UN Special Adviser confident about Vietnam’s progress in using Sport for Development and Peace.10 December 2013
From New Caledonia to Vietnam, the UN Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, Mr Wilfried Lemke takes this opportunity to discover how this nation is using sport to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals.
As his first visit to Vietnam, Mr Lemke was very interested in how sport is being used to promote development and peace, and took this opportunity to meet with the Deputy Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism Mr Vuong Duy Bien. During his meeting the UN Special Adviser was able to better understand how Vietnam is using sport to develop their communities, especially concerning areas like gender equality and the inclusion of those with a disability.
This mission also included a meeting with the Secretary-General of the National Olympic Committee and President of the National Paralympic Association. Mr Lemke was introduced to sport for all programmes and specifically ones focused on providing sports to those with a disability. As a big fan of swimming Mr Lemke was especially impressed with the swimming programme that had been there to teach youngsters to swim who live in areas with high level flood warnings.
“I am very encouraged by what I have seen today, Vietnam has introduced some very special programmes that will benefit many communities by making sport available to all“.
“It is clear to me that Vietnam is moving in the right direction, and through effective partnerships this part of the world will develop rapidly in the field of Sport for Development and Peace.” highlights Mr Lemke.
Rounding of a very successful mission, Mr Lemke visited a Football Fun Festival organised by the Football for All Vietnam (FFAV) project, and hosted in the district of Do Son at the Hop Duc Stadium. FFAV specifically focus on non-competitive grassroots level football for children aged 6-15 years old, with a special focus on children infected/affected by HIV/AIDS, and promotes the development of women’s football.
FFAV started its activities in the Do Son District in 2007 and currently has 9 football clubs. This Fun Football Festival attracted 210 players from 10 teams of Hop Duc ward and 11 teams from Minh Duc ward. At the festival, children participated in different activities such as football, life skills games, cultural exchange and musical performance.
Mr Lemke found the event educational whilst maintaining the essence of sport.
“These types of events are crucially important to the achievement and education of the UN Millennium Development Goals. Sport is an important factor in being able to convey our message, and today the kids have gained a vast amount of knowledge, whilst having lots of fun.”