How sports can help in achievement of Sustainable Development Goals

By Elkanah Nyauma


Throughout the years, sporting activities have proven to be one of the best tools for promoting peace and development in the world. We identify the growing contribution of sports to the realization of development in its promotion of peace, unity and cohesion, justice and strong institutions, and even in managing humanitarian crises.

The United Nations also recognises sports’ great potential and uses it to bring people together by supporting sports for peace initiatives. From big sporting events to grass-roots activities, the UN does it all.

The universal global organization also attests that sports can help in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals.

Picture / World Economic Forum

Sporting activities are a great tool to unite individuals across the world regardless of race, country, religions or culture. The qualities of discipline, teamwork and respect among others are understood and utilized all over the world in almost every area of life. Surely sports are a great resource to achieving sustainable development.

Sports for development programs can become a powerful tool for development and learning. They promote participation, inclusion, human values, acceptance of rules, discipline, health promotion, non-violence, tolerance, gender equality, teamwork, among others. – World Economic Forum

ACAKORO Football Academy in the Korogocho slum, Nairobi, Kenya | Picture/UNOSDP

Opinion: How sports can help in the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals

Sports promote tolerance and respect and empowers women and youths.

Sporting activities contribute to people’s health, education and social inclusion.

According to an online research, 3.2 million people die every year with a large number of these cases stemming from physical inactivity (the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality).

Sports reduce the risks of diabetes, stroke, heart disease,  and other diseases.

Participation in sports removes the burden on healthcare for people, and to employers due to sick leave. This boosts economic development.

Sporting activities can be used to promote health through health messages. This engages people and promotes health education.

Sports promote gender equality and encourage equal participation

Sporting events have a positive impact in women and girls’ psychosocial conditions.

Sports empower women and youths, and support education and social inclusion efforts.

NB: The government should work with sporting organisations and other NGOs to emphasize the connection between sport and tourism to help promote sustainability.

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