Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sport as a Tool for Unity

This isn't so much news as a reminder of the power of sport, especially one as popular as football.

Last week, the United Nations said sport is much more than competition and winning trophies. This came out at the UN Headquarters in New York during a meeting that was considering the role of sport in achieving development and consolidating peace in post-conflict societies.

Developing countries and sport organizations have been urged to devote resources to sport activities as part of the global drive to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals.

The UN says in many societies, sport could prevent children from being used as soldiers in armed conflicts. It insists sport delivers hope in countries ravaged by war and enhances national reconciliation. Governments are urged to put more resources on sport activities to consolidate peace and expedite socio-economic development.

Sports associations have also been asked to emphasize the nation-building aspects of sport as their contribution to the UN's Millennium Development Goals. The forthcoming 2010 World Cup in South Africa has also been highlighted as another good opportunity to enhance development in the African continent.

China has undertaken to highlight issues of development when it hosts the Olympics next year.

Football in particular, due to its popularity and ease of play (all you need is a ball or a piece of cloth) can do so much more than make a crowd roar or bring joy to the masses. It can also provide hope, peace and a chance to share commonality with your fellow brothers and sisters. It's so much more than just a game.


Jake said...

Spot on... Football really can help to make a difference. Just look at what the Mathare Youth Sports Association are achieving in Kenya. An unbelievable and inspiring organisation. Check them out....

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