Peace and Sport presented the Friendship Games at XXII ANOC General Assembly
Peace and Sport, the politically-neutral organisation dedicated to promoting sport as a tool for peace, today delivered a presentation to the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) General Assembly in Prague, Czech Republic, showcasing their work with the Burundi National Olympic Committee in once more delivering the peace-building Friendship Games.
In front of an audience of 1,000 delegates, made up of 206 National Olympic Committees, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and a host of International Federations, Peace and Sport representative Pascal Gentil joined Burundi NOC President and IOC member, Lydia Nsekera to highlight the positive impact that can be generated through the involvement of sporting organisations and NOC’s in sport for development and peace programs.
This year the Friendship Games, organised with the support of nine International Federations including the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), the International Basketball Federation (FIBA, through its Foundation IBF) and the World Karate Federation (WKF), brought more than 200 young athletes together from Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo to compete in a range of sporting activities, all with the aim of creating great inter-cultural dialogue between the three nations from the Great Lakes region of Africa.
During his speech Pascal Gentil, Peace and Sport Champion for Peace and taekwondo double Olympic medallist, said:
“Every year, International Federations and local authority representatives support Peace and Sport’s actions at the Friendship Games; to promote better inter-cultural dialogue and to endorse the power of sport for change.”
Since 2007 Peace and Sport has been heavily involved in sport in the Great Lakes region, and alongside relevant local organisations has set up a range of training centres in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.
Iris Vlachoutsicos, Peace and Sport International Relations & Field Programs Director, added:
“The Friendship Games can serve as a model for the NOC’s to start their own development programs through Sport Simple Solutions. Sport Simple Solutions sees sporting practice areas, equipment and rules adapted to resources, environment and aims to promote a ‘sport for development and peace’ approach.”