UNITING THROUGH SPORTS: SOUTH AFRICA TO HOST THE 2018 AFRICAN UN GAMES
The United Nations in South Africa will host the 11th UN Games in Mpumalanga Province from 31 August to 2 September 2018, with competitors attending from agencies across Africa. The eventwill feature a range of sports, including football, netball, volleyball, basketball, tennis, swimming, golf, athletics, darts, chess, table tennis, snooker and other fun games like egg race and sack race. All staff are eligible to compete for the countries in which they are stationed.
The UN recognizes the importance of sports for public health and to raise awareness on Sustainable Development Goal 3, which aims to ensure healthy lives and to promote the wellbeing for all people at all ages. The African UN Games have been held annually in Southern Africa since 2007. South Africa last hosted the games in 2012, and last year they were held in Lesotho. The African UN Games were established in parallel to the UN Inter-Agency Games which have been hosted mostly in Europe and North America since 1971. The intention of the games is to build a culture of peace and tolerance by bringing UN staff together, across national and other boundaries,to promote understanding, mutual respect and under the UN’s ‘Delivering as One approach’.
This year’s UN Games are expected to bring teams from Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. All UN agencies in Africa are invited to form a national team and participate. The Chair of the UN Games Local Organizing Committee in South Africa, Siphelele Chingono of UNICEF, said that Team SA is determined to win this year after coming second overall in 2017. “I am confident that Team SA will win the games this year and we call on all UN Staff to participate in the various games to make this a success.”