Chris Amini: SDGs Goal 4 Quality Education

Chris Amini at the launch of the Team PNG Champions for the SDGs ©PNG Olympic Committee

Port Moresby, 3 August 2017

The United Nations in Papua New Guinea and the PNG Olympic Committee have appointed five Team PNG Athletes as the Champions for the SDGs. Here is the story of one of the prominent athletes, Chris Amini.

Passionate about the power of education, Chris Amini, a celebrated and recently retired cricket captain, hopes to expand the reach of his engagement by becoming a Champion for Goal 4: Quality Education of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

For Chris, sport always occupied a large part of his life. Since birth, he had grown up playing sports and there is a family history of national level representation in cricket. During his time as captain of the national men’s cricket team, Chris became aware that a number of teammates were unable to read or write to the extent of being unable to complete immigration forms to enable international travel; few players had been fortunate enough to have finished grade 12. Noticing the effects of a lack of formal education of these players – manifesting in a lack of confidence, reluctance to communicate with non-team members during international games and a decline in athletic performance as a result of being unable to fully understand presentations by overseas coaches – Chris began assisting his teammates and became a role model.

“Sport has changed my life. I strongly believe that although sport can provide numerous opportunities for athletes, it is not necessarily enough for one’s continued success in life. We all need education. Education gives us self-confidence and widens career opportunities. My experience as an international athlete has made me believe in the power of sport and education. We need quality education to succeed in life. Life is about making choices; good choices and increased opportunities to make choices are granted through education.”

Through mentoring, coaching and his work with Cricket in PNG, Chris has been able to help his family members, national players, cricketing fraternity and community members understand the importance of education and improve their quality of life. As a Champion for the SDGs, he will continue to advocate for the importance of education, for all, through sport, and inspire others to be involved.

“I will never forget playing in a small town in Europe when I saw a Papua New Guinean woman in the crowd waving the PNG flag and cheering us on. Knowing that there are people cheering for us in every corner of the globe I felt so much pride in representing my country.”

“Cricket may not be played in all corners of the country but when you become an elite athlete and are selected to represent Papua New Guinea, you aren’t just representing your family, your clan, your village or province. You are representing every single person in Papua New Guinea. It is my desire to empower others and change other people’s lives through sport and education as sport changed my life and has made me who I am today.”

Chris continues to hold onto this pride and hopes to continue to inspire others by raising awareness about the SDGs and encouraging others to stand up for them.

Find out more about SDG Goal 4 and how PNG is supporting the SDGs: