Commonwealth acknowledges UK Sport's contribution to Sport for Development and PeaceSubscribe
UK Sport International 29 July 2012
Speakers at the 6th Commonwealth Sports Ministers Meeting (6CSMM) yesterday acknowledged the crucial support given by the British government through government agency, UK Sport, to enhance Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) policies in Commonwealth countries.
SDP is now a key focus of the Youth Affairs division at the Commonwealth Secretariat, where International Sport Development Manager, Oliver Dudfield, has been seconded by UK Sport since August 2011. He is one of two Sports Advisors, working alongside S.S Chhabra, who is on secondment from the Government of India, to bring sport to the forefront of government agendas.
This work is being progressed under the aegis of the Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport (CABOS), through the development of pan-Commonwealth guidelines for strengthening SDP policy mechanisms. A draft was presented to Ministers for their endorsement yesterday.
Professor Bruce Kidd, Chair of CABOS, believes “The provision of two seconded sports advisors from India and the UK has put the work of SDP on a solid platform and CABOS is more productive as a result.”
Director and Head of Youth Affairs, Katherine Ellis, highlighted the support of the UK and India governments as “the reason we have been able to act so strongly on this mandate.”
Debbie Lye, Director of UK Sport International, is also the Chair for the United Nations International Working Group on Sport for Development and Peace (IWG SDP), and has worked closely with the Secretariat to strengthen partnerships and sharing of good practice. Her contribution was praised by United Nations Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, Wilfred Lemke.
UK Sport was also recognised for the significant contribution to SDP initiatives through International Inspiration, the legacy programme of the London 2012 Games, which they have implemented in partnership with British Council and UNICEF, in 12 Commonwealth countries.
Mr Lemke emphasised the importance of using the opportunity offered by international sporting events for SDP initiatives. “International Inspiration is really fantastic work… we should make a follow up plan and look to the next Games,” he said.
British Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson, expressed his pride in the programme that has “touched the lives of 13 million children like never before” by adding that the Olympics has supported the need for sport and politics to work more closely together.