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Commonwealth Debate on Sport and Sustainable Development

To mark the Third International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP), the Commonwealth Secretariat is convening a Commonwealth Debate on Sport and Sustainable Development.

The topic for the debate is: To maximise the contribution that sport can make to sustainable development, governments should focus investment on 'sport for health’.

Representatives from governments, senior officials and academics will join members of the sport and development community at the debate to mark IDSDP.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC will provide the opening remarks for the debate.

Speakers' profiles

Arguing for the proposition

Dr Temo K Waqanivalu, Team Leader, Population-based Prevention Unit, World Health Organisation
Dr Temo K Waqanivalu's focus of work is on providing technical guidance and support to member states on population based prevention in the areas of diet (salt reduction, fruits and vegetables, obesity prevention, marketing of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children) and physical activity. Find out more >>

Dr Oscar Mwaanga, Associate Professor, School of Sport, Health and Social Sciences, University of Southampton Solent
Dr Oscar Mwaanga is an associate professor as well as a social entrepreneur and activist internationally renowned for sport for development and peace (SDP). He has focused his work around sport as a tool for health promotion, for example movement games to educate about HIV/AIDS, obesity and poverty. Find out more >>

Lucy Fagan, Policy Advisor at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN)
Lucy is a member of the Commonwealth Youth Health Network and currently works as a Policy Advisor at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), providing policy leadership on matters of domestic and global health. A passionate youth advocate, with a background in public health research and practice, she is dedicated to embedding youth engagement at all stages of national and international policy development. Find out more >>

Arguing against the proposition:

Professor Myles Wickstead, Visiting Professor (International Relations), King’s College London and the Open University
Professor Myles Wickstead has had a long history of involvement with, and working in, international relations and international development. He has served as British Ambassador to Ethiopia, Djibouti and the African Union, on the Board of the World Bank and in roles overseeing British Government development programmes in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. He has written extensively on international aid and development, his book ‘Aid and Development: A Brief Introduction’ was published by OUP in June 2015. Find out more >>

Dr Bella Bello Bitugu, Director of Sport, University of Ghana   
Dr Bella Bello Bitugu oversees all issues realating to sports at the University of Ghana. He also teaches courses in the area of sociology of sports and provides expert and consultancy services in the area of development through sports. He has coordinated several sport for development projects accross Europe and Africa for well over 15 years and served as the Country Manager of Right To Play Ghana (Apr 2012 - Aug 2013). Find out more >>

Francesca Jones, Commonwealth Games Medalist and winner most inspirational athlete at Glasgow 2014
Francesca 'Frankie' Jones is a retired Welsh rhythmic gymnast who represented Wales at three successive Commonwealth Games, winning seven Commonwealth Games medals. At the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games she won the David Dixon Award, awarded to the athlete at the Games who has competed with particular distinction and honour both in terms of athletic performance and overall contribution to their team. In retirement Frankie has turned her attention to mentoring and coaching aspiring gymnasts. Find out more >>

The debate will be informal in style, with each speaker addressing the topic for six minutes and minimal ‘rebuttable’ only. 

The response to the debate will be delivered by Louise Martin CBE, Chair of the Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport and President, Commonwealth Games Federation, and Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General, Deodat Maharaj will adjudicate.

The Commonwealth Secretariat is recognised for undertaking measured analysis of the contribution that sport can make to sustainable development. As such, we are hopeful this debate will offer an engaging and innovative way to address the topic, and will stimulate critical reflection and dialogue amongst attendees.

Please note the debate is invite only and RSVPs are required.