6ong>WCSEong>Tuesday,May 3, 2011Photo/ Vinod DivakaranFrom left, Tracey Holmes,Frankie Fredericks, DalmaMalhas and Callum NG.Frank way ofguiding ong>youthong>!HissaNasserAl NasrChanging face ofQatari youngstersHissa Nasser Al Nasr,a young graduatefrom the country,is the representative of anew generation of Qatariong>youthong> who dares to raisetheir voices to be heard. Hershort opening speech duringthe fifth plenary session ofthe ong>Worldong> ong>Conferenceong> onSport and the Environmenttouched a raw nerve amongher listeners, the delegatesassembled in the hall.Her plea highlighted theurgent need ong>forong> educating theworld’s ong>youthong> about natureand environment.“Despite there beingthousands of species ofbirds, trees and flowers inthe world, today’s ong>youthong> canidentify maybe one or two ata time. But ask them aboutlatest technological advances,be it in computers or mobilephones, they’re ready withan answer that includesdifferent makes, models andmanufacturers. Doesn’t ittell us that more needs tobe done to create awarenessabout nature?” she asked.“Specific studies should beundertaken to understandthe way modern ong>youthong> think.Only by doing so will we beable to devise messages thatreach them. ong>Theong>y should bemade aware about what theystand to lose if they don’tact fast,” she said, beong>forong>ewithdrawing to her seatamidst applause.Aju George ChrisNamibia’s ong>forong>mer athleteFrankie Frederickscertainly has a way withyoungsters. As the moderator ong>forong>the final plenary session of theInternational Olympic Committee’song>Worldong> ong>Conferenceong> on Sport andthe Environment, he was able toget the best out of Youth OlympicGames (YOG) ambassadors andsportspersons who had come fromdifferent parts of the globe.When the youngsters spoke, thedelegates, mostly from the oldergeneration, listened patiently.ong>Theong>y aired their concerns aboutnature and suggested ways toallay them.Australia’s Luke Dufficy, a youngreporter at the 2010 Youth OlympicGames in Singapore, felt topathletes could do much more ong>forong>the planet.“Some of the most famousathletes today draw huge salariesand sponsorships. For example,Jamaica’s Usain Bolt signed a$30m deal last year while TigerWoods has a multi-year contractworth about $105m. Such athletesshould take a more pro-activerole in spreading environmentalideas and other causes, ong>forong> free.Barcelona, sporting the UNICEFlogo on their shirts, is a greatexample,” he said.“Such steps help increaseawareness of environmentalinitiatives by different sportingbodies. ong>Theong> 2016 Rio Olympics isthe world’s first ‘carbon-neutral’Games.“But hardly anyone knows aboutit. It needs to be advertised moreprominently. A slogan like ‘Rio ‘16– Welcome to the first carbonneutralOlympics’ could do thetrick,” he added.Former Canadian internationalswimmer NG Callum, selected as aYOG Ambassador in Singapore lastyear, stressed on the importanceof social media in helpinginitiatives take off.“All available means shouldbe used to spread the wordabout environmental protection.In an age where inong>forong>mationdissemination has become soeasy, through the use of socialmedia like Twitter and Facebook,not enough is being done. Iunderstand that different NationalOlympic Committees have theirown programmes to do it, butthey should all work togethertowards the common goal,” saidthe youngster.“ong>Theong>se youngsters have madepersonal pledges to make adifference to the world and itsenvironment. It’s important toeducate young children abouttheir responsibility towards nature.I’m glad steps are being takentowards it,” said Australian TraceyHolmes, who acted as a mentorong>forong> the YOG’s Young Reportersprogramme.When the youngsters spoke, the delegates, mostlyfrom the older generation, listened patiently. ong>Theong>y airedtheir concerns about nature and suggested ways toallay them..
