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Sports transcends boundaries and language, it is universal. It brings people together, bridges differences and sparks positive dialogue. With that in mind ‘Sports for Peacebuilding’ panel discussion was jointly organized by Search for Common Ground (SFCG) Nepal and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) to highlight the universal message of unity and peace that sports embodies. The panel included cricketer Gyanendra Malla, footballer Rabin Shrestha, sports commentator Suraj Giri, actress Reecha Sharma and President of Youth Initiative Sarita Bartaula.

The discussion aimed to promote the meaningful role of sports in peacebuilding. The diverse panelists also commented on the unique nature of sports to evoke a sense of belonging and trust in people. SFCG Nepal in the past has organized football clinics to bring the youth and police together for friendly football matches to build collaboration and trust between the different parties. Watch the short video below for more about the football clinic.

Sports definitely has a space for peacebuilding and can even act as a development tool for communities and different groups of people. With such a good mix of panelists, I hope they were also able to discuss sports in media, entertainment and education. The recent success of the U-23 Nepal team at the South Asian Games was very well received by Nepalese living in and outside of the country, we need to focus on positive examples such as that and bring those individuals forward to act as peacebuilders too.

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