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UNDP pledges support for Olympic qualifiers

By Kidega Livingstone

 

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has pledged to provide full support for South Sudanese athletes qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Speaking during an event to mark the countdown to Paris 2024, UNDP Deputy Country Director Titus Osundina expressed the organization’s commitment to the South Sudanese Olympic hopefuls.

“We are optimistic that other federations will join in the competition mood of the process. We are looking forward to our athletics in the federation; we have some from South Sudan and Kenya. Don’t fear competition; I know we have challenges,” he said.

Last year, the South Sudan Basketball Team qualified for the 2024 Olympic Games, marking a milestone for the country’s sports development.

Osundina noted that UNDP is optimistic about the participation of other South Sudan federations in the upcoming competition.

“South Sudan has talents in different sports activities such as basketball and others, and all will be heading for the game competition,” Osundina said.

He revealed that the South Sudan Olympic Committee has already presented a list of approximately 15 basketball players, including 3 reserves, and 12 athletes, with a total requirement of 25 participants.

The UNDP official advised that those who did not make the final cut for Paris should not be discouraged, as there will be future opportunities to showcase their skills.

He also announced that the UNDP will organise a World Olympic Day celebration on June 23rd in Torit, Eastern Equatoria State, where the South Sudanese Olympic qualifiers will be invited to participate.

“We are going to get the final lists from the Ministry of Youth and Sport; those accredited will be able to go to celebrate the Olympic Day outside Juba,” he revealed.

“This year we are going to celebrate it in Eastern Equatoria State in Torit capital; we have finalized with the State Ministry of Youth and Sport the arrangements so that the celebration succeeded; we have those who are going to Paris make it in celebration,” he added.

Joseph Geng Akech, the Minister of Youth and Sports, underlined the importance of the Olympic Games in promoting unity, friendship, and cultural exchange.

“This is a pride that everyone deserves,” he said, adding that President Salva Kiir Mayardit, the patron of sports in the country, will support the youth in their Olympic endeavors.

 

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