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Pakistan celebrates Sport for Development and Peace Day

Pakistan celebrates Sport for Development and Peace Day

Sport plays a pivotal role in youth development and helps young people understand key core values and life lessons in a healthy environment: Chairman Pakistan Olympics Association

ISLAMABAD – The International Day of Sports for Peace & Development was celebrated in NUST Islamabad as part of a series of events held across different cities of Pakistan.

The celebration was aimed at empowering Pakistani youth through education and sports and at promoting the Sustainable Development Goals related to healthy lifestyles, peace, tolerance and partnership.

The ceremony in Islamabad was organized by UNIC Islamabad, the Higher Education Commission, the Pakistan Olympic Association and NUST.

The celebration at NUST opened with a friendly badminton match and was followed was followed by panel discussion on sport for development and peace with a focus on gender equality and people living with disabilities. Panellists included: Shamsa Hashmi, head of  Women’s Cricket at Pakistan Cricket Board and Additional Director Sports at the University of Punjab; Sana Mahmood, captain of the Pakistan National Women’s Basketball Team and former captain of the Pakistan National Women’s Football Team; Suleman Arshad, a visually impaired athlete who established the first para-climbing club of Pakistan; Fisa Hussain, Director General Sports at the Higher Education Commission.

“Sport plays a vital role in creating a third space for women and girls outside the home or school, therefore providing an extended platform for self-discovery, community engagement and an entry into the public sphere” and Suleman Arshad added that “sport can contribute to establishing peace between conflicting nations. As well as through sports we can empower people with disabilities” Sana Mahmood said during the debate.

The debate was followed by an award ceremony presented by Prof. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman Higher Education Commission, Lt. Gen. Muhammad Asghar, Rector NUST and General Arif Hasan, Chairman Pakistan Olympic Association, who said: “Sport plays a pivotal role in youth development and helps young people understand key core values and life lessons in a healthy environment. It is therefore but natural that a partnership has evolved between the UN and the IOC for the utilisation of sports for the promotion of human values, and address issues of health, education, social inclusion and inequality. Sports will therefore continue to play a role in advancing the global agenda within the Sustainable Global Agenda and within this, the Pakistan Olympic Association will play its role as an active enabler. We thank the UN Office in Pakistan for the opportunity.”

Vittorio Cammarota, Director UNIC, moderated the discussion and stated: “I’m grateful to all our partners for joining hands for this impressive program. Sport is a powerful tool for driving change in societies and an effective platform for bringing forward the Sustainable Development Goals. Through events like these, we aim at portraying the positive contribution of Pakistani youth and I encourage all young people to use sports as a platform for promoting peace, dignity and equal rights for all human beings.”

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