600 United Nations staff participate in 2012 Southern Africa Regional Games in Pretoria

By | 17 August 2012

Pretoria – Nearly 600 United Nations staff members from Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe are participating in the 2012 United Nations Southern Africa Regional Sports Games in Pretoria from 18 to 19 August 2012. Hosted by the United Nations South Africa Country Office, UN teams will be competing against each other in soccer, basketball, volleyball, netball, tennis and chess during the two-day event.

“Now in its fifth year, this wonderful sports competition promotes solidarity and understanding among our staff members in the region and strengthens our working relationships”, says Dr. Agostinho Zacarias, UN Resident Coordinator for South Africa. “We are pleased to host the games here in South Africa for this first time.” The United Nations has recognized that sport at all levels, from play and physical activity to elite and competitive sport, provides opportunities to promote UN values.

The games will kick off on 18 August at 10 a.m. at the University of Pretoria High Performance Centre and continue throughout the day. On 19 August the UN IX team plays soccer against Mamelodi Sundowns at Pilditch Stadium in Pretoria West from 12h00 to 13h30.

Minister of Sports and Recreation Fikele Mbalula will address the reception dinner on 18 August which will feature cultural performances from several countries.

Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Sport for Development Wilfred Lemke emphasizes that sport is a universal language and a powerful tool to promote peace, tolerance and understanding by bringing people together across boundaries, cultures and religions. Its intrinsic values such as teamwork, fairness, discipline, respect for the opponent and the rules of the game are understood all over the world.

Media are invited to all sport games as well as the reception dinner.  For further inquiries, please contact Sipho Dlamini on 083 414 3102 or sipho.dlamini@undo.org

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