Achieving the Global Goals: the role of sport

At ChildFund, we believe in the power of sport as a tool for good.

Why? Because sport is a proven, cost-effective and flexible tool in reducing poverty.

We aren’t the only fans. The United Nations has recognised the important role that sport can play in helping the world to reach the Global Goals.

Former Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon said: “Sport promotes health and well-being, fosters tolerance, mutual understanding and peace, and contributes to social inclusion and equality.

“It empowers, inspires and unites.”

The Global Goals for Sustainable Development

Here are five ways in which sport is helping us to achieve the Global Goals and build a better world for children.

Global Goal 3: ENSURE HEALTHY LIVES AND PROMOTE WELL-BEING FOR ALL AT ALL AGES 

It goes with saying that sport helps children and adults to adopt active lifestyles that enhance our health and wellbeing, and prevent disease. It can also be used to increase health awareness, particularly in hard-to-reach or vulnerable communities, such as those living in remote areas, or refugee populations.

Global Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

When sports and physical education activities are on offer in both formal and informal education settings, it can be a powerful motivator for children to attend. The integrated sport and education curriculum of programs like ChildFund Pass It Back can also teach valuable life skills in leadership, problem-solving, gender equity, conflict-resolution and planning for the future.

Global Goal 5: ACHIEVE GENDER EQUALITY AND EMPOWER ALL WOMEN AND GIRLS

Sport can advocate for gender equality, address gender norms, and provide inclusive safe spaces for women and girls. Using a relatively unknown, and therefore un-gendered, sport such as rugby in Laos has meant that more than 50% of all players and coaches taking part in ChildFund Pass It Back are female, a world first for an entry-level rugby program.

Global Goal 10: REDUCE INEQUALITY WITH AND AMONG COUNTRIES 

Sport can be a successful tool for tackling inequality in remote areas and empowering individuals and communities. It also plays in important role in promoting the values of equality, diversity and inclusion of all – irrespective of age, sex, race, ethnicity, origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, economic or other status.

Global Goal 16: PROMOTE PEACEFUL AND INCLUSIVE SOCIETIES 

Asia is home to 60% of the world’s youth, with more than 1.8 billion people aged between 10 and 24. Programs such as ChildFund Pass It Back help young people in disadvantaged communities to develop the skills they need to keep themselves safe in what is a rapidly changing environment. As a development initative, ChildFund Pass It Back is aligned with global efforts to achieve Global Goal target 16.2 – to end all forms of violence against children.