UNICEF’s Humanitarian Fair Play Basketball Tournament

2,431,000.00 RSD collected for equipment of preschool institutions in Serbia

Unicef, basketball tournament Belgrade 02.09.2023., ©UNICEF

UNICEF’s traditional Fair Play basketball tournament was held over the weekend at Comtrade Sports and Event Center in Belgrade. 20 teams from the business sector took part in the tournament and secured 2,431,000.00 Serbian dinars with their registration fees. The funds are intended for the purchase of furniture, equipment, and didactic material for preschool institutions in Serbia. The Comtrade company hosted the tournament and supported the organization of this sporting event.

Teams from the companies Banca Intesa, Generali osiguranje Srbija, the “Register of the National Internet Domain of Serbia” foundation (Registar nacionalnog internet domena Srbije), UniCredit Bank Srbija, Imlek, L’Oreal Balkan, Brose, SBB, Comtrade, Nordeus, Yettel, NIS, Lotus Flare, Robert Bosch, UNICEF showed team spirit, fair play and the power of sport that unites teams and supports programs for community development, and the companies VODAVODA and Fricom provided support for refreshments with their products.

First place was won by the UniCredit Bank Srbija team, second place was won by NIS, and third place went to Banca Intesa team. The Fair Play Award was won by the Robert Bosch team.

The tournament was opened by the director of UNICEF in Serbia, Deyana Kostadinova, who greeted the participants with the following words: “Sport connects us and teaches us – team spirit, discipline, and pushing boundaries.” We transfer lessons from sports fields to life situations. One of them is that together we can create a better future for every child. Investing in preschool education is certainly the best investment we can make together. Your commitment to ensuring that all children receive a fair opportunity to learn in the pre-school period makes the business sector an important partner.”

UNICEF’s Fair Play Tournament is a traditional sports activity that brings together the business community in Serbia to support programs for children and youth implemented by UNICEF in Serbia.

“It is my pleasure, in front of the Comtrade company, that we are the hosts of such a gathering. And the topic is close to us – support for what UNICEF does, support for children’s education. We have been doing this for years through our projects, from the summer school “Edit” to “IT Adventure”, and our efforts in socially responsible business have also been recognized through the “Djordje Vajfert” award, which we received both years. I think this is really an opportunity to strengthen the relations between us and UNICEF and all the companies that came to support this event”, said Ljubomir Ristić on behalf of the Comtrade Group.

In the last 10 years, there has been an increase in the inclusion of all children in quality preschool education and training, but there are still differences in access for children from vulnerable social groups, especially children from the poorest households, children living in Roma settlements and children with developmental disabilities.

Estimates show that by 2030, around 30% of new participants in the labor market in Serbia will be from vulnerable and minority categories of the population.

The Ministry of Education launched a reform of preschool education with the aim of improving accessibility, fairness, and quality, and a significant milestone was the introduction of the new Foundations of Preschool Education program Years of Ascent.

UNICEF is one of the partners of the Ministry of Education in the implementation of the Capacity Building Support Program for the implementation of the Years of Ascent in all preschool institutions in Serbia; this program provides every child with equal access to quality opportunities for learning through play, exploration, and relationships with other children and adults.

Unicef, basketball tournament Belgrade 02.09.2023. ©UNICEF Serbia/2023/Shubuckl

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