Several members of Team South Africa at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China have this week attended an important conference on Inclusive Partnerships for Health, Sports and Development through South-South and Triangular Cooperation.
Chef de Mission for Team SA, Vinesh Maharaj, was accompanied by Young Ambassador Reabetswe Mpete, fellow South African sports climbing representative Sam Stainton and some of the 55-strong team.
They were guests of Dr Djibril Dialli, representative of the Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
The critical theme of the conference was entitled ‘Protect The Goal Campaign’ Uniting the World against Aids.
Young Ambassador Mpete and Stainton gave a moving 90-second dedication to the fight against HIV/Aids and how young people can assist in reducing the incidents of HIV/Aids infection. The dedication was well received by all those present.
Said Chef de Mission Maharaj: ‘Sport plays a vitally important role in addressing the social needs of our society and communities.
‘I am very much looking forward to all our young athletes both pursuing their sporting dreams and at the same time espousing the realms of promoting and ensuring the UN pledge that there are:
1. Zero new HIV/Aids infections
2. Zero discrimination against HIV infections
3. Zero Aids related deaths.’
For his part Dr Daillo both acknowledged and thanked the Chef de Mission for his efforts in ensuring that the young South African athletes were able to be part of the opening of this conference and also joining in the campaign ‘Protect the Goal Campaign’ Uniting the World against Aids.