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Unicef, ICC join hands to shape future of adolescents in South Asia

Unicef, ICC join hands to shape future of adolescents in South Asia
December 06, 2017

ISLAMABAD/COLOMBO: The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday joined hands to work for for a prosperous future of adolescents in South Asia. and launched a multi-year campaign titled ‘Power of Sports to Shape future of Adolescents’ in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The event brought together adolescent girls and boys from South Asian countries along with captains of the Under-19 cricket teams from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan – teams that will compete in the International Cricket Council (ICC) U19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand in January 2018.

Adolescents from Pakistan, Memona Haleem (17) and Safeerullah Wazeer (19) along with captain of the U19 cricket team Mohammad Hassan Khan attended the event.  The Indian cricketer Youvraj Singh was also present
on the occasion.

Speaking at the launch, UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia, Jean Gough said, “Adolescence is a time of great opportunity and vulnerability.” He said that with investment and support, adolescents could reach their
full potential.

“It is our priority to build a more peaceful, prosperous and equitable future for adolescents in South Asia. We will achieve this by supporting their access to spaces to speak up, and skills to successfully transition to adulthood.” She said.

She further added that the values that define sports – teamwork, fairness, discipline, respect for the opponent and the rules of the game – were synonymous with the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup and are well understood all over the world.

She maintained that the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup gave young players an unrivaled experience of global events, a real flavor of international cricket at senior level and a glimpse into what life as one of the world’s best
was really like.

“Our partnership with UNICEF is an important one and the commitment the players have shown to being part of
the panel is a wonderful demonstration of that.”

A panel discussion on issues such as the right of adolescents to play, and the benefits that sports can provide to adolescents including improved self-esteem, health and ability to build life skills was held on the occasion which was followed by a friendly game of cricket between Youvraj Singh, the U-19 cricket players and youth attending the
event.

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