MKU celebrates international day of sports for peace and development
Mount Kenya University on 6th April, 2021 joined the world in marking international day of sports for peace and development in an African region webinar .The webinar was organized by Mount Kenya University’s UNESCO Chair on Digital Education, Interdisciplinary Teaching and Sustainable Development in collaboration with Kenya National Commission for UNESCO (KNATCOM-UNESCO), The African Sports Association (ASMA) and TV47.
The theme for this year’s event is upholding sports and physical activity for peace and development under COVID-19 lockdown and beyond.
Why sports could save your life
“When we run, we can make this world a beautiful place. We can kick away most of the diseases by just running.” These are the words of the marathoner Eliud Kipchoge after he ran a marathon distance in under two hours in 2019.
Two years later, his words appear to have gained more relevance the world over, following a period of unprecedented challenges that the human race has had to cope with following the outbreak of Covid-19. People are increasingly turning to sport to stay mentally and physically in shape.
“There is no more powerful platform than sport to nurture the values we all share of solidarity, responsibility respect, honesty, teamwork, equality and self-esteem,” said Mount Kenya University in a statement on the importance of sport quoting the words of Irina Bokova, the former Director General of UNESCO.
“We hope to encourage Kenyans and all persons across the world who are experiencing a lockdown or any cessation of movement to participate in unrestricted sporting activities,” said the University Pro-Chancellor, Dr. Vincent Gaitho who read out the communique on behalf of the partners in 2020 as well as this year’s festivities have been largely affected by COVID-19 pandemic.
“For two consecutive years (that is 2020 and 2021), the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace has been marked while Kenya and other countries across the world are under a lockdown, cessation of movements and curfews as well as various guidelines that are meant to prevent the spread of Covid-19 including a ban on sports activities. This has led to considerable decline of gains made over the years at national, regional and international levels toward reduction of sedentary lifestyles. Let us remember our individual capacity for physical activity participation is not on lock-down!” Stated the communique as presented by the MKU Pro-Chancellor, who was the Chief Guest during the Webinar presentations to mark the International Sports day at MKU.
Many sporting activities especially those of communal nature are among those that are highly discouraged to curb spread of Covid-19. Thus, the sports and recreation facilities such as gymnasia and sports clubs are closed while sport activities in Kenya have been brought to a stop as a containment measure on the spread of COVID-19 infections.
The joint communique further stated that, despite the lockdown, individually, everyone should participate in physical activities at a personal level, even when that meant creating time and space indoors for personal workouts.
“We may not go to the gyms or sports clubs but we can jog, take brisk walks, engage on physical exercises within the comfort of our own homes such as sit-ups and other numerous activities even those performed on the floor, and gain all benefits that effectively save us from sedentary lifestyles,” said the joint communique read at MKU, Thika Campus.
“As we observe the Ministry of Health Protocols for prevention of Covid-19 infections, we have an individual responsibility for enhancing our full body immunity. Lack of physical activity is a major deterrent towards this for regular physical activities will help you change from sedentary lifestyle to an active lifestyle. A lifestyle that will nurture your body immunity through physical activity.”
According to the joint organisers of this event, who included West African representatives in Ghana, Nigeria and the Gambia, arrangements have been put in place to mark this event annually at Mount Kenya University. The organisers lauded the MKU’s UNESCO Chair for this effort. The first time that the International Day for Peace and Development was marked at MKU was in 2019 when the University hosted the 4th International Conference for African Sports Management Association. In marking the day, all the conference participants spent the better part of the 6th of April 2019 in the field to mark the day through some very well organized physical activities.