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PEACE & SPORT


PLAYING FOR AMNESTY


Sport is a universal language which can transcend any number of differences. Kath Hudson looks at some of the heart warming projects making an impact in some of the world’s most unlikely places


erment, confidence, sense of fair play, camaraderie, team working and a sense of shared purpose. Plus it’s fun and, as well as bringing out our competitive sides, it also makes us smile. For these reasons a number of ad-


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venturous organisations are braving warzones and volatile areas to take sporting opportunities to the people there. Politically neutral, these projects are all about highlighting the similarities between people, not the differences. As Dorian Paskowitz, founder of Surfing4- Peace, says: “God and the devil would surf together if the waves were good.”


PROMOTING PEACE THROUGH SPORT Peace and Sport is one of the fore- runners of the unity through sport movement. A politically neutral, Mona- co-based organisation, it was set up in 2007 by Prince Albert II of Monaco and


ith sport so embedded in Western culture, we can often overlook its basic civilising influences: empow-


former pentathlete Joel Bouzou, based on a conviction that sport can change the world for the better. “We promote peace through sport towards the most influential decision makers and with grassroots projects in some of the world’s most vulnerable areas,” says Bouzou. Peace and Sport works with NGOs,


governments, associations and National Sports Federations to design and imple- ment sports programmes within local contexts, rather than trying to impose a standardised system. Currently it is oper- ating in Timor Leste, Ivory Coast, Israel/ Palestine, Great Lakes Region of Africa, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Columbia. Bouzou says that one of the great-


est examples of how sport can break down barriers was demonstrated at the 1st Peace and Sport Table Tennis Cup in Doha, Qatar, in 2011. North and South Ko- rea – two nations which refuse to meet in other contexts – were among the 10 nations taking part. “Peace and Sport offered a unique opportunity to offi- cials from politically divided countries to


Monaco-based organisation


Peace and Sport designs and implements sports programmes in vulnerable areas to make the world a more united place


attend the same tournament and to share time and talks,” says Bouzou. Going forward, Peace and Sport will be


reaching out to more leaders, through its international forum, field projects and the development of continental hubs. Encouraging private corporations to get involved is one of the key goals. “Year after year, the peace through


Skateistan provides youngsters in Afghanistan with an education, valuable skills and a safe haven 42 Read Sports Management online sportsmanagement.co.uk/digital


sport family gets wider, with a growing number of heads of state, international institutions, peace leaders, athletes and local organisations joining,” says Bou- zou. “I see in this dynamic the sign that our action is going forward. Who knows how far we can go.” • www.peace-sport.org


Issue 1 2013 © cybertrek 2013


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