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UNICEF supported Rugby Festival to promote healthy lifestyle among young people

© UNICEF/Geo-2010/Khizanishvili
Children playing Rugby at the UNICEF supported Rugby festival for young people to promote healthy lifestyle . 21 November, 2010, Gori, Georgia.

21 November, 2010. Gori, Georgia.  Follow sport, feel healthy lifestyle – this was the main slogan of the UNICEF supported Rugby festival among people aged 14-15 who gathered at the Gori main stadium today. Twelve teams of young people from all over the country participated in the tournament the main idea of which was to promote healthy lifestyle and to spread out specific messages against tobacco, drugs, aids and alcohol.

“For UNICEF sport is far more than a form of entertainment. Sport is critical to a child’s development. It teaches core values such as co-operation and respect. It improves health and reduces the likelihood of disease” said Roeland Monasch, UNICEF Representative in Georgia. “Rugby is a very popular sport in Georgia and young people play rugby not only to win but to play together that promotes real team spirit. We are delighted with the vision of the Georgian Rugby Union on how to promote healthy lifestyle among young people and we are happy to further enhance our partnership for the benefit of a healthy generation”.

Healthy lifestyle messages were communicated to children during the tournament which lasted the whole day. Children from Tbilisi, Gori, Kutaisi, Batumi, Poti and Rustavi not only played rugby and made friends with each other but also learned more about the importance of sport and healthy lifestyle. 

© UNICEF/Geo-2010/Khizanishvili
UNICEF Representative Roeland Monasch awarding winner children with certificates and prizes. 21 November, 2010, Gori, Georgia.

“Rugby promotes networking among children”, said Mindia Lortkipanidze, Head of the Gori Rugby Club “Lions”, organizer of the tournament. “It changes their lifestyle and set examples for other children. I am sure that friends of these children will also want to follow sport. I can see it at the example of my own club. If last year we had only 100 children involved in our club, this year the number doubled and we have 200 children now.”

At the end of the tournament the participant children were awarded with special certificates and prizes. Representatives of the Georgian Rugby Union, National Rugby Team and UNICEF welcomed the participants and once again highlighted the need to follow sport and being healthy.

“I like playing rugby. I made a lot of friends here and I am glad that I met with the players of the Georgian National Team. Maybe one day I will also play for the national team”, said 14 years old David, one of the participants of the tournament.


UNICEF is on the ground in 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  


For further information, please contact:

Maya Kurtsikidze, Communication Officer, UNICEF Georgia
Tel: (995 32) 23 23 88, 25 11 30, Fax: (995 32) 25 12 36
e-mail:, mob: (995 99) 53 30 71



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