When I was reminded that April sixth is the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, I checked several websites to see if the National Football League, National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball had committed their organizations to this effort. At the time of the writing of this post, I could find no mention of the event for the organizations. It seems to be a shame that they would not see fit to utilize their billions of dollars of annual revenue towards such worthy aims as development and peace. Perhaps the executives in charge have plans for later today that I’m not aware of. If that is the case, I eagerly await their press releases.
Meanwhile, I did notice that FIFA for soccer has shown an interest in the event along with many other organizations and athletic personalities. I think it’s important for sports organizations and associated individuals to become involved in the greater struggles for peace and development issues.
Sporting events draw the attention and support of millions of people around the world. This makes sports compelling instruments for communication and advocacy. Many sports officials understand that their teams can help provide support for peace building efforts.
The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace is when sports celebrities, goodwill ambassadors, and world citizens come together to promote sustainable development. It goes hand in hand with contributions to health, education, gender and orientation equality, social inclusion, tolerance, and solidarity.
In August of 2013, the United Nations General Assembly declared that each April 6th will be known as International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. The announcement was made in conjunction with UNICEF and the International Olympic Committee. The idea is to take the benefits of athletics and healthy lifestyles and join them with the broader social benefits of human development.
Involving actual sports figures and organizations with the UN efforts will help the event be more than just a simple photo opportunity and symbolic gesture. The organizations don’t simply get off with a simple endorsement, they actively involve themselves in real-world actions. It is one opportunity for the large sporting organizations to give financial support and guidance to worthwhile work.
The list of people and groups involved in the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace include the United Nations umbrella organization, in particular the UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace, the international, national, and regional sports organizations, non-governmental groups, and the private sector. Everyone in the world is invited to participate and raise their awarness of how to meet global needs. Some events can be found at: http://www.april6.org/en/
Today, everyone in the world can celebrate and contribute to real development, tolerance, and understanding.
The Blue Jay of Happiness often hears this refrain by John Lennon: “Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.”