International organisation Peace and Sport has launched a new virtual forum here, aimed at fostering the development of the peace through the sport movement and offering its stakeholders a neutral, relevant and daily digest of the latest news.
Peace and Sport Watch is supported by international news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP), whose global head of sport Vincent Amalvy was present at the unveiling alongside Peace and Sport President and founder Joël Bouzou.
The Watch website, which can be accessed by clicking here, features a practical tool for information on upcoming events relevant to the peace through sport movement.
A movement newsfeed can also be found, providing information on initiatives led by actors of the peace through sport movement, promoted through a Peace and Sport Twitter feed.
The Watch will be the online component of Peace and Sport's International Forum, the next edition of which will take place in Monaco in November.
“The goal is not to miss anything,” Bouzou told insidethegames.
“It’s to capitalise on anything which is done involving sport for peace around the world and promote it so that people are more convinced, and get more used to this kind of solution to bring social cohesion, dialogue between communities.
“Whatever they’re divided by social, ethical or religious problems, sport can be a solution.”
Also in attendance at the launch was Charmaine Crooks, the five-time Olympian from Canada, a silver medallist in the women’s 4x400 metres relay at Los Angeles 1984.
Crooks is one of Peace and Sport’s 82 ‘Champions for Peace’ from across five continents, a list which also includes eight-time Grand Slam winner and world number one tennis player Novak Djokovic of Serbia.
Champions for Peace are top-level sportsmen and women, who are either still active or retired and wish to help disadvantaged communities through sport.
They act as role models, heroes and a source of inspiration for young people throughout the world, giving some of their time to help peace-promoting projects and peace-building through sport.
Russia’s Yelena Isinbayeva, the Olympic and world champion pole vaulter, Great Britain’s marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe, and French footballer Christian Karembeu, a FIFA World Cup winner in 1998, are also among the "Champions for Peace" line-up.
Peace and Sport was founded in 2007 under the high patronage of Prince Albert II of Monaco, and has recently modernised its identity.
A new slogan “Be part of what matters” was accompanied by a more current graphic identity, aimed at reaching out to a broader public and expanding the scope of the peace through sport movement.
Bouzou, a former modern pentathlete who won a bronze medal at Los Angeles 1984, said he has been thinking about introducing the Watch for the past three years.
“We’re alerted very often by initiatives which we cannot report on because they’re too far from the front,” the Frenchman said.
“We cannot make a single publication for any of them, but at the same time it’s very important that they’re known so that later they can be duplicated.
“They have to be promoted for sure, not only to the public but also to the IFs (International Federations).”
Peace and Sport has been working with AFP since 2007, and Bouzou hopes that the partnership will ensure that no events fall off the radar.
“We hope that this will convince more sport actors that they can use sport as a solution and also will convince Governments that they should use sport,” he added.
“They should also respect the sport leaders in a different way, not only because they’re sport organisers, but because they’re peacemakers also.”
Amalvy added: “Sport is at the heart of AFP's development strategy."
"We’re proud to work with Peace and Sport on this initiative – it’s the next logical step for our partnership, which began in 2007.
"With our journalists posted in 150 countries, we can bring our know-how to support the Watch and help sport play out its full role in society.”
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