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BBC World Service highlights first IDSDP

BBC World Service highlights first IDSDP

Jutta Engelhardt, executive director of sportanddev and programme director at the Swiss Academy for Development, joined representatives from the UNOSDP and the Special Olympics Indonesia to discuss the inaugural International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.

The discussion on the BBC World Service's Sportshour programme, aired 12 April 2014.

The BBC World Service’s Sportshour programme, aired on 12 April, invited Jutta Engelhardt along with Melodie Arts from the UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) and Muhammad Farhan from the Special Olympics Indonesia to discuss the importance of sport as a tool for development and the role of the IDSDP in helping achieve those aims.

Jutta was able to highlight sport’s diversity in addressing development issues – as a tool, for example, for education, integration, peacebuilding and promoting gender equality. “It’s not sport for the sake of sport itself,” she said, “but for actually bringing people together, placing an educational message in the curriculum […] and making people really feel that they are building a team, that they are respecting rules and that they can learn something while playing sport.”

She also highlighted the increasing recognition of sport as a development tool, as highlighted by its growing use by actors outside the sport and development sector, before calling for greater involvement and support from the private sector.

Muhammad Farhan highlighted the negative stereotypes and lack of opportunities that persist for people with intellectual disabilities in Indonesia and emphasised sport’s potential to promote a “spirit of inclusiveness.

Mélodie Arts highlighted the role of the UNOSDP as an advocator for sport for development and peace and argued that, although sport could never replace provision of the basic requirements for human life, it has an important role to play. “People, for example, in refugee camps," she said. "It’s indeed true that they need food, they need to be able to get through the day […] but in the end if your day has no structure and you don’t have any goal anymore, sports can make you forget your worries and your sorrows.

The sport and development sector has received an increasing amount of coverage over the last few years and raising awareness is an important objective of international observance days. This year’s successes in gaining the attention of mainstream media outlets allows room for optimism that in the coming years the IDSDP can play an important role in highlighting sport’s use as a tool for development to the wider public. 


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Paul Hunt


Monday, April 14, 2014 - 23:00