Eleven new recruits join the Champions for Peace Club
Launched in 2009, our Champions for Peace club provides athletes with a structure for action and coordinated expression, so that the impact of their commitment to peace through sports projects reaches the widest possible audience. Their combined action and their determination each day help to demonstrate that sport can be more than performance alone and play a genuine role to serve society.
“Athletes are the best ambassadors to convey sport’s culture and values. The Champions for Peace club distinguishes these exceptional champions, who rally around a common goal: peacebuilding. We are proud to encourage these athletes who commit themselves daily to the cause of peace through sport” said Joël Bouzou, President and Founder of Peace and Sport.
We are delighted to welcome eleven new Champions for Peace into our ranks:
Jean-Baptiste Alaize, Para Athletics, France
Hugo Bonneval, International Rugby, France
Pascal Gentil, Olympic Medallist, Taekwondo, France
Habiba Ghribi, Olympic Champion, Athletics, Tunisia
Marlene Harnois, Olympic Medallist, Taekwondo, France
Muriel Hurtis, World Champion, Athletics, France
Felipe Massa, Formula One Champion, Brazil
Aya Medany, World Champion runner-up, Modern Pentathlon, Egypt
Nouria Benida-Merah, Olympic Champion, Athletics, Algeria
Angel Rodriguez, Athletics, Spain
Maria Toorpakai, Squash, Pakistan
Jean-Baptiste Alaize, Para Athletics, FranceBorn in Burundi in 1991 on the eve of a civil war, he fell victim to the conflict at the age of three. In 2016, he participated in his 2nd Paralympic Games and came 5th in the long jump. He now wants to share his experience with young people, particularly in Burundi.
Hugo Bonneval, International Rugby, FranceHe has played for the French national rugby team 8 times. He’s joining Toulon RC in 2017 and is keen to participate in projects directed towards youth.
Pascal Gentil, Olympic Medallist, Taekwondo, FranceDouble Olympic medallist in Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004, captain of the French Taekwondo team, Pascal Gentil has now ended his career. He’s joined the group of Champions to give back to society what sport has brought him.
Habiba Ghribi, Olympic Champion, Athletics, TunisiaThe Olympic Champion in 3000m steeple in London is pursuing her sporting goals to Tokyo 2020. She participated in a historic event at the 2016 Peace and Sport International Forum: a symbolic meeting of the worlds of peace and sport which brought together Tunisian political figures and Nobel Peace Prize-winners Abdessatar Ben Moussa, Mohammed Fadhel Mahfoudh and Ouided Bouchamaoui, and herself, an international athlete.
Marlene Harnois, Olympic Medallist, Taekwondo, FranceWinner of an Olympic medal in London, since the end of her career she has worked to promote the values of sport and education, particularly in West Africa. She supports young people practicing taekwondo in Ivory Coast, two of which were recent medallists in the Rio Olympics.
Muriel Hurtis, World Champion, Athletics, FranceChampion of France, Europe and the World, she recently retired from the athletic track. Now, Muriel is committed to advance the movement of peace through sport. She delivered inspirational messages to young participants during the first “Peace and Sport Workshops” in the outskirts of Paris.
Felipe Massa, Formula One Champion, BrazilThe Brazilian legend of Formula One, winner of 11 Grand Prix, and World champion runner up in 2008 has just ended his sports career. He is committed invest his fame to support the peace through sport movement.
Aya Medany, World Champion runner-up, Modern Pentathlon, EgyptThe first female Egyptian world champion in modern pentathlon, Aya encourages women to practice sport in a country that sees it as a distraction for them. Recently elected onto the IOC Athletes Commission and new Chair of the UIPM Athlete Committee, she spoke on the theme of Gender Equity at the 9th Peace and Sport International Forum.
Nouria Benida-Merah, Olympic Champion, Athletics, AlgeriaOlympic Champion in the 1500m in Sydney in 2000, Nouria is committed to help women in her country and is part of the Algerian National Olympic Committee. She is the ambassador for a 100% Women’s race in Algiers.
Angel Rodriguez, Athletics, SpainSpanish record holder of the 100m and 200m, the Spanish sprinter is still active and wants to take action in his country and mobilize athletes around solidarity projects.
Maria Toorpakai, Squash, PakistanThe professional squash player comes from a region of the world where girls are not allowed to practice sport. She disguised herself as a boy for the first 16 years of her life to play competitive sport. Maria defends the rights of women in Pakistan and has set up a foundation encouraging families to educate girls and allow them to play sport.
These 11 new Champions for Peace have added their commitment to a prestigious group of more than 90 athletes from 45 countries who are personally involved with Peace and Sport. They include, Novak Djokovic, Chris Froome, Paula Radcliffe, Sergey Bubka and Sébastien Loeb.