Jun 17, 2015

Scoring on children health and wellbeing with “One Goal” Malaysia

Obesity and being underweight has a common thread—malnutrition. With much focus on the former, there is concern that the effects of child malnutrition will be sidelined. Understanding this, The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has embarked on the second phase of ‘One Goal’ Malaysia campaign along with partners World Vision and Football Association of Malaysia to end child malnutrition.

One Goal is a movement initiated by the AFC, World Vision, and partners to end child malnutrition in Asia. In Malaysia, the Football Association of Malaysia is a core partner of the campaign, pledging to reach out to its extensive network of players and fans to bring about change. AFC’s Deputy Secretary-General Dato’ Windsor Paul John, said:“Every child deserves the possibility to play football, regardless of social status. But health and correct nutrition are the very basic requirements for this. The AFC is proud to be working together with the Football Association of Malaysia and One Goal Malaysia to raise awareness of child malnutrition through the power of football."

Executive Director of One Goal Stefan Germann added, “We want to reach out to every child, parent, family and friends to help us deal with child malnutrition. Currently, there is greater awareness of obesity amongst Malaysian children. The focus is now on the silently hungry group of children who are underweight and stunted in growth."

He explained, “Our mouthpiece is football. Using the platform of the most popular sport in Malaysia and Asia, we will educate and galvanise support for education of nutrition. We want to empower the children and at the same time educate their caregivers on nutrition practices. It is the right of every child to eat, live and play right."

The World Health Organisation had set the global targets of reducing childhood stunting by 40% and stopping the increase of childhood obesity by 2025. One Goal Malaysia— through its fundamentals of Nutrition, Sports and Healthy Lifestyles—intends to help Malaysia achieve those targets.

The One Goal campaign will include five football coaching clinics involving 100 children aged 5-12 years from underprivileged homes.

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