National Unity Day plans underway
By Morris Dogga
A two day conference on the preparation for the third National Unity Day sports for peace is currently underway in Juba.
Director Generals of education across the country including Abyei administrative area, sports technocrats, coaches, sports associations are meeting in the capital Juba to discuss ways on how the 2018 event shall be conducted.
While opening the conference, the National Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Dr. Nadia Arop Dudi called on the officials to demonstrate full commitment during the discussions so that in time to come the whole project will be owned by South Sudanese.
“Our commitment is very important for the success of the National Unity Day sports event,” she said.
“Let us take it as a serious event so that we can bring peace to South Sudan,” she added.
National Unity Day sports for peace is an annual event organized by the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sports with support from the Japanese International Cooperation (JICA), aimed at promoting peace and social unity through sports.
The event features participation of youths from across the country in different sports which included football and athletics.
The Minister applauded JICA for funding the National Unity Day sports event stating that sports is an essential tool that can unite the people of South Sudan regardless of their ethnicity.
She said plans are underway to not only host the event in Juba but also take it to other towns so that the peace message is reached to the grass root levels.
“If it is taken to the grassroot, the people can own it,” she added.
She outlined that the support from JICA was important and further said that her ministry had no money to carry out such sport events.
She urged JICA to continue supporting the project so that peace is realized in the country.
In a video message, the representative of JICA to South Sudan, Ms. Tomomi Uchikawa said it was important that event is made inclusive for all south Sudanese.
She reiterated her organizations commitment to continue funding the Sports event project.
Sports personnel at the conference are also expected to discuss the inclusion of volleyball which may increase the participation of women in the national event and help promote gender equality.
In the last sports event held in Juba early this year, about 500 athletes from 12 towns competed in the events.
According to JICA the forthcoming event is likely to be on the same scale.