|Girls ready for kick-off at the Fox Kids Cup 2003|
Like education, play is a child’s right. And like education, play and recreational activities have enormous potential for changing the lives of children for the better through the promotion of development and peace. Sport can teach children important values and social skills, such as cooperation, self-esteem, fair play and respect for others, as well as being good for their physical and mental development. That’s why organisations like UNICEF are increasingly using sport to help improve children’s lives.
A particularly good way of reaching out to girls as well as boys, sport can provide them with opportunities to connect with others socially, something that many girls do not enjoy because of the restrictions they face as females. When girls are given the chance to take part in sport, they can challenge the stereotypes that label them as less able than boys. Sport, like education, can help girls become equal players in society.
Using sport to campaign for girls’ education
A campaign needs powerful, effective ways to communicate its messages. Sport, because of its near universal appeal, is one such way. And sporting events are ideal for reaching large numbers of people, whether at the event or through its media coverage. Through UNICEF’s partnerships with FIFA, Fox Kids and others at global sporting events, our message about the critical need to educate every girl as well as every boy is being widely – and loudly – heard.