IDSDP2018 will highlight the importance of Sport in the SDG2030 Agenda 

March, 2018

Sport Matters will this year again join a massive global campaign marking the fifth annual International Day of Sport for Development and Peace on April 6.

In 2013, the United Nations declared that sport was "ideally positioned to contribute towards the UN objectives for development and peace."
As a result of this declaration, the IDSDP has been celebrated each year since on April 6. 

In 2018, the key message of IDSDP is to highlight the role that sport plays towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 Global Targets towards eradicating poverty by 2030. Sport can contribute to development and peace by promoting tolerance and respect and contributing to the empowerment of women and young people, individuals and communities as well as to health, education and social inclusion objectives.

Join the global movement on April 6 as IDSDP highlights the power of sport to facilitate community development and social change in conjunction with raising the awareness of the SDG2030 agenda.

Follow the campaign at Sport Matters Facebook and on Twitter.

Hon Loau Keneti Sio (Minister of Sport in Samoa), Matthew Vaea and Jackie Lauff

New research project looking at the contribution of sport to SDGs gets underway

February, 2018

Sport Matters has partnered with four key Pacific bodies to conduct research into the contribution of sport to sustainable development in the Pacific.

In partnership with the University of the South Pacific, Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture in Samoa, Ministry of Youth and Sports in Fiji and the Oceania National Olympic Committee (ONOC), the research will look at the contribution of sport to sustainable development in the Pacific with case studies on the economic and social impact of sport in Fiji and Samoa.

In February, Sport Matters CEO met with the Minister of Education Sports & Culture in Samoa and his team who are leading the Samoan case study.

Hon Loau Keneti Sio (Minister of Sport in Samoa), Matthew Vaea and Jackie Lauff

Sport Matters joins Pacific leaders in Samoa 

September, 2017

Our CEO joined a series of activities in Samoa alongside the 48th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting hosted in Apia from 5 – 8 September 2017.

Leaders of Pacific Island countries gathered in Samoa for the annual Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting.

Under the PIFS Framework for Pacific Regionalism, there has been increasing engagement and dialogue with civil society and private sector organisations and this year those efforts saw further progression with a civil society dialogue with leaders from all of the 16 Forum nations, including Australia and New Zealand. 

Sport Matters CEO Jackie Lauff, was invited to join the important dialogue as the Australian Civil Society representative and attended a breakfast meeting where she was seated alongside Australia's Miniter for International Development and the Pacific, the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells. The importance of sport and physical activity was included in a presentation on health, the prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCD) and youth empowerment.   

In addition to a host of official events and side meetings, Sport Matters also connected with the Minister for Education, Sport and Culture from Samoa, the Hon Loau Keneti Sio and the head of the European Union's delegation to the South Pacific, Mr Christoph Wagner and they joined our Sport Policy Champion from Samoa Matt Vaea, in an interview for the Coconet TV channel.     

Read the Forum Communiqué for the full report on the 2017 Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting.

For more on Sport Matters activities in the development sector, checkout the Sport Matters Facebook page - 

Hon Loau Keneti Sio (Minister of Sport in Samoa), Matthew Vaea and Jackie Lauff
Hon Loau Keneti Sio (Minister of Sport in Samoa), Matthew Vaea and Jackie Lauff


Lions help schools in Nepal 

October, 2017

Thanks to a generous donation from the Runaway Bay Lions Club on the Gold Coast, the seven Shuttle Time Connect primary schools have received kit bags containing much-needed sports equipment which will enable thousands of Nepalese children to get active. 

Following our successful Shuttle Time Connect exchange visit to the Gold Coast in May in conjunction with the BWF Sudirman Cup World Badminton Championships, Sport Matters was pleased to deliver some much-needed sports equipment to the seven Shuttle Time Connect schools in Kathmandu and Bhaktapur.

The President and members of the Runaway Bay Lions Club had the pleasure of meeting seven Nepalese students, together with teachers and supporters during their ten-day visit to the Gold Coast in May. The students were the selected ambassadors from their schools to join a sporting, educational and cultural visit to Australia, where they spent three days in Gold Coast classrooms and two nights with host families up and down the coastal region.

With the intention of benefitting as many students as possible, the Runaway Bay Lions Club reached out to Sport Matters with a donation of AU$3000 for the purchase of sports equipment for the seven Shuttle Time Connect schools. The schools selected items they needed most and all the sports equipment was purchased locally in Kathmandu. The kits included footballs, basketballs, volleyballs, cricket sets, badminton nets and much more.   

