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As 2019 gears up, there is so much to look forward to in the sport for development space as we reflect on some of the highlights in 2018. In October, The United Nations Human Rights (UNHR) Social Forum in Geneva initiated discussions that have set the tone for sport for development for 2019.

This was followed up by December’s Sporting Chance Forum in Paris.  In 2018, the European Non-Governmental Sports Organisation (ENGSO) and the UNESCO Youth Sports Task Force committed to aligning efforts to create greater impact.

The Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development & Peace Network attended these fora in partnership with other leading youth sport networks.The work of the Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development & Peace Network (CYSDP’s) in 2018 contributed towards exploring the role of sport in protecting human rights and championing social change.

After hosting a very forward-thinking panel at the UN Human Rights Forum, it emerged that one of the critical topics will be how sport for development and peace can take advantage of the world’s hottest sport at the moment: esport. Participants in esport tournaments compete against each other playing video games, drawing large online audiences.As esport continues to proliferate globally, there’s no doubt that this sport is here to stay. While publishers (game makers) continue to jockey for position and the world watches larger and larger stadiums host international tournaments, it could only be a matter of time before esport becomes a tool to tackle some of the biggest social issues we face. In most mainstream sports with large followings, regulations and standards have been established and arguably entrenched. Esport presents us with a real opportunity to build the sport of the future. After the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, Commonwealth Games Federation Head, David Grevemberg, said he wanted to create the Federation of the future. A Federation that factored in human rights and equality, and was committed to integrity at every level. There is no reason that as esport rises, we cannot play a role in ensuring the very same values.

At the UNHR panel that CYSDP chaired, there was a call to consider the role that esport can play in development activities globally. This was stressed upon as mobile technology has made esport more accessible and subsequently enabled its spread around the globe. What is particularly unique about esport is that the arena, while virtual, is the great equalizer. We have the first sport that can truly address, tackle, and confront the inequality that is biologically inherent in sport. The opportunity to build on equality movements from 2018 through esports is glaringly obvious. Esport can lay the pathway for integration, social cohesion and inclusion programs in unprecedented ways- allowing us a chance to craft a brand new sport free of the biases that have been engendered in other mainstream sports.

It’s becoming hard to ignore the reach, growth and impact of esport. However, there is little taking place to drive social impact. CYSDP wants to take the first steps towards addressing this. As the sport grows commercially so will its role in communities at regional and even national levels. Creating an environment for esport to thrive and catalyze the initial esport for development programs will mean collaborating at grassroots, industry and policy levels.

With CYSDP’s responsibility of supporting the Commonwealth’s 53 Member States and representing the youth voice, there is a readiness to play a leading role in enabling esport for development to drive change across the Commonwealth.

Contributed by:Richard Loat (CYSDP)

Sub-Editor:Jacqueline Njeri  (CYSDP)


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Rheeza Grant Interview - August 2019 - 2019 Pan Am Games, Lima, Peru

Nicholas Paul of Trinidad and Tobago celebrates after winning men's sprint gold at the Pan American Games ©Getty Images

2019 Pan Amer­i­can Games

Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) President Brian Lewis has praised his nation's athletes after the country recorded their best medal performance at the Pan American Games in Lima.

Colin Murray |

2019 Pan Amer­i­can Games

A few fans stopped me to ask what I thought about the West In­dies' per­for­mance so far in the se­ries against In­dia in both the T20's and the ODIs.

DOUBLE GOLD MEDALLIST! Nicholas Paul of T&T celebrates beating compatriot Phillip Njisanel, also of T&T, to win the gold medal in the track cycling men's sprint final at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru on August 3. (AP)

2019 Pan Amer­i­can Games

The Pan Amer­i­can Games closed on Sun­day but T&T is still cel­e­brat­ing its his­toric per­for­mance, claim­ing 13 medals, the most ever.

I happen to be initially browsing but having caught my attention, I then perused thoroughly, the 2018 Oxford Business Group country report on Trinidad and Tobago.  There were a number of perespectives, snap shots and overviews written. If one wanted to get a well researched and documented overview of the economic and business landscape within the twin Island Republic.

31 July is CANOC day. A message was sent out. That it barely registered or caught the attention of sport stakeholders in the Caribbean is an opportunity not a slight. CANOC must embrace the opportunity to heighten awareness and engage in enhanced outreach to provide information about the organisation.

It is cold in Lima, Peru, host city of the 2019 Pan Am Games. In fact, it is winter here in the South American nation.

With the one-year countdown to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games officially underway, the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee, (TTOC) has announced that TTO athletes will benefit from a pre-games training camp at the Japan Athlete Training Center Osumi, in Osaki Town, Kagoshima Prefecture, as part of Japan’s Host Town Initiative.

Dylan Carter

Tokyo 2020

National swimmer Dylan Carter has qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan after reaching the semi-final in the 100m freestyle at the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships in South Korea.

In this file photo, (from L) TT's Keston Bledman, Emmanuel Callender, Richard Thompson and Marc Burns celebrate after winning silver in the men's 4×100m relay final at the National Stadium during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on August 22, 2008.

Tokyo 2020

TEAM TTO has been assured of a gold medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Twelve years after their second place finish at the 2008 Beijing Games, sprinters Richard Thompson, Marc Burns, Emmanuel Callender and Keston Bledman will receive their 4x100m relay gold.


Cartan Global         Michael Johnson Performance Puma