Georgia: Follow Sport, Feel Healthy!
© UNICEF/GEO 2005/Khakhaleishvili
A school tournament gets under way
Major Sports tournament underway in Georgian schools
Biggest schools event since independence, say teachers.
TBILISI. 1 November. 2005. Follow Sport – Feel Healthy Lifestyle – this is the main motto of the sport tournaments taking place in 50 schools of Georgia from October till the end of the year. The tournament aims to promote healthy lifestyle among schoolchildren and is supported by UNICEF and the Government of the Netherlands. The project is being implemented by the Ministry of Education and Science in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Sport.
“Sport is more than just play. It is a means for children to grow up healthier, with self-respect and with more self-confidence,” says Giovanna Barberis, UNICEF Representative in Georgia. "That is why we try to actively incorporate sport initiatives within our education programmes. And the UN General Assembly has officially declared the year 2005 as the year of sport and physical education”.
The project will promote healthy lifestyles and organise various sport events in schools in Adjara, Imereti, Guria, Kakheti and Shida Kartli regions. School gyms have been renovated as part of the project, and schools have received sports equipment. Children also get basic information about the danger of tobacco, drugs and AIDS through educational materials. There are plans to organise peer education training for young people, who will then pass on messages about healthy lifestyles to their friends and schoolmates.
Sports tournaments are already underway in schools. Regional championships will be held in November and the national finals will take place in Tbilisi in December. Famous singers will also take part in concerts to support the programme, organised by the Ministry of Culture.
“The regional tournaments are taking place right now," says Soso Khakhaleishvili, UNICEF Project Manager. "And teachers are telling us that they have not seen such a wide-scale event since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Schools have different sporting supplies, such as balls, nets for basketball and volleyball, sports clothes. So, teachers of physical education now have the equipment they need to give proper lessons. The championship is on and kids have already started serious preparations for the finals”.
For more information:
Maya Kurtsikidze, Communication Officer, UNICEF Georgia,
Tel: (995 32) 23 23 88,