June 10, 2003 - The Ecoflag "Keep the Beach clean - Think Environment" message reached the sandy shores of Senegal last week with the launch of a two-year Sport and Environment Eco project.
SAPAD (Senegal Network structure for Development and Growth), in partnership with Centre Sportif Fayda (a Beach Volleyball training organization), launched the Eco campaign to coincide with World Environment Day on June 5.
All members of the official ceremony held in a primary school in a village called Nema Ba, including Senegal's champion Beach Volleyball team of the last five years, all joined in to clean the school playground. Guidance on basic rules and techniques was then offered to children and teachers who had never played Volleyball before and the day was finished off with an exhibition game.
"The event was a complete success and we were surprised by the positive reactions and the interest expressed by various age groups to be part of the project," said SAPAD director Birame Diouf. "The link between the selected sports activities (beach volleyball and canoe kayaking) and conservation of the natural and cultural heritage is well perceived by young people and adults alike."
The project includes upcoming events such as a fifth Volleyball tournament, which will be played under the Ecoflag in Dakar, Senegal, involving 700 children between the ages of 8 and 18 on July 6.
From October until December, Beach Volleyball will be introduced into selected schools and villages as part of regular sports activities and throughout 2004 there will be other selected Beach Volleyball training courses, camps, tournaments and programmes dotted throughout the country.
Specific objectives of the programme include:
The introduction and promotion of the practice of Beach Volleyball with a specific focus on communities established in isolated islands and remote areas.
The promotion of the use of sports to enhance local mobilization of youth in conservation activities and community development initiatives.
With the expected results to be the introduction and promotion of Beach Volleyball in 15 schools from 10 different villages.
The training of 40 young people and primary school teachers to assist as trainers and facilitators in schools and villages.