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The Junior NBA: Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS)

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The Junior NBA: Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS)

The third edition of the Junior NBA focused on gender equality, access to education and creating effective institutions.

The United Nations General Assembly at the 44th plenary session adopted its annual resolution on ‘’sport as an enabler for sustainable development’’. This resolution highlights the importance of sport as a crucial vector for development, social cohesion, peace and solidarity among people. The third edition of the Junior NBA, organised in Cameroon under the patronage of the U.S. Embassy, Yaounde and the FECABASKET (Cameroon Federation of Basketball), was a platform through which young people were instructed on how some Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be associated with sport.

The Junior NBA: How can sport help to achieve the SDGS?

Not wishing to compete with governments, or question the role of traditional policies in the construction of a better world, let us say that sport has always played a very important role for this purpose.

Visionary he was, the former South African president, Nelson Mandela, often used sport to unite South Africa, to break down certain barriers built during the period of apartheid. "Sport has the power to change the world", he said in 2000. It may be in this logic that the United Nations (UN) thought that the SDGs can be achieved by sport.

In the third edition of the Junior NBA, not being able to implement all the SDGs, its organisers focused on what they consider most necessary or strategic according to the evolution of the society.

  • Goals 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Despite some progress observed here and there, much remains to be done on the issue.

The first article on the organisation of the third edition on sportanddev.org (Troisième edition de la Junior NBA au Cameroun: Plus qu’un enjeu sportif, un tournoi à valeur sociale) explains how the organisers put this goal into practice. As a reminder, the teams were composed of girls and boys, which expresses equality of the sexes and equal opportunities.

Maureen Rosita OJONG EBOB-BESONG, founder and President of the Apothecary by NERI (partner of the third edition of the Junior NBA, Cameroon) and co-founder of the Run Forever Foundation, especially kept the girls on this goal as a pledge of a prosperous, fair and sustainable world. She also spoke about women’s rights to decent work, access to education and health.

  • Goal 4: Ensure access to quality education

There is no doubt that sport plays a major role in the education of young people. During the competition, young people were taught the values of respect, acceptance of others despite their differences, love of their neighbour and the importance of sharing. Among the posters in large format that had been made, one could read: no to drugs, no to rape, no to alcohol, no to force marriages, yes to a quality education, yes to peace.

  • Goal 16: Peace, justice and effective institutions

Unlike past editions, where the competition was regional, it was decided to make it national: that’s to say, including the participation of the ten regions of Cameroon. The context is particularly relevant in view of the socio-political situation prevailing in the English-speaking regions of the country. This allowed the competitors to know that they are all Cameroonians; they are not Francophones nor Anglophones but just Cameroonians. The competitions allowed the young people to learn to respect the adversary, teamwork and the value of Goal 17, which speaks about partnership, sportsmanship and fair play. All this helped to sow the seed of peace by establishing a climate of trust, fraternity and friendship between the young competitors.

[This article has been edited by the Operating Team]

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Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - 09:47

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