Joel Bouzou, Peace and Sport’s President and Founder, has called on sports enthusiasts around the world to support the organisation’s #WhiteCard campaign in a digital form during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
“April 6, 2020, should have been a day of celebration. On this date as every year, the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace should have brought communities and people together physically. It was meant to be a new illustration of the collective mobilisation of the sports movement all over the world. It still will be. But the exceptional circumstances imposed by the current health crisis will give it a different dimension and format this year. At a time when the entire planet is fighting daily for its health, faced with a virus with effects that are still uncontrollable, sport could seem secondary, even futile. But it isn’t. It can be a platform for global solidarity,” Joel Bouzou Peace and Sport’s President and Founder, said.
“The universal nature of sport can sustain the collective effort to fight the epidemic. Sport institutions, national and international federations, international organisations and athletes can bring hope and courage to communities worried about their future and distraught at the magnitude of the menace. Through their personal backgrounds and careers, our Champions for Peace stand out as credible and inspiring role-models to deliver health advice and responsible messages to people. Two weeks ago, they used social networks to insist on the importance of respecting the rules and staying at home.
“In the last couple of days, we have seen other types of demonstrations from the sports world for solidarity. Stadiums and training fields that used to host some fiery sport battles are now been adapted to help the sick and support the fight against the pandemic. Some sport teams around the world are fundraising and contributing to hospitals, stadium workers and others affected by COVID-19.
“On the eve, of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, Peace and Sport is determined to use this day to call for joint action and global solidarity with the same ardor and commitment as in previous years. The promotion of peace does not stop in times of health crises. On the contrary, there can’t be peace without health and people’s well-being.
Invitation for everyone to ‘play their peace’
“We’re calling for an April 6 digital mobilisation at least equal, if not superior, to the last editions with the #WhiteCard campaign. Containment with health rules does not prevent the individual expression of our attachment to the cause of peace through sport. Restrictions can promote creativity and innovation. Top athletes know this. Sport requires knowing how to adapt. This year, this ability has become a necessity in order to maximise the contribution of sport in the current context.
“Our Champions for Peace will raise their #WhiteCard to call to everyone to ‘play their peace’ for global solidarity and unity. Behind each of them lies an extraordinary story and career. A source of inspiration and courage whose reach is even stronger in these times of crisis and loss of bearings.
“The message behind the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace and the #WhiteCard comes into full play in the current context. Today, more than ever, sport must continue reinforcing our bonds with each other; helping in the fight of the current crisis; being used as a tool to envision and shape the future we want. It is the time to stand together as one global team through the #WhiteCard.”
PHOTO: HSH Prince Albert of Monaco and Joel Bouzou peace-sport.org