PRESS RELEASE Trinidad NGO Leader to present at the UN Mark Mungal, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Alliance for Sport and Physical Education (TTASPE) has been invited to speak at the UN Sport for Development and Peace International Working Group at the UN Office in Geneva, Switzerland on May 12, 2011. This marks a historic milestone for the Caribbean as Mungal will be the first Caribbean speaker to address the UN Sport for Development and Peace International Working Group - A group with an eight year history of supporting knowledge exchange, capacity-building and Sport for Development and Peace policy implementation as endorsed by Ministers of Youth and Sport from around the globe. “Not only is TTASPE active in Trinidad and Tobago but also across the wider Caribbean, therefore Mark represents best practice in terms of building a ‘global partnership for development in sport’ – in line with the millennium development goals” explained Debbie Lye, the Chair of the International Working Groups’ Sport, Child and Youth Development thematic committee and Head of Worldwide Impact Program at UK Sport. “I would expect that Mark will demonstrate to governments present that there are models of programming and development that are of high quality and not necessarily difficult to apply in a range of contexts.” Sport for Development and Peace refers to the use of sport and physical activity to attain specific development and peace objectives. Sport for Development and Peace programs embody the best values of sport while upholding the quality and integrity of the sport experience. TTASPE has been providing sport for development programming throughout the Caribbean since 2002 when the organization was founded. TTASPE believes that sport can be used as a tool to address some of the challenges that Caribbean communities are faced with today. With this in mind, all TTASPE programs are developed and implemented with the principal belief that physical education, sport and recreation hold positive life enhancing benefits for individuals and communities. Mungal’s mandate at the Working Group is to speak to influence three main themes within Sport for Development and Peace: Child Protection, Physical Education and Youth Empowerment.
Recently TTASPE has been working on developing a Child and Vulnerable Person Protection Policy and Guidelines developed specifically to ensure the safety and welfare of children and vulnerable persons engaged in sporting activities locally and throughout the wider Caribbean region. Mungal plans to speak about the importance of partnerships and identifying systems to support coaches, teachers and community volunteers working with children, youth and persons with disabilities. Mungal will also present on the important role sport plays on youth employability and transferrable skills. “All of TTASPE’s programmes include modules that address the development of life skills, I will address the importance of focusing on these skills when implementing sport programming for youth and show the strong relevance of these skills to the real world of work and life in general,” explained Mungal. “It is so important to understand the power sport can play on a young person’s development if implemented correctly: leadership skills, decision-making skills, team work and personal responsibility are all concepts learned on a sporting field and they are all transferable to any work environment.” The last topic Mungal will present on is youth in education and the importance of focusing on programming to support physical education curriculum development. “I plan to draw on TTASPE’s experience with the Game On! and the Ready and Able programs - both are successful programs that TTASPE offers to support physical education teachers throughout the Caribbean” described Mungal.
“It is an honor to be invited to speak at such an important forum, it is so important that sport is understood as a positive social practice around the world and I hope to influence some governments to take a strong look at the importance of sport and physical activity as an ideal medium for development” expressed Mungal, “I am looking forward to sharing our experiences in the Caribbean and learning from others.”
About Mark Mungal Mark Mungal is the president and co-founder of the Trinidad & Tobago Alliance for Sport and Physical Education. Before taking up responsibilities as Regional Coordinator of the Australian Caribbean Community Sport Development Program in July 2003 he served as a Teacher Educator in the Physical Education Department at Corinth Teachers’ College in South Trinidad. He has also been a part-time lecturer at the Sport and Physical Education Department of the University of the West Indies and played a lead role in the development of sport for development programs at the Academy of Sports and Leisure at the University of Trinidad and Tobago. Mark continues to serve the Caribbean as the Regional Coordinator of the Australian Sport Outreach Program; Regional Coordinator of the International Alliance for Youth Sport; Member of the CARICOM Physical Education and Sport Advisory Committee and; the Regional Secretary of the International Council for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport, and Dance (ICHPER-SD) Caribbean.
About the Sport for Development and Peace International Working Group The Sport for Development and Peace International Working Group (SDP IWG) is an intergovernmental policy initiative whose aim is to promote the integration of Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) policy recommendations into the national and international development strategies of national governments. The Sport for Development and Peace International Working Group promotes and supports the adoption of policies and programmes by national governments to harness the potential of sport to contribute to the achievement of development objectives, specifically the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and peace.
About The Trinidad and Tobago Alliance for Sport and Physical Education The Trinidad and Tobago Alliance for Sport and Physical Education (TTASPE) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2002. Our overarching goal is to develop people and communities through sport and physical education. TTASPE works in partnership with local and international organization to establish and enhance physical education curriculum and sporting opportunities for individuals and communities throughout the Caribbean. TTASPE believes that sport can be used as a tool to address some of the challenges that Caribbean communities are faced with today. With this in mind, all TTASPE programs are developed and implemented with the principal belief that physical education, sport and recreation hold positive life enhancing benefits for individuals and communities. TTASPE has worked in communities throughout the Caribbean and has developed and added values to many international projects. TTASPE has become the leader for physical education, sport for development and community sport programming throughout the Caribbean.