DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, April 6, 2022—Today is the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP), designated by the United Nations General Assembly, a movement supported by the FIE. Each year, on April 6, the world of sport highlights the unique power of sport in supporting people and communities to overcome adversity and contribute significantly as a crucial enabler of sustainable development. It recognizes sports activities and their positive impact on peace and harmony in the co-existence of communities worldwide.
At the Junior and Cadet Fencing World Championships, taking place from April 2 to 10 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, athletes were briefed on the IDSDP and as is the organization's hallmark symbol, asked to hold white cards. They are a reference to the yellow and red penalty cards in the sporting world, and since 2014 a #WhiteCard is a symbol created by the organisation “Peace and Sport”, representing the positive power of sport for peace and social inclusion.
International teen athletes participating in the Junior and Cadet Fencing World Championships from all three fencing weapons (epee, foil, sabre) and both genders provided their thoughts on the April 6 initiative:
“Sports is a way to bond with something we all have in common. There are thousands of fencers here who are setting-aside their differences to compete. Of course, we cannot do that without peace.”
Jakob Lars Kristmannson (ISL)
“Peace and sport, they just go together really well, and it just makes sports so much more enjoyable. And what’s not to like about peace? Sport wouldn’t be here if there wasn’t peace.”
Melissa Jane (GBR)
“To me, peace and sports means that we fight and we are competing in the sport, but once we’re out of the sport we’re friends, and we make sure we keep all the aggression and competitiveness on the piste, and make sure when we’re off we are friends and can work together.”
Kevin Lima (BRA)
“I believe sport and peace can be combined because my sport is a community where I can compete with other people and do the things I love, away from politics. You learn new things, meet new people, away from what’s going on and from peoples’ opinions about the world, so you can focus on things you like instead of those where you disagree.”
Filippa Dybdal Fenger (DEN)
Sports like fencing bring people together; they want to compete but also want to show companionship. As a sportsman, even though you are fighting, you want to be sure be peaceful when not in competition, to bring each other closer and provide feedback to one another.
Daniella Weng Yan Tang (SGP)
“Peace and sport is a value, it’s a family. I understand that peace and sport means you have to be patient, more of a family, more protective, with more respect for the athletes and try to be the best person in the sport and in your life.”
Al Yacine Ouro-Agoro (TOG)
“Peace and sport unifies people even though there’s competition. There’s a level of sportsmanship and understanding, so it’s a great way to bring people together.”
Sanojah Gilkes (BAR)
According to the Peace and Sport organisation, “Through a #WhiteCard, each of us can advocate on the unique power of sport for social development and peace and share a story on how sport supported us to overcome challenges.”