By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Basketball for Peace (BB4P) Nigeria and Centre for Social Enterprise Development (CSED) United Kingdom, made a historical landmark in Nigeria when it held the first every International Day of Sport for Development and Peace celebration in two (2) States in Nigeria (Kaduna and Delta States).
Coach OBJ the BB4P Programme Manager while addressing participants in the 3-A-Side Basketball Competition to mark the day, stated that sports presents a natural partnership for the United Nations (UN) system, which has the following focal points; Sports as a Fundamental Right, Sport as a Powerful Tool, Sports and Peace and finally Sports and Sustainable Development.
He went further inform the youth they have the right of access to, and participation in, sport and play as it has long been recognised in a number of international conventions.
“In 1978, UNESCO described sports and physical education as a “fundamental right for all.” But until today, the right to play and sport has too often been ignored or disrespected.”
He further educated participants that sports is a powerful tool to strengthen social ties and networks, and to promote ideals of peace, fraternity, solidarity, non-violence, tolerance and justice especially at this period in Nigeria.
On the 6th of April, 2019 two BB4P Peace Zones were used to mark this special day; one in Northern Nigeria; Zaria and the second in Southern Nigeria; Sapele.
Each Peace Zone hosted a 3-A-Side Basketball Competition where 6 teams competed in a round robin match format playing a total of 30 matches on the two (2) Peace Zones.
The BB4P Delta State Coordinator, Mr. Collins Newumumi said the youth were really pleased that Sapele was selected as one of the two Peace Zones to host this competition on such a remarkable day.
At the end of the competition, all participants received match stipends based on their win and lose records.
It would be recalled that sports has historically played an important role in all societies, be it in the form of competitive sport, physical activity or play.