Opinion

Joël Bouzou
Peace and Sport President and Founder

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21/03/2016 par Joël Bouzou

The White Card – A Symbol for Peace and the Future

Sport likes symbols. They are firmly anchored in its history: the Olympic rings; the Olympic flame; the crystal globe; the golden ball. They are all part of the legend. They carry inherent values and have survived the wear of time, resisted changing trends and inspired successive generations. The White Card doesn’t claim to compete with these legendary symbols. But nonetheless it remains a symbol. A piece of all-white paper or cardboard held up as an emblem to show your commitment to peace through sport.

Peace and Sport’s White Card initiative was launched in spring 2014, to coincide with the first International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. A simple, easy-to-do idea which is very easily broadcast on social networks. A symbol. Some of our Champions for Peace embraced it with open arms as soon as it was launched, convinced of the wide scope of the gesture and its message. Notably, Paula Radcliffe was one of the first to post a photo of herself holding a white card in hand in the same way as a football referee. Our Patron, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, also showed his commitment to peace through sport by taking part in the first White Card campaign.

The operation was renewed last year to mark the day of April 6. It took on muscle. It grew. And we have relaunched it again this year for the third edition of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. The card is still white. Its message is still as clear: to express the conviction, through this symbolic gesture, that sport can sustainably change the world. To believe in its values of tolerance, unity and mutual aid. To post it.  And to share it.

To take part, all you have to do is take a selfie – alone or in a group – whilst holding up a white card. You then need to post the photo on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Simple. Fun. But the gesture is militant.

Once again, Peace and Sport’s Champions for Peace will set the example. Sergey Bubka, Novak Djokovic, Tony Estanguet, Christopher Froome, Yelena Isinbayeva, Tatiana Golovin, David Coulthard and Laura Flessel, have all played the game over the past two years and joined our viral campaign. They posed with their card and posted the photo on social networks; they involved their fan communities and followers. They were the first and most vociferous ambassadors. Over two years, no less than 7 million web surfers have joined the #WhiteCard campaign.

On Wednesday April 6, 2016 our white card will gain even more weight. This year, the operation is supported by the World Olympians Association and the International School Sport Federation. But the card must not be buried in a drawer or at the bottom of a box once the day is over, to be dug out twelve months later. #WhiteCard operations will be organized over coming months during major sporting events such as the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters, the LikeBike NiteRace and the Monte Carlo Fighting Masters. The campaign will be stretched out until the next Peace and Sport Forum from 23 – 25 November 2016. And the white card for peace through sport will be brandished in August 2016 at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Not far from the Olympic rings and flame. Between symbols.

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