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04 Apr 2015
Development through sport , IOC News

IOC Executive Board Members return to training for International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

To help celebrate the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) on 6 April, members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board (EB) have been shedding their business attire in favour of sportswear to give back to sport at grassroots level.

EB members and Olympians Sergey Bubka, Anita DeFrantz and Nawal El Moutawakel all took time out of their busy corporate schedules recently in Rio de Janeiro to give master classes in their sports to local youngsters.

DeFrantz, captain of the bronze medal-winning United States rowing team at the Olympic Games Montreal 1976, took to the water at Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon (site of the rowing events for Rio 2016) to give a group of young rowers tips on technique while reminding them of the many positive benefits that come from practising sport.  

Bubka, an Olympic gold medallist in pole vault at the Olympic Games Seoul 1988, and El Moutawakel, Olympic champion in hurdles at the Olympic Games Los Angeles 1984, travelled to the Brazilian Naval School, where they spoke of how sport is a powerful tool for both social and personal change, before leading them through separate training sessions. 

“You need to have a dream in your life”, El Moutawakel told the athletes. “You have to train hard if you want to change – 99 per cent is hard work; and 1 per cent is chance.”

She continued: “Sport has many values. It teaches you about determination, about passion, about self-esteem. This is the school of life.”

The young athletes at both venues said they enjoyed the expert advice they received from the Olympic medallists and added they were more motivated than ever to continue training hard at their respective sports.

6 April was designated the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace by the United Nations in 2014. It is an annual celebration that highlights and promotes the power of sport as a catalyst for social change, development and peace worldwide.

Last year’s global celebrations featured hundreds of runs, sports tournaments, educational and peace-building activities, as well as exhibitions and discussion forums to address and highlight the power of sport as a catalyst for social change, development and peace.

This year, Bubka, DeFrantz and El Moutawakel celebrated the IDSDP by joining other Olympians in giving back to sport at the grassroots level.  What will you do?

Join the movement at #sport4betterworld

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