Peace and Sport, a pioneer in the movement preaching peace through sport, is well respected in the international sport movement. Since 2007 it has been working in diplomatic circles and on the ground to show that sport can facilitate dialogue and bring together divided communities.
The organization, founded by Joël Bouzou, Olympic medallist and President of The World Olympians Association has worked all over the world. Over the years Peace and Sport has been active in the Ivory Coast, in Burundi,in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in Israel and Palestine, in Colombia, in Haiti and in East Timor.
It has also established an annual international forum which normally takes place in Monte Carlo but has also been held in Sochi. A resource center for peace and sport has seen the light of day and Peace and Sport trophies have been awarded to
individuals and initiatives contributing to peace.
All this has been a great success and the international respect which it has acquired led to Prince Albert II of Monaco receiving on 14th January the prestigious ‘Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award’ presented by the Dubai Sports Council. Prince Albert, Patron of Peace and Sport never tires of reminding the world ‘Sport has the unique capacity to unite people despite their ethnic, religious social differences. I am convinced that sport can contribute to the cause of peace over the long term.’
And yet after eight years in gold and blue, Peace and Sport is adopting a new look. As it seeks to appeal to a larger public the organization has a new engaging slogan – ‘be part of what matters’ and a new graphic style. For Joël Bouzou
‘Our organization has a special place within the peace through sport movement and we are at the forefront of supporting its growth. Our new identity will help us bolster our image among the general public. It’s an invitation for young people to join our efforts, support our projects and give their full backing to the peace through sport cause.’
The first major operation took place at the end of January Responding to an appeal by the organizers of the African Great Lakes Friendship Games, Peace and Sport established #thecaresquare during the Winter European Youth Olympic Festival, an
awareness-raising and fund-raising campaign for this event to be held this year in Rwanda. 1906 photos were sold for a minimum of €2 the photos appeared as pixels in a picture of the Patron of Peace and Sport, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, from the period when he was participating in the bobsled events at the Olympic Games. A powerful message to the young people about which the Prince waxes enthusiastic.
‘I think it was a brilliant idea to link Peace and Sport with this Olympic Festival. It is a good way to get young people involved in this cause and to explain to them how the values of sport can bring people together.’
The 5176 euros collected at the Winter EYOF is added to the €15,000 collected by the marathon runners of Peace and Sport on the roads of Milan, New York, the Cape and NiceCannes.
In France Peace and Sport has just signed a partnership with the National Association for Research and Action in Solidarity (ANRAS) with a view to integrating sport into programs aimed at helping people back into social and professional life in thirty or so centers throughout the southwest.
‘Sport offers teachers, youth workers and coaches a unique tool which can really help construct peace on the ground. It is up to us to give them the means to fulfill their mission. Our society really needs them to succeed’ is Prince Albert’s fervent belief.
Peace and Sport plays a part in the training of the youth workers and puts in place activities around sport which aim to reinforce dialogue and sharing among the youngsters while working on their self-esteem and the importance of respecting rules.
The 6th April next is The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace ; it will mark an important stage in explaining to the world that sport is a vector of peace. Peace and Sport will seek to appeal to a large public. Throughout the year Peace and Sport will intensify its communications using especially its 82 Champions for Peace.
- This article was republished with permission from the original author and publisher, Karl Heinz-Huba.