Opinion

Marlene Harnois
Taekwondo Olympic Medalist and Champion for Peace

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03/04/2017 par Marlene Harnois

Culture, Education and Sport work well together on April 6

Sport is far more than a form of entertainment. It is also a potential catalyst for the promotion of education and culture beyond being essential to human development.

Sport is a platform for cultural enrichment and exchange. Like food and music, sport poses a potential for interculturalism, because it contributes to the dialogue between different cultures and nationalities. For example, during the Olympic Games athletes are great promoters of culture, considering they carry the responsibility to represent their home country and to exchange positive values.

Additionally, it has been played and watched by people from a variety of social backgrounds, which is giving it a great platform to reach people and to become an ideal vehicle to build human capabilities. The physical education in the school curriculum and opportunities for recreation improves a youth’s ability to study, with an increase of overall achievement.

In order to promote Education, Culture and Sport in West Africa the Foundation Heart Angel in partnership with the Association Daba Modibo Keita will organize a number of sport-based activities in Bamako, Mali, to celebrate the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, which is taking place on April 6.

This event has the objective to portray the holistic and cross-cutting nature of sport as a platform to promote cultural exchange and dialogue, as well as the acquisition of skills transferable to the workplace and to social life. In addition to playing sport children will have an opportunity to listen tales related with peace and sport in a public library. Youth are invited to participate in a conference about sport policy and development or to engage themselves in different sports at the Mini Olympiads. The general public will enjoy a concert at night.

On the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace it is important to recognize the unique role of sport in the promotion of culture and education. Sport alone cannot resolve all problems, but it can be a complement to educational programs, cultural exchanges and social change. The skills and values promoted through sport are similar to the skills and values taught in peace education.

I believe we as individuals can never do enough, but together we can certainly do more and better. Let’s celebrate the April 6 together and let’s activate the values of sport along the year.

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