14.09.2015 - UNESCO Office in Apia

VOA outreach education in action at Commonwealth Youth Game in Samoa

(c) UNESCO

Making sure that young athletes become a voice of change in their communities was an overall goal of a significant initiative amidst a buzzing Tuanaimato Sports Complex, which was one of the venues for the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games held in Apia from September 5th to September 11th, 2015.

The Voices of Athletes outreach education programme aimed to equip 1,000 young athletes and coaches of Commonwealth Countries with practical knowledge and skills on the programmes thematic areas which were HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), Environment, Healthy lifestyles and Doping-free culture.

These themes were advocated and promoted through participatory sessions at the VOA booth in Tuanaimato. At the booth, UNESCO, ONOC/ORADO, UNAIDS, SPREP, UNDP staff as well as VOA Educators and Champions (young athletes) who have been trained in the VOA programme ran sessions to raise awareness on the thematic areas of the programme and to answer any question, hoping young athletes to make a right choice in their professional careers and daily life but most importantly to share these messages with their peers and communities.

At the Play True anti-doping station, young athletes were asked about their doping knowledge. Less than half of them were able to explain what doping is, while others had no previous opportunity to learn about doping in their home countries. Young athletes were briefed on anti-doping rules violations by using WADA’s Anti-Doping At-a-Glance leaflet. Afterwards, to assess knowledge-change, athletes were asked to match 6 anti-doping rule cards with 6 scenario cards. Additional explanation was also provided to increase their understanding of anti-doping rules.

The remarkable strength of this programme was the delivery of training by youth for youth in order to ensure sustainability and to promote clean sport. 

The programme also equipped the Champions with facilitation skills and adequate knowledge on the themes preparing them for possible careers in these areas. This programme also took into great consideration the support for athletes to possess other capabilities other than sports.

The Voice of the Athletes programme in its pilot phase was jointly supported by UNESCO, Oceania National Olympic Committee (ONOC), Oceania Reginal Anti-Doping Organisation (ORADO), Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), UNAIDS, UNDP, UNV, Sustainable Coastline, and Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (SASNOC).

For related information visit: www.unesco.org/new/en/apia/about-this-office/single-view/news/voa_educators_ready_for_champion_training/

 




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