Bloemfontein plays host to ­UN conference

2017-04-12 06:01
Nancy de Sousa. Photo: Teboho Setena

Nancy de Sousa. Photo: Teboho Setena

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Bloemfontein will play host to a three-day international conference of the United Nations on Sports for Development and Peace, from 24 to 26 April. This will be at the Emoya Estate. The conference will be jointly held by the Mangaung Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) and the Global Sports Federation, a United Nations body accredited by the United Nations to host the Sports for Development and Peace Conference.

A first for the Free State capital, the conference is said to be the first of its kind for the African continent. It will see representatives of different sporting codes converge on the City of Roses to share and make inputs on the development of sport as an important tool for human development and peace, as well as a unifier.

“The main outcome of this conference will be a massive sports project for Bloemfontein, the construction of a new Sports University. It will cater to a wide range of sporting codes, from rugby, soccer, netball and hockey to different forms of cricket, drum majorettes, gymnastics, weightlifting, chess, etc.,” says Nancy de Sousa, president of MCCI.

De Sousa says the specific activities of this international conference will be discussions on how to build the Sports University project, how to utilize green energy to its fullest, as well as utilizing grey water.

De Sousa says the UN plans to build the Sports University in Bloemfontein.

“This facility will include indoor sports, sporting fields, pitches, etc. What makes this project different is that its focus is as its name states: Sport for Development and Peace. The youth is a main target of the academy, seeing that we can reach far more people through sports and sporting activities. Because sports have the power to bring people together it is a very powerful communication tool. Sports reach many different people in many unique ways; it sends a message of cooperation. Many organisations work with the world of sports to teach people about key issues, locally and globally,” says De Sousa.

According to De Sousa, Bloemfontein’s centrality is one of aspects for consideration by the United Nations for the construction of the multi-purpose sport facility.

“We need our local people to step up so that the bulk of the financial injection this will bring, stays in the Free State. We need to embrace this prospect for development of people and to create opportunities for youngsters to get them off the streets and in the gym or on the playing fields,” says De Sousa.

Parties interested in participating in this three-day international conference can contact Nancy de Sousa on 051-522-1710 or 084-442-2663 or Eleni Papangelis on 071-725-0014. People are advised to phone during working hours.

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