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SECRETARY-GENERAL


Actually, it is quite gratifying to find that the international community is often softened through the sports activities of games such as cricket, football (including soccer) for men and women, athletics, tennis, rugby and dozens of other games which bring together individuals and groups from all backgrounds. In most cases, these encounters are always socially and politically positive, to the relief and enjoyment of millions of people. I should actually add that sports and games should be considered as “political tranquilizers”. The world of sports and games


further leads me to ask myself how, and to what extent, should Parliament be involved in the promotion of sports and games? If indeed sports and games have implications on youth activities and national pride, what should Parliament do to ensure that a nation succeeds in competitions that are part and parcel of human life? Besides, competition in sports and games involves all sorts of preparations: training, facilities, time, motivation, experts, travel, et cetera. These facilities and needs require funding, good organization and patriotism because, in the end, medals and cups have to be won. The Olympic and Paralympic Games


themselves earn medals or cups. There have to be clear policies and organization over the medium and long term for a nation to succeed in winning medals or cups.


Policies and organizations need to be backed by a corresponding will of the Female athletes at the 2006 Commonwealth games in Melbourne.


polity; and this is where Parliament has to be involved to make a difference. For example, sports men and women have to be trained while they are young. The training therefore has to be part of the school curriculum. The school curriculum and sports training have to be linked with the larger policy of food supply and dietary needs. Hungry and malnourished children would not undertake serious sports training, leave alone compete. Usain Bolt of Jamaica says that yams have contributed to his success; or, should we just assume that his “flight” abilities, and those of Ethiopians, Kenyans, Ugandans, et cetera, are in the family blood. It appears to me that nations that


excel at Olympic, Paralympic and World Cup competitions have set clear policies on why and how they will participate and compete. This means that the individuals and organizations that are charged with preparations and training do so knowing


and the World Cup competitions indicate how various nations invest their time and money to prepare to win at the events. Therefore, there must be a link between economic strength and success in world sports competitions. I may be naive to assume that economic power allows a particular nation to access the best facilities and experts available in the market to organize and prepare for competitions. However, economic power and large populations by cannot


that policies and laws support their actions and funds would be appropriated for the purpose. I support Akua Djane, who writes her reflections on Africa’s participation at the London Olympics (New African October, 2012), when she says that in order to win you need a winning attitude, training and investment. This means that training and investment have to be first supported at the top policy level, the Parliament.


Commonwealth gallery


VIEW FROM THE


The Secretary-General (centre) pictured with the Deputy High Commissioner of Tanzania, H.E. Chabaka Kilumanga (fifth from left), and a delegation of Parliamentarians from the Parliament of Tanzania.


Delegates from the Seminar on Parliament and Extractive Industries in Vienna, October 2012.


The Parliamentarian | 2012: Issue Three | 161


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