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Representatives from Team Up-supported programs demonstrated their activities at the recent Pacific Prevention Summit in Fiji / UN Women

Sport, equality and inclusive communities

Team Up has begun working in partnership with the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) Equity Commission and the UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office (MCO) to collaborate on pilot initiatives that leverage the strengths of each organisation, with the ultimate goal of creating Pacific communities free of violence and where women and girls can safely access the benefits of sport. 

The three organisations – who share values, intersecting interests and a commitment to equality and inclusion in and through sport – have identified activities for potential collaboration that include grant-making, safeguarding, social impact marketing and the integration of sport into policies that seek to promote gender equality and end violence against women and girls.

By sharing resources, capacity, skills and networks, the participating organisations hope to trial activities from mid-2023 onwards that demonstrate the effectiveness of different organisations and sectors working together to make sport equal, safe and inclusive for all women and girls in the Pacific.

Team Up’s Social Inclusion Specialist Roshika Deo, who has been leading this work for Team Up alongside Partnerships Manager Andrew Lepani, said: “This collaboration involves three strategically aligned organisations in the region pooling together our different and shared knowledge, resources and capacity in sport for development to have a greater sustained impact on transforming gender norms and inequity.

“Team Up is leading the work on safeguarding and feminist participatory grant-making. We are excited to see how this network will develop and, potentially, include more regional sport for development stakeholders in future.”

Helen Brownlee, co-chair of the ONOC Equity Commission, said: “The ONOC Equity Commission has welcomed involvement in this work, and is pleased to align with Team Up’s safeguarding workshop to be held in October 2023. 

“The synergies of working together and sharing our expertise with our regional stakeholders will make a positive impact on our Pacific communities. By investing together in safe, inclusive and sustainable sport we can set new standards for gender equality across the region.”

Two recent regional events showcased how sport can contribute to promoting gender equality and ending violence in the Pacific context.

The Pacific Prevention Summit, co-hosted in Fiji in April by the Pacific Community (SPC), UN Women Fiji MCO and the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), through their Pacific Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Girls program, explored sport for development initiatives that work to prevent violence ‘where we play’, with presentations and demonstrations including by the Team Up-supported Get into Rugby PLUS program in Samoa and Fiji, Just Play programs and by Team Up. 

Also in April, as part of the ONOC General Assembly hosted in Brisbane, Australia the Sport and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Strategic Partners Forum showcased how sport contributes, and has the potential to further contribute, to the SDGs, including gender equality. Both Team Up and UN Women presented at the Forum. The IOC subsequently indicated interest in providing ongoing support for activities undertaken under the collaborative approach through their Olympism365 and Olympic Solidarity programs.

The Team Up-supported Get into Rugby PLUS program demonstrated activities at the Pacific Prevention Summit in Fiji / UN Women
Attendees, including Team Up representatives, at the recent Pacific Sport and Sustainable Development Goals Strategic Partners Forum / ONOC
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