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Empowering Youth Through Sports: Stanbic Bank’s Ongoing Commitment to Developing Champions

By Mũmbi Kagombe

 

As the Strategy Enablement Manager at Stanbic Bank, my passion lies in fostering financial inclusion and driving economic growth.

Additionally, I firmly believe in the positive impact of sports in empowering youth and promoting peace. This is also reflected in my private life, where I lead an active lifestyle and advocate for the idea that good health is invaluable. The blend of my fitness enthusiasm and dedication to working with children seamlessly integrates into my professional endeavours, which is why I am extremely proud of Stanbic Bank’s sponsorship of the inaugural Inter-Schools Athletics Championship (ISAC), an initiative launched by the National NGO: Mission Empowerment Africa (MEA) which took place in Juba on the 4th and 5th of July!

Now, some might think athletics and banking make an odd couple. But here’s the thing: strong bodies breed strong minds, and Stanbic Bank is deeply committed to supporting South Sudan’s youth development. ISAC isn’t just about identifying future Olympic hopefuls (though that’s pretty exciting too!). It’s about nurturing discipline, consistency, commitment, teamwork, and a healthy competitive spirit – all qualities that translate beautifully into success in the classroom, their future workplace, and life in general.

Stanbic Bank is not a stranger to the realm of sports in South Sudan. We have a multiyear partnership with NBA Africa and the Luol Deng Foundation through which we established the Stanbic Jr. NBA League- inspired by our collective love for basketball in South Sudan. I was also borne from our firm belief that sport, offers a stage for youth to display their skills, exchange knowledge, and form enduring bonds.

The beauty of this athletics championship lies in its sheer inclusivity. Twelve schools across Juba participated, bringing together students and teachers in a spirit of friendly and healthy competition. The atmosphere crackled with electricity as these young athletes pushed their limits. They cheered each other on, celebrating not just victories but each other’s efforts, wins and losses alike. The South Sudan Red Cross was also present, with their dedicated volunteers standing by to provide immediate care for any minor injuries that might occur during the competition.

This focus on inclusivity extended to the events themselves. The championship offered a diverse range of competition categories, including track and field races, cross-country, long jump, high jump, and javelin throw. This variety ensured that athletes with various strengths and talents had the opportunity to showcase their skills and compete fairly. This focus on inclusivity and diverse competition categories not only fostered a spirit of sportsmanship but also laid the groundwork for identifying and nurturing the future stars of South Sudan’s athletics scene.

 

This is more than just competition; it’s about building a community. Stanbic Bank acknowledges the power of sports in bringing people together and fostering peaceful coexistence. It has the transformative power to unite in a way that little else does. To quote the Late Nelson Mandela: “Sports has the power to change the world, it has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite in a way that little else does. It speaks to the youth in a language that they understand.” Sports creates hope! Similarly, Mission Empowerment Africa strives to cultivate a peaceful and successful South Sudan through the promotion of teamwork. This shared value system is why we were keen to partner with them.

Stanbic Bank is proud to be a part of this journey, investing in young champions who will not only excel in athletics but also become responsible and engaged citizens. Congratulations to all our participants for their involvement, and a special shout-out to Venus International School, who were crowned the overall winners of the inter-school competition demonstrating exceptional performance across multiple disciplines! Their dedication and sportsmanship embody the very spirit we aim to foster.

Mission Empowerment Africa team announcing the results at Medan Buluk on Friday, 5th July.
Students at Venus International School celebrating their victory with the championship trophy.

I would be remiss not to point out the spectacular performance from the kids. Witnessing the talent and potential of future South Sudanese athletes was quite inspiring and painted a beautiful picture of South Sudan’s promise and opportunity.

Happy Independence Day, South Sudan!

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