By Ijeoma Okigbo
More than 150 children from internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps participated in the 2021 UNESCO International Day of Sport for Development and Peace at Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.
UNESCO staff member Kevin Wilima told the Nigeria News Agency (NAN) that the fourth edition of the event aims to use sport to heal and build children’s confidence.
“Sport is a great tool for building resilience, confidence and healing, which is why we have decided to reach out to the less privileged in our society.
“To make it even better, we decided to explore the use of traditional games like ‘ten tens’, ‘voom voom’ and ‘suwe’, which kids get to know before moving on to other ‘foreign’ sports.
“Sport is a language where everyone communicates and it is essential for improving self-esteem, maintaining peace and for recreation,” added Wilima.
Wilima also said the annual event was limited to a few attendees due to COVID-19.
“We generally have more children than what you see here, but because of COVID-19 we have had to reduce the number of children here,” he said.
For his part, Anthony Asuquo, coach of the TIG club, said he hopes events like this will be frequent to bring a smile to the displaced people.
“You can see how happy the kids are and how ready they are to play sports and get involved. Children are the future and it would be our loss not to feed them properly, ”added Asuquo.
Asuquo, who is Nigeria’s first certified international gymnastics trainer, also said the children were from the Wasa and Orozo IDP camps.
The coach called on the government and private sponsors to help improve the lives of the less privileged, especially through sport.
NAN reports that the event was scheduled to be held on April 6, the annual International Day of Sport and Development for Peace, but has been postponed due to the start of the National Sports Festival in Benin. (NOPE)
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