Delegate: Mr. Sweep
60. Mr. Sweep (Netherlands), speaking as a youth delegate, stressed the importance of education for guaranteeing children a better future. Non-classroom activities, including sport and leisure activities, encouraged school attendance and added to children’s enjoyment of school. He cited such examples as a school where attendance had increased by more than 40 per cent after sports and a daily meal were offered to the students; and a young slum boy who attended school, thereby increasing his chances of a better life, simply because he could then play on the school football team.
61. The importance of sport in young people’s lives was greatly underestimated and young people everywhere should have the opportunity to benefit from sport, which involved not only physical activity but also learning to work as a team and building self-confidence. He had been involved personally in leading a project to take young people to South Africa to organize sports activities and had seen first hand the positive effect on the participants’ self-confidence.
62. Sport combined with education appealed to young people and empowered them, helping them gain knowledge and social and physical skills in an easily accessible programme adapted to their lifestyle. Sport could help achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and should be offered along with formal classroom education in schools. The international community should encourage investment in youth through education and sport, a game-winning combination.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/64/SR.2