Sport challenges inequalities in gender, race, and disabilities and is a means to educate against anti-social behaviors and re-integrate marginalized groups, Rwanda’s Sports Minister Aurore Mimosa Munyangaju has said.
She made the remarks Thursday, June 23, during the Commonwealth Games Federation and Commonwealth Sports for Development and Peace Breakfast, where among other things, the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham several weeks from now were discussed.
“Today we are ever more convinced that sport is a much needed tool not only for health and professional achievements (to mention but a few), but also for bringing people together with a common understanding and a common goal,” Munyangaju said, noting that “Sport empowers people and teaches leadership and citizenship skills while inculcating cooperation toward shared goals.”
This was echoed by Dr Suddhoo Arjoon, the Deputy Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Secretariat, who said: “Sport has the power to inspire and move all of us. It can reach across borders and barriers to connect us and lift us up together. It is also a real expression of soft power – and can be a key driver of economic activity and development.”
He added that sport is also an important tool for ensuring that the social and health gains made prior to the Covid-19 pandemic are restored and accelerated.
The Commonwealth Games Federation President, Dame Louise Martin CBE, said: “We believe sport has the power to bring us together, reconcile our differences and inspire us to change our lives for the better.
“It is sport that underpins our values of humanity, equality and destiny. It also sits at the center of our vision which states: Through sport, we create peaceful, sustainable and prosperous communities across the Commonwealth,” Martin said.
Other topics that were discussed during the Sports Breakfast include the role that the Commonwealth Sports Movement can play in advancing social and human development outcomes, and promoting effective partnerships between the Sports Movement and governments.
It is expected that an exhibition cricket match will be played Thursday afternoon at Gahanga International Cricket Stadium, and there will be an open golf session on Friday at the newly upgraded Kigali Golf Club, in Nyarutarama.
The two activities are part of the side events for the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali.