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Ulcinj basketball team promotes active fathers

© UNICEF Montenegro
Ulcinj basketball team player giving an interview to the local TV station on the role of fathers

ULCINJ, OCTOBER 16, 2009 – Local basketball team in Ulcinj, a town at the seaside, played basketball with preschool children today in order to promote active fathers on the south of Montenegro within the awareness raising campaign “The Early Years – An Opportunity of a Lifetime”.

“Our basketball club is regularly involved in various activities with children and we really try to be a positive guide to them” says the trainer of Ulcinj basketball club Marko Miranovic.

His collegue Dragan Radovic regrets that he did not have more time to spend with his children and advises fathers not to make a similar mistake as the early years are an opportunity of a lifetime. “Now I dedicate all the free time that I have to my son and I really enjoy every moment of it” says Dragan Radovic while helping one of the children from the local preschool to throw the ball through the basket.

Milosav Susic, also a trainer of Ulcinj basketball team, says he is honoured to be part of UNICEF’s campaign where “active fathers are promoted so that they spend more time with children, play and study with them and show and explain them things.”

Petar Jovanović, Ulcinj basketball team player and a father of a 4-year old son, says it is really difficult for him not to be able to be with his child as much as he would want to, but “I use every moment I have to be with him, because being a parent is one of the most inspiring and beautiful experiences”.

Around 60 children 3-5 years old enjoyed playing with the members of the really famous Ulcinj basketball team. “My dad takes me to watch basketball matches when these guys play and I love it” says one of the children with proud and happiness.

“Children need space to open their wings and we, the fathers, need to find the space for them to fly and dream happily. Let them rely on us because what we have in common is not just the origins, but also the first cry and the first love.” says Deputy Minister of Health Nebojsa Todorovic, also father of 2 sons, while playing basketball with children in Ulcinj.

UNICEF and the Ministry of Health launched “The Early Years – An Opportunity of a Lifetime” campaign based on the UNICEF’s research from June 2009, which showed that:
• 41% of mothers mainly visited the doctor alone during pregnancy
• Only 7% of fathers are present at the delivery
• 37% of breastfeeding mothers are without any help in relation to the nutrition and breastfeeding, cleaning and bathing the child
• 59% of fathers does not know how their child is fed
• Only 7% of fathers are involved in teaching a child his/her first moral principles – what is good and what is bad
• On average, Montenegrin parents read a story to and with their children only once a week
• Fathers participate less in education activities, but more often watch TV and go for walks with children

“Studies show that when men play a significant and active role in their children’s lives, the children do better at school, score higher on intelligence tests and experience behavioural problems more rarely. That is why one of our key messages in the campaign is that being a father is an opportunity of a lifetime” points out UNICEF Communication Officer Jelena Perovic.

© UNICEF Montenegro
Ulcinj basketball team plays with children from local preshool in order to promote active fathers within the campaign "The Early Years-An Opportunity of a Lifetime"



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