Tuesday, February 21, 2012

UN Secretary-General Ban joined by IOC President Rogge to visit grassroots sports projects in Zambia

Press Release UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace

Bookmark and Share

On Saturday 25 February 2012, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, Wilfried Lemke, will jointly – together with the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Jacques Rogge – visit community sports projects in Lusaka, Zambia. They will be accompanied by other high-ranked IOC and Zambian Government officials.

The landmark visit follows an invitation extended publicly by Secretary-General Ban to President Rogge in his keynote address at the 2nd International Forum on Sport, Peace and Development in Geneva on 11 May 2011.

“I know that the Olympic Movement has many excellent development projects in Africa […]. With a view to further strengthening our cooperation in the implementation of sports for development projects, I should like to invite you to join me and my Special Adviser in one of my future trips to Africa to show us a concrete project on the ground,” he declared.

On Saturday, 25 February 2012, the delegation will start by visiting a United Nations-supported initiative focusing on the rehabilitation of street children and out-of-school children and young people through sport.

Hosted at the Fountain of Hope centre, the project is run by the NGO Sports in Action, one of UNICEF’s implementing partners, as part of the ‘International Inspiration’ programme, the official legacy programme of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

That afternoon, the delegation will visit the Olympic Youth Development Centre in the northern outskirts of Lusaka. The multi-purpose sports complex is a pilot project of the IOC’s ‘Sports for Hope’ programme and was inaugurated in May 2010.

The objective of the IOC and the Zambian government is that the centre can offer athletes professional training opportunities while also offering a wide range of educational programmes, health services and community activities.

Before heading to Zambia, Mr. Lemke will travel to Nairobi, Kenya, where he will take part in the filming of the documentary GOLD. The film depicts the story of three paralympic athletes, their social engagement and follows them on their way to the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Last Tuesday, 14 February, Mr. Ban and his Special Adviser held a meeting at the UN Headquarters in New York. During his visit to New York, Special Adviser Lemke also conducted a series of multilateral and bilateral meetings with senior government representatives.

He then continued to Los Angeles, where he attended the 5th World Conference on Women and Sport, organized by the IOC. Also present at the event, Ms. Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), delivered a speech at the panel discussion on “Leadership Views on Women in the World of Sports”.