Blog by H E Deryck Lance Murray, chair of the Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport (CABOS)
The important Commonwealth Sports Ministers Meeting (10CSMM) - held on the periphery of the Commonwealth Games, in Birmingham next week - is an opportune moment for ministers to focus on the many related issues impacting the sport sector following the Covid-19 pandemic.
These include, investment in sport, measuring the impact of sport on communities and other programmes; and operationalising the Commonwealth Consensus Statement on Promoting Human Rights in and through Sport.
The meeting also provides a crucial platform to discuss the work of the Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport (CABOS).
CABOS was established, primarily, to advise the Secretary-General on matters of sport policy and how Commonwealth officials can use sport to inspire and motivate communities and stakeholders to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
CABOS consists of representatives from Commonwealth member states, as well as independent sport experts and academics. This group regularly comes together to find ways in which the Commonwealth can contribute to and improve sport's governance, human rights, and equality issues.
Anecdotally, it is generally accepted that sport and elite athletes have a profound impact on people and corporate entities across the globe. Harnessing that power is essential in optimising sport’s potential to contribute to the goals and aspirations of the Commonwealth.
Indeed, CABOS recognises sport as an important enabler but also, as a vital catalyst for initiating and sustaining the many projects and programmes that are necessary for the well-being of communities. For example, Commonwealth Moves is an umbrella programme that utilises physical activity, sport and health education programmes, to combat obesity and non-communicable Diseases (NCDs), like diabetes and heart disease.
Gradually, over the last few decades we have seen these diseases impact our communities and increasingly our young people and children.
Addressing this issue is, therefore, a major and pivotal focus of our programmes.
Following encouraging pilots in Mauritius and Jamaica, the full Commonwealth Moves programme is now being extended throughout the Commonwealth. It is designed to encourage a minimum of thirty minutes of physical activity per-day, across all age groups, as well as promoting the health and wellness benefits of sport.
There is indeed much for Ministers to discuss and action at 10csmm.
- Amy Coles Communications Officer, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat