Olympic Movement celebrated #sport4betterworld on 6 April
Demonstrating how sport can contribute to building a better world, Olympians, International Federations, National Olympic Committees, Organising Committees for the Olympic Games and thousands of others around the world joined the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the United Nations (UN) in celebrating the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) last week.
Sporting bodies and organisations join global celebrations on 6 April
The second edition of the IDSDP, which recognises sport as an instrument for social change, saw exceptional support from local communities, national and international sports bodies and organisations across the globe.
Countries from Albania to Ecuador, Guatemala to Somalia, and Japan to Jordan took part either in the lead-up to 6 April or on the day itself. Using sports demonstrations, educational, developmental and peace-building projects, they showcased the positive social impact of sport at all levels – from grassroots to elite competition – on the well-being of individuals and communities.
Conferences and seminars were also organised in Bangladesh, Belarus, Pakistan, Portugal, Mexico and Morocco to address the crucial role of sport in society in fostering dialogue, unity and change. For the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), the International Day of Sport marked an ideal opportunity for African countries to stress the power of sport for development and peace, particularly in refugee settlements, conflict zones and Ebola-stricken regions.
History was also made on 6 April as the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) launched its first-ever annual World Table Tennis Day with 100 events in more than 50 countries. Hockey got involved by highlighting initiatives of former and current athletes across the globe who use their sport to tackle health problems, promote education and empower people. Skiing placed the spotlight on its Bring Children to Snow campaign.
Olympians giving back to sport
With the help of some inspirational Olympians, including IOC Executive Board Members and President Thomas Bach, the IOC ran an awareness-raising campaign on the ability of sport to help build a better world. Through social media and digital platforms, such as www.olympic.org/idsdp, millions of people watched, read, and communicated about the power of sport to inspire and unite regardless of differences, to create “superheroes”, or to tackle biases and empower women and girls.
The World Olympians Association also activated its network of Olympians, including IOC member HSH Prince Albert II and four-time Olympian and double gold medallist Pernilla Wiberg, to promote White Cards for Peace in support of the IDSDP, as initiated by the organisation Peace and Sport.
Advocating for sport’s positive social impact
On 15 April, IOC President Thomas Bach will join UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York to speak at an event marking the second IDSDP. Under the title United Action Towards Sustainable Development For All Through Sport, this event will celebrate sport’s role as a universal tool for social change and peace. Additionally, it will reflect on the progress achieved so far within the Millennium Development Goals and be an opportunity to position sport’s future within the post-2015 development agenda.