Sports for a Sustainable Planet

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Actions for the Social Good Summit didn’t just take place inside 92nd Street Y; a few blocks away, people advocated for the SDGs while playing soccer. The Global Goals World Cup, an open women’s amateur soccer tournament, was hosted by Eir (a sports organization) and UNDP during the Summit.

During the Social Good Summit, Michael O’Neill, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy at UNDP, and Kristian Jensen, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark, talked about the sports event in their panel “World Cup: Global Goals”. Jensen explained why the project called on women to play for the SDGs: “you can’t win if you put half of the population in the bench”. The idea started in Copenhagen, moved to New York City and is now expanding to other regions.

Another panel “For Kids, Play is Serious”, opened with a shocking video that showed kids’ hopes for their futures before displaying the message that this generation might die five years younger than their parents, for the first time in history. Vice President of Global Community Impact at Nike, Jorge Casimiro, stressed that active kids do better in every way. Getting this generation of kids moving is more than just implementing the Global Goals – it is the key to ensuring less health issues and less violence. “Sport can unleash the potential in every kid,” emphasized Casimiro.

The story of Valquiria, a young girl who grew up in a favela in Brazil, was discussed at the Summit. After facing many struggles during her childhood to find a proper place to swim, she started running - adapting to her conditions. Valquiria then went on to become a P.E teacher and is now a volunteer coach, inspiring and motivating the next generation through sport.

After all these amazing talks and actions regarding physical activity at the Social Good Summit there is only one thing to be done: put your sneakers on and get active for the Sustainable Development Goals!

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