life Skills Level: At the group level, youth in GAME learn to work effectively in teams, communicate clearly, and resolve conflicts.

Community Level: At the community level, youth in GAME gain the skills and confidence to engage in collective action and create positive change in their communities.

The Life Skills help young people become active citizens who can make their voices heard and be co-creators of peaceful, equal, and democratic communities.

At the community level, the GAME Empowerment Method supports youth in contributing to the global effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). GAME encourages youth to identify and address issues aligned with the SDGs through community projects and advocacy efforts, fostering a sense of global citizenship and solidarity. Youth are inspired to see themselves as part of a larger movement for positive change and to take a leadership role in building a more sustainable and just world.

Deployment & Impact

In terms of impact, in 2022, 1603 young people attended GAME’s Playmaker Education, reporting valuable learnings applicable to various aspects of life. Surveys indicate improved conflict resolution skills and increased motivation for volunteer work.

Youth-led initiatives taken by GAME’s Playmaker community globally have resulted in tangible outcomes. In Lebanon, youth has campaigned for public spaces and sports facilities accessible for children and youth – resulting in +8 new or refurbished sports courts. In Somaliland, young volunteers have shown civil engagement by distributing water and food as a response to the drought that hit the Horn of Africa, and in Denmark, volunteers organized activities in football and street basketball for Ukrainian refugee children in Denmark to help improve their well-being, using the universal language of sports.

In Lebanon and Jordan where youth unemployment is high, GAME has responded by developing a street sports incubator program, aiming to foster entrepreneurship and leadership to enable young people to make a positive change for themselves and their communities.

The reach of GAME’s Playmaker program extends to 95 communities across 10 countries, providing weekly youth-led practices. Data from Denmark, Lebanon, and Ghana highlight that 63% of children and youth who joined GAME’s program were not previously active in sports or leisure activities. This underscores the significant impact of GAME in promoting physical activity, social interaction, and positive community engagement.


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