The Role of CYSDP and Young People in Strengthening Commonwealth Cooperation in Sport

Janine Thonhill will be representing CYSDP and youth across the Commonwealth at the Commonwealth Sports Ministers Meeting in Rio in August and here is what she had to share with us: 

On August 4, 2016, Sports Ministers from across the Commonwealth will come together for the 8th Commonwealth Sports Ministers Meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to discuss the contribution sport can make to the new global development agenda, with special emphasis on promoting healthy lives and well-being for all. The Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development and Peace (CYSDP) working group, which remains committed to its mandate to advocate, educate and demonstrate best practice in Sport for Development and Peace (SDP), will be given the opportunity to submit a presentation on the role CYSDP and young people have in maximizing Commonwealth cooperation in sport.

In a survey that lead up to the 2016 Commonwealth Conference on Youth Work, the CYSDP found that majority of SDP youth practitioners identified their motivation to working in the field of youth work and SDP, is based on their previous or current involvement in sport. They recognised that sport can make a contribution to a very wide range of objectives, including promoting healthy lives and well-being, education, gender equality, employment and peaceful and inclusive societies.

Through these engagements with sport and non-sport youth leaders, the CYSDP has captured valuable information of the challenges, barriers and opportunities faced when planning to utilize sport as a tool to contribute toward achieving sustainable development. Youth-led groups continue to stress the importance of having opportunities to collaborate and connect with others in sport and non-sport platforms, to continue to promote ‘Sport for Good’ and SDP best practice.

Support for youth involvement and youth decision-making in sport is rooted in the recognition that sport possesses unique attributes that enable it to bring particular value to development and peace processes.

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It light of these challenges, the CYSDP calls on Commonwealth Governments to:

  1. Consider the establishment of formalized, inclusive and broader opportunities for youth input through national youth advisory groups.
  2. Consider innovative engagement platforms centred around sports events that will not only raise the profile of SDP around the Commonwealth, but can bring benefits to existing programmes, promote access to participation and promote the integrity and good governance in sport.

Contributed by Janine Thornhill

For more information on CYSDP, visit us at:
Website –
Facebook – Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development and Peace Working Group
Twitter – @CommYouthSDP



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