Gaza kids set for second world record

24 July 2010

22 July 2010
Gaza/Jerusalem

Gaza/Jerusalem, 22 July, 2010: Thousands of children in Gaza today bounced simultaneously six thousand basket balls, doubling the previous Guiness Book of World Records record set in 2007. The event was part of the “Summer Games” organized by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) involving some quarter of a million children across the Gaza Strip.

A cautious Director of UNRWA in Gaza, John Ging said “we have to await the final verdict from the Guiness Book of World Records which we hope will come in a matter of days. But certainly we know the figures and the chances look good”.

The current world record for simultaneously bouncing basket balls was set during the Hoosier Basketball Celebration in Indiana in September 2007. The number of balls bounced was just over three thousand. UNRWA hopes to have doubled that record.

For the past month, bloggers from around the world have been invited to send messages of support and hope to the children of Gaza via www.facebook.com/unrwa 

Not content with smashing just one world record, the kids of Gaza will attempt in just a week’s time to break their own world record set during Summer Games last year for the number of kites flown simultaneously. “Two world records in a week is surely another world record in itself”, said Ging, “and I invite children everywhere to go to our blog and send support.”

Ging concluded with a word of thanks, “I am grateful first of all to the kids in Gaza without whom this could never have happened. I also want to thank my own staff and local partners. But last but by no means least, I want to express my gratitude to our three donors to Summer Games, the Finnish Government, the European Commission and UNRWA’s largest donor, the United States .”

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Note to editors and correspondents:

UNRWA will be distributing pictures of the world record on APTN‘s Global Video Wire to all AP Television News Clients free-of-charge via UNifeed. This will include:

Pictures of the world record attempt from the afternoon of Thursday 22 July

- B-roll material of the Gaza children rehearsing for the basket ball world record attempt
- A video message from the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon
- A cartoon about the Great Global Gaza Bounce
- Footage of the kite flying world record by Gaza children during last year’s UNRWA Summer Games.

Broadcast quality downloads will be available in PAL and NTSC from the UNifeed website - http://www.unmultimedia.org/tv/unifeed/ 



For further information and interview requests please contact:

Chris Gunness on +972-542 402 659
Adnan Abu Hasna +972-599 428 061

Ends

Background Information

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 68.2 million.

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