International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

Quick Facts - CA

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Related Hashtags#WhiteCard, #Sport, #Peace, #Sports, #OpenGoal, #EuropeanGames
2024 DateApril 6, 2024
2025 DateApril 6, 2025

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

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International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) highlights the impact of sports on society, specifically in promoting peace, unity, and social inclusion. This platform uses sport as a vehicle to galvanize efforts towards development goals and encourage sustained peace. The celebration embodies several key facets, including promoting social integration, advocating for gender equality, and fostering a culture of peace through sporting events.

The UN General Assembly proclaimed the IDSDP in 2013, recognizing the long-standing tradition of sports fostering communication and camaraderie among participants. For Canadians, IDSDP holds significant value as sports such as hockey, basketball and soccer play a crucial role in Canadian culture and identity, contributing towards social bonding, mutual respect and peaceful coexistence. It also resonates with the core Canadian values of diversity, inclusivity and sportsmanship.

In Canada, the observance of IDSDP often includes myriad community-based sporting events, public awareness campaigns, and educational programs, emphasizing the power of sports as a catalyst for societal change and peace. Institutions, sports organizations, schools and local communities across the country proactively engage in scheduling activities and discussions underscoring the importance of sports for development and peace. As per the UN's designation, the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace takes place annually on April 6th, a date that aligns with the start of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.

Facts about this day

  • The theme for International Day of Sport for Development and Peace in 2024 was Sport for the Promotion of Peaceful and Inclusive Societies. in 2022 the theme was Securing a Sustainable and Peaceful Future for All: The Contribution of Sport.
  • It is estimated that there are more than 8,000 sports played around the world. Only about 440 are recognized internationally however.
  • The first Olympic Games were held in April of 1896 in Athens, Greece. At this point, only 9 sports were part of the games and only 14 countries competed. Men were the only ones allowed to compete as well.
  • Canada hosts several national organizations that use sport as a tool for social change, such as "Right To Play", "Athletes for Africa", and "Motivate Canada". They all share the common goal of employing the power of sport for developmental and peace-building purposes.
  • In Canadian indigenous communities, sport has also been used as a critical tool for social progress and reconciliation. Indigenous Sport Circles and other similar organizations aim to boost participation in sport among indigenous youths, improve health and wellness, and foster cultural pride.

Top things to do in Canada for this observance

  • Help organize and take part in a sporting event for underprivileged kids such as KidSport or Right to Play International. Any amount of money donated goes toward helping underprivileged kids get involved in sports and keep them happy and healthy.
  • Take a picture of you playing a sport and post it on social media with the caption Sport, Peace, and Development. Use the hashtag #iplay, #InternationalDayofSportforDevelopmentandPeace or #IDSDP on social media to spread awareness.
  • Visit the Canada Olympic Park in Calgary: Though not specifically for IDSDP, visiting the Olympic Park is relevant as it is a symbol of the unity and peace through sport, which the day promotes.
  • Read a book to learn more about Sport for Development and Peace in Canada:
    Sport and Corporate Nationalisms - by Michael L. Silk, David L. Andrews, C.L. Cole
    Sport, Development and Canadian Identity: Variations on a Theme - by Solar-Power
    Sport Policy in Canada - by Lucie Thibault, Jean Harvey

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