This week Peace and Sport participated in SportAccord Convention 2018 and the Alliance of Independent recognized Members of Sport (AIMS) Sport Festival: United Through Sports 2018 Bangkok Festival. Over the five days of conferences, meetings and exhibition, Peace and Sport has been on the ground encouraging the leading names in International Federations from across the world to use sport as a tool for social development and inclusion.
President of International Federations and participants have been visiting Peace and Sport booth, posing for images with #WhiteCards spreading the message of peace through sport across their sports. Peace and Sport’s Champions for Peace have also been promoting the values of sport for social change. They include Canadian Olympian, Charmaine Crooks and world famous football player Christian Karembeu who raised their #WhiteCard. In the framework of the United Through Sport 2018 Bangkok Festival, French Taekwondo Olympic medallist, Pascal Gentil met 12 young refugees living in Thailand to share with them his experience as athlete and encourage them to practice sport.
Joel Bouzou, President and Founder of Peace and Sport, noted at the United Through Sports 2018 Bangkok Festival:
“Everybody can play a role to maximize the use of sport for peace and to make it more accessible to children. The Friendship Games is a great example that international federations can help to promote the positive values of sport. They possess the expertise and knowledge on sport, which can be used in sport-based initiatives that are looking for positive social change.”
In parallel, Peace and Sport invited international federations to join the 2018 Friendship Games. Celebrated since 2010, the Games are a yearly celebration of sport set in the borderlands between Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo that bring together young athletes from the three war-torn nations to promote inter-cultural dialogue. Last year, nine international federations including the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the World Karate Federation (WKF) supported the Games.
Another key moment at SportAccord was the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Badminton World Federation and Peace and Sport. Both entities have collaborated well on past projects in Colombia, Dubai, Haiti and Timor Leste, using badminton as a catalyst to effect positive outcomes and hope to replicate this success in future initiatives. This year, BWF and its Member Associations joined Peace and Sport in the celebration of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace on April 6th and the #WhiteCard campaign.
BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer noted: “We constantly see how sport can transcend conflict and foster cross-cultural goodwill, friendship and peace. BWF looks forward to intensifying our partnership with Peace and Sport to continue sharing great values globally – not only about sport, but also about life and relationships among different people.”
SportAccord Convention is the world’s premier and most exclusive annual event at the service of sport. Held in a different city each year, the Convention takes place over six days and is focused on driving positive change internationally and dedicated to engaging and connecting; international sports federations, rights holders, organising committees, cities, press and media, and organisations involved in the business of sport. In 2018, the convention was held in Thailand.