ICF Paddle Challenge ends successfully with new perspectives of collaboration with Peace and Sport
The Paddle Challenge organized by the International Canoe Federation successfully ended last week, and saw the participation of enthusiastic paddlers from beginner level through to the elite. Among them, the 2016 Rio Paralympics’ gold medallist Curtis McGrath. Additionally, Champions for Peace Tony Estanguet and Benjamin Boukpeti have supported and endorsed the ICF Paddle Challenge. This initiative collected funds for Peace and Sport’s field programs and raised awareness among participants on the federating, educational and social role of sport. This cooperation opens the path for further collaboration as Peace and Sport President and Founder Joël Bouzou and ICF President José Perurena signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
ICF President Mr. José Perurena said the partnership with Peace and Sport is a good fit for the International Canoe Federation: “Canoeing is more than a sport. It is a philosophy of life. Canoeing allows recreational and social activities with family and friends in all waters, like rivers, lakes and sea. Especially in these difficult times, we need an agreement like this with social activity returning in many territories.”
“Thank you to all those who participated in the ICF Paddle Challenge, added Joël Bouzou, Peace and Sport President and Founder, through this fantastic initiative the ICF family has shown the importance of a unity and solidarity during challenging times! Our mission is to build peaceful communities through the power of sport and we are glad to partner with the International Canoe Federation and to work together for the creation of a safer, more equitable and inclusive world.”
Three-time canoe slalom Olympic gold medallist and ICF vice-president, Tony Estanguet, and 2008 Olympic slalom bronze medallist, Benjamin Boukpeti of Togo, are both part of Peace and Sport’s “Champions for Peace” club.
“As a Peace and Sport Champion for Peace, I have been a privileged witness of the great efforts made by Peace and Sport to have a concrete impact on the field, building on the power of sport to transmit positive values such as self-confidence and respect to future generations in order to build peaceful communities, said Tony Estanguet. Today, I’m really happy to see Peace and Sport entering the canoeing family. For both organizations, this partnership is a great opportunity to develop new programs and support new audiences, and I’m sure we will find many areas of collaboration.”
The fund raised during the challenge will support Peace and Sport’s field program in the Great Lakes region. Peace and Sport, with the involvement of National Olympic Committees, international sport federations, local authorities and Champions for Peace, participates in the creation of a Culture of Peace by implementing its Methodology in extracurricular activities and youth centers. Launched last fall, the new phase of the African Great Lakes program has enabled the implementation of the Peace and Sport Methodology in more than 20 schools in the provinces of Gitega, Makamba and Bujumbura during extracurricular activities. Nearly 1,000 children, 50% of whom are girls, joined the program, supervised by 45 teachers. Peace and Sport would like to thank all participants for their generous donations! The funds raised thanks to the challenge will be used to provide “Peace and Sport Methodology Kits”, important equipment for the implementation of the Great Lakes program.