With their new football jerseys, the schools are already collaborating on a new inter-school football carnival which will take place early next year.     

Shuttle Time Connect is a component of the Shuttle Time Nepal project funded by the Australian Government through the Asian Sports Partnerships program  (ASP) in partnership with Badminton Australia, Badminton Asia and the Badminton World Federation.

Our sincerest appreciation to the Runaway Bay Lions Club for their very generous support of our projects in Nepal!

For more on Sport Matters activities in the development sector, checkout the Sport Matters Facebook page - 

Our CEO in Kathmandu’s Durbar Square presenting the sports equipment to Nepalese schools
Our CEO in Kathmandu’s Durbar Square presenting the sports equipment to Nepalese schools.


FEATURE:  Shuttle Time Connect, Nepal – Gold Coast Exchange

28 June, 2017

Sport Matters teamed up with Badminton Australia to bring together school children from Nepal and Australia as part of the innovative Shuttle Time Connect program.


Sport Matters, in partnership with Badminton Australia, deliver a program called Shuttle Time Nepal that is proudly supported by the Australian Government under the Asian Sports Partnerships (ASP) small grant fund. 

Shuttle Time Nepal is a school badminton program which aims to promote peace, health and social inclusion in Nepal and has reached over 500 school teachers across all five regions of Nepal.

Through this initiative, Sport Matters and Badminton Australia introduced a new component to the program called Shuttle Time Connect to link schools in Nepal and schools in Australia through the shared experience of sport.

The ASP program is part of the Australian Government’s Sports Diplomacy strategy which aims to build people-to-people connections between Australia and Asia.

With the Shuttle Time Nepal program being in its second year, the exchange visit to the Gold Coast in Australia was designed to forge ongoing links between schools in Nepal and Australia that will continue to last well beyond 2017.

In May 2017, the Sudirman Cup, an international badminton team event was held in Australia for the first time at Carrara Sports Complex on the Gold Coast. The Sudirman Cup hosted 1500 competitors from 30 countries.

Shuttle Time Connect was hosted in conjunction with this international badminton event, with Badminton Australia and Sport Matters facilitating a sporting, educational and cultural exchange for seven primary school students and two teachers from our Shuttle Time schools in Nepal, along with program supporters and staff. The program allowed for children and teachers from Nepal and the Gold Coast to share cultures, interests and their experiences of Shuttle Time.

Shuttle Time Connect took place from Friday 20th May – Tuesday 29th May, and activities for the Nepalese delegation included the following:

  • Visited Wildlife Currumbin Sanctury
  • Attended opening of the Sudirman Cup at Carrara Sports Complex
  • Sudirman Cup School Engagement for Shuttle Time (joined over 500 Gold Coast primary school students for badminton activities on court, for workshops that used badminton to promote peace, health and social inclusion, for a tour of the athlete facilities at Carrara Sport and Liesure Centre and to watch a session of the Sudirman Cup
  • Educational and cultural exchange with Gold Coast schools which included each student from Nepal staying with a host family for three nights and spending three days at a different Gold Coast school
  • Attended the final of the Sudirman Cup
  • Performed Nepalese cultural dances on the finals days of the Sudirman Cup
  • a Big Aussie BBQ hosted by Runaway Bay Lions Club for Shuttle Time Connect students, teachers, school principals, host families, program partners and representatives from the Nepalese community on the Gold Coast
  • Swimming lessons and beach visits (for the first time ever!)
  • Sightseeing

The Nepalese Shuttle Time Connect schools included Bagiswori Higher Secondary, Basu Higher Secondary, Jana Sewa Higher Secondary, Ratna Rajya Higher Secondary, Kalikasharan Higher Secondary, Sitaram Higher Secondary and Bal Bikash Secondary School.

The Gold Coast Shuttle Time Connect schools included Surfers Paradise State School, Park Lake State School, Cedar Creek State School, Russell Island State School, Robina State School, Southport State School and Bay View State School.

Both Sport Matters and Badminton Australia are extremely grateful to all of these schools for their support of the program and their wonderful contribution to Shuttle Time Connect.

The entire program was a wonderful succuss, with the Gold Coast Schools describing both the cultural exchange and the Sudirman Cup School Engagement as a “once in a lifetime opportunity”. Host families were equally pleased to be involved in the program, each expressing they would like to stay in touch with their Nepalese host student. 

The program attracted great media attention on the Gold Coast, even being captured by the Channel 7 Gold Coast news. You can view this on Facebook at: