Sport underpins the unique connections and friendships which bring together a large part of the world’s populations.
In 2001, the united nations secretary-general, Kofi Annan, founded the office on sport for development and peace, noting that sport has “an almost unmatched role to play in promoting understanding, healing wounds, mobilising support for social causes and breaking down barriers”.
Sport is also the most unifying force in our communities. A good sporting event in many communities serves to bring the community together to cheer on their home teams with pride. Additionally, although there is always fierce competition for championships, sport has always served to bring forward respect and friendship amongst all the participants.
Sport also teaches our young people many life skills that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives, even if they do not continue in a sport career. It also provides them with an opportunity to travel and to make new friendships. This all starts on the ground at the community level.
It is with these principles in mind that the Victoria Forum has entered into a partnership with the commonwealth games international federation.
The commonwealth games federation is in the process of creating an international restorative justice charter to address truth and reconciliation within the entire commonwealth sport movement.
The proposed charter will consist of four declarations developed over subsequent years with the first declaration related to the mistreatment of indigenous peoples being launched at the Victoria Forum.
This declaration will address the power of sport as a positive contributor to addressing historical and current issues that the indigenous peoples have faced in the past and continue to face on a daily basis. This will be done under the following four themes: respect, protect, promote and empower.
This declaration will also enhance the theme of the Victoria Forum 2020, which is bridging divides: turf, truth and trust.
In May 2000, Nelson Mandela made the following quote. He said “sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all kinds of discrimination”.
In this webinar, we will attempt to address following questions:
- How can the power of sport promote peace and advance reconciliation?
- How can sport be used to build bridges between communities in conflict?
- How can sport help to heal and ease some of the anxiety that may be felt in the communities due to quarantines and lock down? how can it help to give the young people hope and inspiration and be a catalyst for bringing joy, laughter and happiness back to communities?
- How can competitive sports help young people return to a sense of normalcy in post conflict and peace building contexts?
- How can sport be used to convene intergenerational dialogue?
- How can sport be used to reclaim spaces?