Promote a Culture of Peace through Sport
Most sport for peace activities take place in a post-conflict settling. Their focus is on reconciliation between victims and perpetrators and formerly hostile communities; rehabilitation and reintegration of ex-combatants; and, to a more limited extent, reconstruction of the social, political, and economical infrastructure. The following sub-sections provide examples of the use of sport to achieve each of these aims.
The SDP IWG Report, “Harnessing the Power of Sport for Development and Peace: Recommendations to Governments”, made the following policy and programmatic recommendations which Member States, with SDP IWG support, are encouraged to implement:
- Reference the use of sport to prevent conflict and build peace in national Sport for Development policies and in international development policies related to peace-building.
- Review the use of sport for nation-building purposes to ensure that the messages conveyed are peaceful and conductive to preventing conflict both within and outside the country.
- Engage parents in programs for children and youth to build their confidence in the program and to reach out to a more diverse range of beneficiaries.
- Capitalize on spontaneous events to mobilize longer-term sport for peace initiatives with targeted impact.
- Target programs to the broader community, trying not to limit programs to disadvantages populations or ex-combatants.
- Ensure that sport for peace initiatives are not only evaluated at the program level, but also for their impact on the peace environment at large.
- Ensure that coaches and trainers are well trained in sport, conflict management, and peace-building techniques.
- Take advantage of opportunities to mobilize high-profile elite athletes to serve as public spokespeople and role models for peace.
- Aim for year-round, long-term initiatives when the objective is to change perceptions and build relationships and trust across conflict lines.