UNESCO launched its new flagship programme, Fit for Life, on Monday 15 November on the sidelines of the UNESCO General Conference in Paris.

The Fit for Life initiative aims to address physical inactivity, mental health decline and inequalities that have been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The main objective is to improve the well-being, empowerment and development of young people and is broken down into five interrelated sub-objectives, namely :

  • increase grassroots participation in sport and quality physical education to reduce inactivity and chronic disease (physical and mental)
  • support the development of quality and inclusive sport policies which drive health, education and equality outcomes
  • use values education through sport to empower young people, promote equality and build socio-emotional resilience
  • support teachers and coaches to deliver quality, student-centred sport education curricula
  • build evidence to support targeted investments in sport as an accelerator of COVID-19 recovery

The Fit for Life programme also aims to :

  • establish a unique global dataset on sport policy and practice
  • develop global standards on integrated policy and programming in sport, education and health
  • roll-out of evidence-based advocacy campaigns as well as to design and launch a digital infrastructure

Topics ranging from the inclusion of vulnerable youth to data availability have been discussed.  The exchanges all converged on the positive impact of sport on development variables such as education, health and security. In addition, testimonies such as those of Kameroon Yoko Yoko from the Futebol da Força Foundation highlighted the impact of sport at the individual level, particularly on the ability of girls “to gain confidence and rebuild themselves after an attack”.

Read more about Fit for Life here.

Photo credit : UNESCO