United Nations Police use school sports to advocate for principles of fair play in Torit

unmiss south sudan unpol eastern equatoria state torit football mixed teams fair play principles sports

Fair play on and off the pitch was on the agenda when police officers serving with UNMISS visited a secondary school in Torit. Photos: Samira Y. Salifu/UNMISS

24 Feb 2022

United Nations Police use school sports to advocate for principles of fair play in Torit

Samira Y. Salifu

EASTERN EQUATORIA - More than 80 students at the Bishop Akio Memorial Secondary School in Torit in Eastern Equatoria have practiced principles of fair play during a school outreach programme conducted by the United Nations Police in Eastern Equatoria State.

For Paul Biaju, the school’s head teacher, the now adult male and female athletes who have passed through his school are a source of pride.

“Many of my students who participated in interschools competitions while enrolled here currently play for national teams in different sports,” he said. “We encourage sportsmanship because the status achieved by our successful alumni contributes to the welfare of the school.”

The outreach programme began early in the morning with a discussion on the importance of physical education and sports, and how fair play principles can be applied in various contexts of life by respecting both rules and moral imperatives. Thus enlightened, the participating boys and girls formed six mixed teams and played a mini football tournament.

Islam Fadly, a Police Advisor working with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, explained that the happiness displayed by the students was probably made more intense by the timing of the event.

“This was a good opportunity to make them happy before their upcoming final examinations. I also hope they will continue with these activities on a regular basis, because they are so important.”

The students were, in fact, delighted with their opportunity to de-stress.

“I am really enjoying the game. It’s wonderful to take some time off from serious studies,” said James Lojuju John.

“As you can see, there are girls on the pitch playing with the boys. I find this absolutely thrilling because in our traditional culture this kind of mixing is not condoned,” said Nancy Amoo Ezbon.

“It is interesting to see how my fellow students are approaching the games. My takeaway from this is that I can achieve whatever I want if I put my mind to it,” said Francis Atavinpa.

“This is all great! After all, this is also part of learning and part of life,” said Simon Sanko.

Before leaving the school, the visiting peacekeepers handed over a collection of items useful for athletes and students alike: footballs, a pump to inflate them, jerseys, socks, boots, and exercise books.