Sports Programs

Day of Peace 2010: Promoting Peace through Sports

As part of the worldwide celebrations of the International Day of Peace 2010, the Universal Peace Federation designed a one-day Sports for Peace program that integrates sports and education in order to promote peaceful communities. The sports component involves teams playing a popular sport such as football (soccer), basketball, or racing. An optional additional component is playing or demonstrating a traditional game.

UPF believes that sports are a great potential instrument for peace. The educational component of the UPF program is thus aligned with the UN’s effort to promote peace and development through sports, while increasing the awareness of how sports can contribute to personal development, community harmony, and a healthy lifestyle. Coaches and officials can also take this opportunity to encourage good sportsmanship during competitions.

Amman, Jordan

A peace football tournament under the patronage of former Prime Minister H.E. Faisal Fayez commemorated the International Day of Peace on September 21. Disadvantaged Jordanian youth and Iraqis living in Jordan were selected to play, and said they felt honored to compete before such a distinguished audience.

An estimated 700,000 displaced Iraqis have been living in and around Amman since fleeing violence in their country between 2004 and 2008. For several years, Fosayo Irikora has been developing activities for unaccompanied young men, some living in dire circumstances. Like youth around the world, many are passionate about sports.

This project focused on bringing together youth from different national origins in an effort to facilitate communication, cooperation, and friendship across boundaries. Fosayo and her dedicated Iraqi colleagues have expanded the program to six teams and are continuing to develop athletic activities, with the support of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees office. The day opened with the national songs of Jordan and Iraq and speeches by representatives of the sponsoring organizations. Dr. Ghazi Tayyeb, president of the Jordanian-Iraqi Brotherhood Association, spoke on behalf of H.E. Fayez, followed by Mr. Arafat Jamal, Deputy Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Jordan.

The final match was played between Jordanians and Iraqis before an audience of 500. A fireworks display followed the award ceremony.

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Celebrations of the Week of Peace and Security in Africa included sports, a blood donation drive, and youth character education with an emphasis on AIDS prevention. His Majesty Kamsongho Naaba Sanem encouraged the young people to make peace a daily behavior. Football is very popular in Burkina Faso, played both professionally and informally in towns and villages across the country. Other popular sports include basketball, cycling, rugby union, handball, tennis, boxing, and martial arts.

N’djamena, Chad

The Week of Peace and Security in Africa opened with a September 15 conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration, and International Cooperation. Speakers included Prime Minister H.E. Emmanuel Nadingar and the Ambassador of the African Union, Ki Doulaye Corentin.

On September 21, the International Day of Peace, a Caravan of Peace set out at 10:00 am, ending at the Idriss Mahamat Ouya Stadium for a Football for Peace match between army veterans and civilian football teams. This large stadium was named after the great athlete from Chad, Idriss Mahamat Ouya. A high jumper, he won the French national championships in 1960 and 1961.

Chadians are great sports lovers, with football being especially popular. The friendly match between these two teams was especially meaningful on the Day of Peace.

Harare, Zimbabwe

Under the theme of Youth for Peace and Development, students from 12 schools participated in a sports tournament in various disciplines. The Minister of Education, Sport and Culture was the Guest of Honor at the event, which was organized in cooperation with the UN Information Centre, the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee, and other organizations.

Zimbabweans have endured political, economic, and humanitarian crises. Recovery requires not only government efforts but also the engagement of civil society. To support this, UPF-Zimbabwe invited young people from diverse backgrounds to engage in sports competitions to help build respect and goodwill.

This was a special opportunity for students from the 12 schools to compete. UPF-Zimbabwe was able to organize this sport tournament because its secretary general, Bosako Iyolangomo, works with many other stakeholders as the Chairman of the Committee on Dialogue Among Religion, Culture and Tradition to promote peace. Through that committee, they were able to bring together many stakeholders who are happy to contribute to a day of peace.

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