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April 7, 2017

Street schoolchildren demonstrate power of sport as arrival of social change


April 7, 2017


Students from street schools of Islamabad and under-privileged communities assembled at Jinnah Stadium here Thursday to demonstrate the need to use the magical power of sport and play to bring about social change and community development, and to foster peace and understanding in the society.

Organised by Right To Play, the event was planned in connection with International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) 2017. Students of Mashal Model School, Pehli Kiran School System, Al-Firdous Community Model School, Master Ayub Park School, and Abdul Razzaq Welfare Trust School were the stars of the event. They played different games including a tug of peace to symbolically relate with the IDSDP theme ‘We Play Together’ for peace.

Director Sports Culture and Tourism at the Capital Development Authority (CDA) Sanaullah Aman was the chief guest on the occasion. “CDA is glad to partner with Right To Play and will now initiate such events itself to promote the culture of sports and play in Islamabad,” he assured, before moving on to distribute trophies among wining children. He appreciated their efforts, discipline and team spirit.

 “IDSDP is a reminder to use the magical power of sport and play for social change. Sport plays an important role in helping achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and is an important tool in tackling inequality in society,” Iqbal Jatoi, Country Director of Right To Play stated in his address. “We are using sport as a tool to improve quality of education in schools, to empower girls, to impart life-skills education, and to promote social inclusion in eight districts of Pakistan. The wonderful results that we continue to achieve strengthen our faith in the power of play and sport,” he added.

Captain of the national women football team Hajra Khan, football team player Asmara Kayani, women rugby team player Mehru Khan, women basketball players Swaiba Sarfaraz and Fazila also joined the celebrations.

Speaking on the occasion, Hajra Khan claimed having attended various programmes of Right To Play. “As a sports person, I believe that Right To Play teaches all the essential life-skills important in the playfield and life equally. It is definitely making a difference in the lives of beneficiary children in the programme,” she said.

Asmara Keyani termed sport as a powerful tool that unites children from different religions, backgrounds, and social strata. Mehru Khan urged the government to promote the culture of sport right from the primary school level. “My personal learning from sports is never to give-up,” she added. Swaiba Sarfaraz referred to qualities like discipline and unity which are fostered by participation in sport. Fazila emphasised the value of sport for of girls. “It is important to teach girls to think about life beyond marriage. Marriage is not the only goal of life. We need to focus on values taught by sport.”

Players representing Pakistan Army and Pakistan Air Force for national men’s basketball team also joined the ceremony to mentor kids during different activities. Shahzad, Atif Khan, Saghir Butt, and Ahmad Jan from Pakistan Air Force), and Nemat Ullah and Rashid Minhas from Pakistan Army collectively expressed the need for Pakistan to promote a culture of sport. “The government needs to patronize sport at the tehsil, district, provincial and national levels. More budget should be allocated for sport promotion so that we can produce a mentally and physically fit nation,” they stated.



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