On the 6th April 2016, The International Day of Sports for Development and Peace (IDSDP) was celebrated across the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development and Peace (CYSDP) Working Group commemorated IDSDP 2016 through the facilitation of SDP Awareness and Youth Advocacy workshops in Samoa, Australia, Nigeria, Kenya and India.
The Commonwealth Youth Council had the opportunity to speak to John Oluwadero- African Regional Representative of CYSDP, to hear about one of the events held in Nigeria. The theme of the event was in line with this year IDSDP theme ‘I play for SDG.’ Speakers at the event advocated for the use of Sport in attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in pursuit of the fulfilment of Goal 17 of the SDGs.
SDG Goal 17: “Partnerships for the Goal: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development”
The Keynote Speaker at the event, Mr. Al-Hassan Yakmut, noted that the problem with Nigeria is youth engagement and not just employment and emphasised that sport can be a message peace. He pointed to instances of conflicting groups and estranged internally Displaced People (IDP) socialising and uniting via engagement in sports.
From the Asian region, the spotlight shined on Regional Representative- Dinesh Gajendran as he hosted a Youth Volunteer project scheme (VIP) launch and advocacy workshop. Volunteers from Audacious Dreams Foundation went into the community to handle Sport for Development sessions to slum kids who are dropped out of school.
Devika Malik, co-founder of the Wheeling Happiness Foundation and also Asia Regional Representative was highlighted during the month of April for her continuous work in SDP for persons with disabilities. The aim of enhancing the social integration and emotional well-being of persons with disabilities through sports and outdoor activities, as well as awareness and advocacy workshops
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In the Caribbean, CYSDP Regional Representative, Janine Thornhill engaged with other SDP organizations on the promotion of IDSDP. Through an online platform, events such as social media campaigns, awareness workshops and publication of articles were organized and highlighted. Organizations also joined in the Global “white card” campaign on April 6 to celebrate the power of sport as a developmental tool to promote the SDGs.
In the Pacific, Football United in Australia welcomed a group of amazing young leaders and had the privileged to welcome the Hon. Shayne Mallard representing Stuart Ayres MP Minister of Sport to engage with the session on using sports to make a better world.
The Commonwealth Youth Council commends the work and the young people. We also welcome more hands to establish a greater presence in all the countries of the Commonwealth, so if you have a passion for the way sports can bring about development and peace we invite you to read more about the network here.
The Commonwealth Youth Council is eager to facilitate this expansion.