Sport can change the world for good with its ‘unique power’ to unify people and inspire change, HE Hassan al-Thawadi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Committee has said in a video message.
Al-Thawadi was speaking Tuesday on the occasion of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, an annual celebration of the power of sport to drive social change, community development and to foster peace and understanding.
“Every day, somewhere on this planet sport is changing our world for the better. It's a universal language, transcending culture and borders and it possesses a unique power to unify and inspire. A power that we must collectively harness to nurture inclusive and peaceful society,” al-Thawadi said.
He added that the Supreme Committee’s Generation Amazing initiative has achieved enormous success across the world towards uniting societies through football.
“On this United Nations International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, we celebrate the success of our social and human legacy programme Generation Amazing, he said.
“Driven by that unifying and inspiring mission, Generation Amazing has reached over 725,000 beneficiaries around the world through football for development programmes and community pitches.”
The programme aims to positively impact the lives of a million people by 2022, he said.
“By 2022, we aim to impact a million young people providing the necessary tools, guidance and assistance to realise their potential through serving their communities.
“Our Generation Amazing community clubs are safe spaces for girls and boys in vulnerable communities to learn, play and acquire skills that open new opportunities and unlock their potential.
“Our football for development coaching methodology serves the ambitious mission for the sustainable development goals and we continue to work closely with our counterparts at the United Nations on creating and leveraging initiatives aimed at preventing the causes of violent extremism through sport and the values associated with it.
Al-Thawadi said the ongoing pandemic has only strengthened the resolve of the programme to improve lives of communities through sport.
“It's our collective responsibility to lay the foundation for our future generations to realise their dreams, especially as we navigate the legacy effects of the pandemic,” he said.
“We must all reinforce our commitment to ensuring that sport's special power and potential is truly utilised to improving lives across cultures and borders for the children of today and tomorrow.”
Created by the United Nations General Assembly on August 23, 2013, the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace is supported by the International Olympic Committee and commemorates the inauguration, in 1896, of the first Olympic games of the modern era, in Athens.