Today, supporting peace and stabilization, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the State Ministry of Education and Guidance reopened South Darfur’s Nyala Sports Complex following a comprehensive, $150,000 upgrade. Funded by the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and UNDP, the refurbishment provides improved facilities for multiple sports grounds as part of UNDP’s broader Sports for Peace efforts in Sudan.
Launched with friendly, inter-community football and volleyball matches, the complex will provide local athletes and communities the opportunity to take part in soccer, volleyball, basketball, athletics, and karate and judo on improved grounds and courts.
With a kickoff by H.E. Deputy Wali Salman Madani, the football match saw Al Seraif Camp’s striker convert a long pass to score the only goal, securing a 1-0 win against Dereeg Camp. In volleyball, all-girl team Al Amal secured a significant 25-16 win against South Darfur.
H.E. Deputy Wali Hamid Hanon acknowledged UNDP and KOICA’s support, the importance of sport, and noted: “In cooperation with the sport sector in the Ministry of Education and Guidance, we look forward to providing all the assistance needed to ensure people get the best benefits of this facility.”
Handing over the complex to the Ministry, UNDP Sudan’s Darfur Regional Coordinator Chris Laker thanked KOICA for their commitment to peacebuilding and said: “Sport is a unique tool to connect communities and build peace, and forms a key part of UNDP’s efforts to support stability across Sudan.”
“Recently we have backed 124 teams of young women and men in Sports for Peace soccer and volleyball tournaments. We look forward to growing this with partners going forward and creating new opportunities to unite people and communities.”
Post-match, H.E. the Deputy Wali, the Director General of the State Ministry of Finance, Amami Khalil, and the State Minister of Education, Abdul Al Mutalb Al Saati, and dignitaries toured the facility and took part in a prizegiving ceremony.
Included in the refurbishment were a football pitch, a basketball/volleyball court, spectator stands, floodlighting, security facilities, entry gates, and other infrastructure. In addition, the upgraded complex will allow the hosting of tournaments and competitions, and entertainment events.
For UNDP Sudan, sport is an essential tool for peacebuilding and development, providing an opportunity to bring together groups and communities, improve women’s rights and health, promote tolerance and respect, and empower of women, and youth, individuals and communities.