23 June 2011

UNESCO benefits for Latin America and Caribbean

UNESCO’s support in the fight against doping in sport was further in evidence recently when 15 countries from Latin America and the Caribbean received funding for anti-doping projects.

The financial assistance came from UNESCO’s ‘Fund for the Elimination of Doping in Sport’, which was created to help develop or implement effective anti-doping programs in accordance with the ‘International Convention against Doping in Sport’.

The funding amounts ranged from US$10,000 to US$20,000, and were for programs that involved educating young athletes, coaches, doctors and sports managers.

Two of the organizations used the funding to adopt WADA’s Play True Generation, a youth program aimed at promoting anti-doping awareness, while Jamaica also used the additional resources for to promote the ‘Say NO! To Doping’ campaign.

WADA’s ‘At a Glance’ series and ‘Coach True’ also proved important tools for the programs.

“UNESCO funding is of huge importance to countries in the region, many of which are developing their anti-doping strategies and do not have the resources of bigger nations,” said María José Pesce Cutri, Director of WADA’s Latin America Regional Office.

“The application for funding by sports ministers and Anti-Doping Organizations is a sign of their commitment to be fully compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code. The resulting projects then help motivate other countries from the region to apply for funding.

“Money is hard to come by at the best of times and this additional funding will allow them to put into place some vital education and awareness projects, and give them a more coherent anti-doping program.”

Sixteen projects in the following countries received UNESCO funding: Bahamas, Barbados, Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, St-Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad-and-Tobago, and Uruguay.

There was further good news from UNESCO recently when it announced that the Federated States of Micronesia had become the 159th nation to ratify the ‘International Convention against Doping in Sport’.

It remains the third most ratified of all UNESCO conventions.