UNICEF South Africa and Supersport launch “Let’s Play a Million”
7 March 2007, Johannesburg - The United Nations Children’s Fund and Supersport signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch “Let’s Play a Million” in Johannesburg today.
In line with its integrated Sport for Development strategy, UNICEF South Africa is partnering with Supersport, a major national and continental media partner and sports broadcaster, in an advocacy, fundraising and development programme promoting “Life Skills Beyond 2010”, that will kick off with a telethon campaign entitled “Let’s Play a Million” in May of this year.
The telethon campaign aims to raise money to establish a fund for the development of sports and recreation infrastructure in communities in rural and peri-urban areas of the country and to solicit donations to purchase a million soccer balls for South African school children in these areas.
The campaign will also raise awareness of the grave social challenges children face with a view to encouraging the formation of private public partnerships to mobilize local resources for school and community-based sport programmes for children. At the same time, it will reinforce awareness of the right of children to play. This approach directly supports the Government’s “mass participation in sport “strategy.
The campaign will support the “Lifeskills Beyond 2010” programme that will focus on life skills development for children and young people both in and out of school to participate in HIV prevention, gender based violence prevention and to promote child survival through sports for development.
Community members will ensure that issues are openly discussed and that the sports environment helps young people develop the necessary skills to make informed decisions and to practice healthy behaviour. Educators, parents and local leaders will be trained to support lifeskills programmes in schools, communities and homes, involving young people in the design and practice of these programmes. Young people will also be involved in collecting information to assess whether health-seeking behaviour has improved and to develop appropriate responses where problems are identified.
UNICEF and Supersport will work strategically with Government departments such as Education and Sports and Recreation to ensure children’s right to play and support the optimal development of children.