Delegates at the opening session of the XIII Olympic Congress today saw the power of sport in the form of a football made from plastic bags and string.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon brandished the home-made ball during his keynote address to the 1,200 Olympic Congress delegates. The ball’s original owners, children in the slums of Nairobi, had traded it for quality balls and other sports equipment provided by the UN.
IOC President Jacques Rogge signed the makeshift ball, which will be auctioned to support a new fund to aid local UN workers who are killed or injured in humanitarian operations. The UN and the IOC often cooperate on projects involving sport.
“As a values-based sports organisation, we can’t change the world on our own. But we can — and we do — help to make it a better place,” Rogge told the Congress.