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Sport reforms in Mauritius attract Commonwealth experts

7 October 2019

Commonwealth sport policy experts will meet in Mauritius today to draw inspiration from the pioneering sport reforms the country has undertaken with the Secretariat’s support.

Experts will plan to scale the use of the common indicators framework to measure sport’s impact on the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and endorse a data collection tool to map threats to sport’s integrity such as corruption and doping.

Former West Indian cricketer Deryck Murray will chair the meeting of the Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport. The organisation is an independent group which provides the Commonwealth with advice on sport policy issues.

Commenting before the meeting, Mr Murray said: “Mauritius’ hosting of the meeting is a particularly fitting location.

“Mauritius offers practical knowledge and experience which can inspire other member countries to unlock the potential of sport to contribute to improving the health of citizens and promote sustainable economic and social development.”

In 2018, following assistance from the Commonwealth, Mauritius developed and adopted a new sport policy which has enabled sport to effectively contribute to the SDGs targets in areas of health, social cohesion and economic development. 

The policy led to the launch of a national Active Mauritius initiative to get more people to play sport and exercise regularly. This initiative will reduce the high prevalence of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases associated with physical inactivity in Mauritius.   

Mauritius is also the first African country to introduce the indicators framework within its national monitoring and evaluation system to quantify the areas in which sport is making a positive impact.

Experts will review a Commonwealth consensus on promoting human rights in and through sport. The consensus includes provisions such as guaranteeing gender equality and providing access to sport and physical activity for all citizens.

The advisory body includes representatives from nine member countries, the Commonwealth Games Federation and Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development and Peace Network.

The findings of the meeting will inform the agenda for the next Commonwealth Sports Ministers Meeting, taking place in Japan next year.