Peace and Sport and Champion for Peace Isabelle Yacoubou get ready for the 2018 Friendship Games
As part of Peace and Sport’s ongoing efforts to use sport as a tool for dialogue around the world, the organization will hold the 2018 Friendship Games in Bujumbura, Burundi from 17 to 19 August in cooperation with the National Olympic Committee of Burundi, eight international sport federations and with the participation of Champion for Peace and basketball silver medallist Isabelle Yacoubou.
Each year, this event, which brings together every year 200 young athletes from Burundi, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). For the ninth edition, the Benin-born French basketball player Isabelle will team up with karate world runner-up Fodé Ndao to share the Olympic values of cooperation, self-initiative, dialogue and team spirit with the young participants and they will lead the basketball and martial arts competitions.
Since 2009, Peace and Sport with the involvement of National Olympic Committees, international and national sporting federations, local authorities and Champions for Peace, supports six training centers in the Great Lakes region in Africa. Youngsters from these centres gather for a three-days event -the Friendship Games- marked by a sport tournament, cultural exchanges and peacebuilding activities. So far more than 1500 youngsters have had the opportunity to participate, compete, forge intercultural dialogue and experience the power of sport for peace.
Peace and Sport President and Founder, Joel Bouzou, said: “This ninth edition of the Friendship Games will focus on sharing the positive values of sports such as team spirit, respect and solidarity. Isabelle represents perfectly these values, and I am excited to see her capacity and commitment to inspire the youth. Our Champions for Peace play an integral role in spreading our message of peace around the world and I want to thank Isabelle for her involvement.”
Isabelle Yacoubou, said: “As a Champion for Peace I want to go back to the roots and help the most disadvantaged young people to achieve their dreams, to have a better life and above all to embody the positive values of sport. Sport is a unique tool for creating dialogue and friendship and I am very happy to participate in the 2018 Friendship Games and I look forward to meeting the children and sharing intense and rich moments with them.”
Alongside Isabelle Yacoubou, a host of International Federations are also involved in the 2018 Games, including:
- Fédération Internationale de Teqball (FITEQ)
- International Basketball Foundation (IBF)
- International Judo Federation (IJF)
- International Table Soccer Federation (ITSF)
- World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC)
- World Dodgeball Association (WDA)
- World Karate Federation (WKF)
- World Rugby (WR)