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Sport for Development

The provision of proper resources for children to play is essential in creating opportunities for children’s holistic development. Coupled with training programmes for educators and community members who help to teach and support the development of children through play, we can immediately start to minimize the vulnerability of children.

We believe that we can help change children’s perceptions of risk toward HIV and AIDS and other risky behaviours and mobilise communities to ensure the full development of children by engaging them through sports. Building on South Africa’s love for sports, communities can be united, through sports events and programmes to support and protect their children and create supportive, child friendly communities.

UNICEF has pledged its support to the Department of Education to help improve conditions in the 585 most disadvantaged schools. With a vision of 2010 and beyond, UNICEF is confident that by providing the 585 critical schools in the country (as well as those in the surrounding communities) with sports coaches, play and sports-infused lifeskills programmes. These initiatives aim to promote mass participation in sport through community sporting events that foster physical development and increase awareness of child rights, health and survival.  In this way, we can truly contribute to the overall goal of leaving a legacy of child-friendly schools and communities beyond 2010.

Through UNICEF’s strategic partnership with the Department of Education, together with our media partner, SuperSport, the continental broadcast partner, and a roster of civil society community development partners, we have launched a community development programme in 9 of the 585 schools deemed critical by the department – one in each province.  UNICEF is working to implement a skills development programme in these schools through placing coaches and coaching teams to get young people active and learning vital Lifeskills through sport.  This pilot programme will be rolled out to all the schools during 2008.

The programme will utilize the UNICEF training guide: Coaching Boys to Men to promote positive masculine behavior to address issues such as gender based violence, as well as promoting the participation of young girls in sports, especially soccer.

The Sport for Development programme is a component of UNICEF’s Child Friendly Schools programme

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