GOVERNMENT through the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation, is collaborating with various development partners and stakeholders to commemorate the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) with sports film screenings at different venues in Maseru beginning today until Saturday.
The participating partners in the project are the American Embassy, Alliance Française, the European Union, UNDP, Kick4Life, The Hub Morija as well as Sesotho Media & Development.
This week the Gender Ministry said in a statement that due to its vast reach, unparalleled popularity and foundation of positive values, “sport is ideally positioned to contribute towards the United Nations’ objectives for development and peace”.
In 2014, the United Nations General Assembly took a decision to raise awareness of sport’s potential to contribute to world peace by declaring April 6 as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP).
This year’s event will be held under the theme #WePlayTogether and among other films to be screened will be the iconic Ali and Ladies’ Turn.
Alliance Française Director, Remi Beghin said they hoped the inaugural festival in Lesotho would promote the importance and love for sports in the country.
“Last year the Ministry of Sports in collaboration with UNDP organised a series of workshops to celebrate the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace,” Beghin said, adding, “In 2017 we decided for the first time to organise a Lesotho Sports Film Festival, uniting several partners”.
“The aim is to celebrate sports in Lesotho, to make people see that sports is a path to success, to a healthier life, to national unity. Because of the festival, people will discuss sports and its benefits for individuals and society.
“We also hope this will raise awareness of the beauty of sport and to the possibilities it opens to youth and adults from all corners of society.
“It is also a way to develop a country economically. For example, Paris (France) is a candidate to host the 2024 Olympic Games. It would be a huge investment but the return on it is massive: millions of visitors shopping, eating in restaurants and staying in hotels.
“The same could be done in Lesotho by hosting more and more sub-regional competitions such as boxing, football and mountain sports among others,” he said.
Thursday 6 April. 14:00 hours
Opening of the festival in the National Library with screening of two short films, one of them being A Fighting Chance which is about the marathon runner from Lesotho, Tsepo Ramonene. Can someone from a small African country become an international athlete?
Friday. 14:30 hours
Venue: State Library’s American Corner.
Screening of the film Ali, about the legendary American heavyweight boxer, Mohamed Ali.
How can sport change an entire nation?
Venue: Alliance Française
Screening of Ladies Turn – a film about a women’s only football team in Senegal. Is sport also for adult women?
The Lesotho Special Olympics team will take part in several activities open to anyone and organised by the European Union Delegation to Lesotho. Screening of a South African movie on the challenges faces by a young HIV positive football player. Is sport only for young, rich and healthy persons?