Third National Unity Day, Sports Event To Begin On 27th January

The third edition of the National Unity Day sports events will begin on 27th January, the Minister of Culture Youth and Sports announced on Wednesday.

Third National Unity Day, Sports Event To Begin On 27th January
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Dr. Nadia Dudi Arop (fourth left) posing with partners after the press conference [Photo by Jale Richard]

By Jale Richard

JUBA, 11 January 2018 [Gurtong]-Dr. Nadia Arop Dudi told reporters that this year’s event is expected to be bigger than the previous two editions because other partners are involved.

Twelve teams from across the country will compete till 4th February under the theme ‘sports for peace and social cohesion.’

The Minister said the objective of the competition is to promote the integration of diverse populations through sporting fair play and sportsmanship.

The disciplines of the competition include Men’s football, women volleyball, and men and women athletics.

Twelve football teams selected are from Juba, Wau, Malakal, Bentiu, Jonglei, Torit Yambio, Kuajok Aweil, Rumbek, Abyei and Pibor.

Eight athletics teams include Juba, Wau, Aweil, Yambio, Torit, Bentiu, Pibor and Rumbek. Four women volleyball teams from Abyei, Malaka, Jonglei and Kuajok will also compete.

The event is meant to disseminate messages of peace to South Sudanese youth. “If we are talking about peace we can bring it through any means and sports bring people together to facilitate interaction,” Ms. Arop said.

She said national unity day is a symbol of unity aimed at contributing to lasting peace in the country.

The third National Unity Day is supported by Japan International Development Agency (JICA) and the Swiss Agency for Development Corporation, UNMISS, AMS Clothing and others.

“We believe in the tremendous potential of sports, which can bring people together, regardless of tribal, political and cultural differences,” Kyosuke Kawazumi, Chief Representative JICA South said in a speech read by Taban Koma, the Program Coordination for JICA. “This theme represents our ultimate goal,” he added.

He said the youth will get to be more united when they dine together, participate in sports together.

 “We are hoping that this event provides the people of South Sudan with an opportunity to appreciate the diversity of South Sudan, to be inspired by the sportsmanship and the fine play by the youths, and show support for and reaffirm one’s commitment for bringing peace to South Sudan,” Mr. Kawazumi said.


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