ong>WCSEong>Tuesday, May 3, 2011 7When signatures adorneda green backgroundong>Theong> signature board, placedmidway between the twomain venues of the ong>Worldong>ong>Conferenceong> on Sport and theEnvironment, saw much actionduring the three-day conference.While some gave it a shy first glancebeong>forong>e returning to signA participant signs during theong>WCSEong> conference as a volunteerlooks on.IchitaItabashiit, others approached it straightawayand penned down their thoughts.At the end of the event, morethan 500 signatures adorned thelight green display. Some of thevolunteers who sat beside the boardrecalled how the action unfolded.“ong>Theong> board was unveiled only onong>Theong> Japanese are known ong>forong>their love ong>forong> nature. Eventheir country’s name, whichloosely translates into ‘Land ofthe Rising Sun’, points towardstheir affection to it. This may bea reason why despite so manynatural calamities befallingtheir country in recent years,including earthquakes andtsunamis, their love ong>forong> earthremains unmatched.the second day of the conference.Initially, some people werereluctant to sign. ong>Theong>y carefullyread what was written on it beong>forong>eputting pen to paper. Some othersenthusiastically wrote messagesof support to Qatar and signedbeneath it. All in all, it was a greatIchita Itabashi, Chairman ofthe Sports and EnvironmentCommission of the JapaneseOlympic Committee, felt suchconferences helped educatepeople about nature.“We Japanese love mothernature. That’s the reason whywe’ve always bounced backquickly from adversities. Peoplethe world over should understandthe importance of treating earthexperience to interact with peoplefrom different countries,” said one ofthe volunteers.If signatures could solve theearth’s troubles overnight, thenthere were enough of them on theboard to solve world’s all problemsseveral times over.Unmatched love ong>forong> naturewith respect. Although indirectly,conferences such as the ong>WCSEong>helps increase awareness aboutnature among people. Sports andsportsmen can also help towardsthe spread of such ideas,” he said.“Global warming and climatechange are two major problemswhich the world faces today. Ifit goes unnoticed, it could posea severe threat ong>forong> the futuregenerations,” he signed off.JohnsonJason MelaWhere thereis a will,there’s a way!Determination makes astrong-willed person, andJohnson Jason Mela is onesuch man. Being wheelchair bounddid not prevent the TanzanianParalympic Committee Presidentfrom moving around freely at theong>Worldong> ong>Conferenceong> on Sport and theEnvironment at the Doha SheratonHotel.At the end of the three-dayconference, he was all praise ong>forong>the event’s organisers and said hewould love to come back when thecountry organises the 2022 FIFAong>Worldong> Cup.“I loved the way the conferencewas organised. Obviously, muchthought went into choosingrelevant discussion topics. Somewere Africa-centric and I enjoyedattending them. I also liked thefact that utmost care was givento people with disabilities. I wasprovided with special vehicles tomove from place to place. I wouldlove to come back when Qatarhosts the ong>Worldong> Cup in 2022. I’msure they’ll do a wonderful job,” heopined.“Qatar is building itself tobecome the sports capital ofthe Middle East. ong>Theong>y’ve beenorganising high-profile sportingevents and are bidding ong>forong> more. Iwish them all the best,” he signedoff.How to save the world...Although people would like to try and save the environment, not all of them may know exactly how to go about it. Going with the true spirit of the ong>Worldong> ong>Conferenceong> onSport and the Environment, here are a few tips to help you save the world.Recycle always.Pull aside yourcurtain and letthe sunlight comein. Using naturallight instead ofbulbs and henceelectricity will notonly save money,but also theenvironment.Use energy-savingbulbs. It too helpsreduce bills andsave nature.Use publictransportwheneverpossible. Shedyour ego andgain the proudbadge of anenvironmentallyconscious persona.Turn off the lightswhen you arenot in the roomanymore.Travel lightly andkeep luggage toa bare minimum.Lesser weightmeans lesserenergy totransport you.Always go ong>forong>reusable bags,preferablypaper, insteadof plastic ones.Always bringyour own bagand try not to getthe ones whichsupermarketsprovide you.Be smart andnever wastewater.