Opinion

Joël Bouzou
Peace and Sport President and Founder

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18/12/2015 par Joël Bouzou

Let’s continue driving change

Creating dialogue and raising more public awareness: this is the goal that we set ourselves with the launch of the Peace and Sport Watch in April 2015.

The peace through sport movement is constantly growing. Thanks to the efforts of so many over the past years, more and more policy-makers are realizing the full potential of sport for positive social change. To support this growth, we must ensure that the movement has the tools needed to connect networks around shared values, to sound the alarm on potential threats and to spread messages and ideas of sports champions, sports federations, institutions and field actors contributing to peace through sport. 

This is the reason why, back in April, we created the Peace and Sport Watch in partnership with Agence France Presse, a digital platform aimed at fostering the development of the peace through sport movement and offering its stakeholders a neutral, relevant and daily digest of the latest news.

9 months, 42 opinions and 128 news later, I’m proud to say that this new tool has made a valuable contribution as the online component of our annual International Forum, a space for thought-provoking and open debate.

During this period we’ve seen the sports movement act on a diplomatic level, such as when Cuban and American sailors competed in May in the first regatta since their countries’ decision to seek normal ties after more than five decades of Cold War strains, show its solidarity, as we witnessed after the Paris terror attacks when champions from around the world honoured the victims on their respective sporting grounds, or offer aid, like multiple football clubs did to the large number of refugees seeking help at the doorstep of Europe. The potential of sport is huge, and by spreading the message we hope to engage even more actors in the peace through sport movement.

The contributions to the weekly opinions have shown the diversity of those willing to take action, and the multitude of ideas that they wish to share. They include the Champion for Peace Tegla Loroupe, Peace One Day Founder Jeremy Gilley, Grant Jarvie, Professor and Director of the University of Edinburgh Academy of Sport, and many more, who I’d like to thank once again. They have raised issues ranging from sports role in the post-2015 agenda, sport diplomacy as a worthy tool for governments, and sports contribution to the peace talks in Colombia.

Let’s continue, together, to use the universal language of sport to drive change and to raise awareness.

Peace and Sport wishes you a very happy festive season!

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