International Day Of Sport and Peace in Israel

April 14, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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400 Jewish, Arab, Bedouin, ultra-Orthodox, new immigrant, asylum seeker and special needs “Athletes for Peace,” have gathered from across Israel to celebrate the International Day of Sport and Peace at the Ramla Sports Center and Azrieli Ramla Mall.

Danny Hakim [white], Chris Cannan [blue shirt]

The event illustrated the power of sport to bridge differences and promote a shared society as hundreds of young athletes gathered in the multi-cultural city of Ramla to showcase their commitment to the Olympic values of respect, inclusiveness and fair play.

The United Nations and the International Olympic Committee (I.O.C.) declared April 6 as the International Day of Sports for Development and Peace to be commemorated in 180 countries around the world, with this being the first event of its kind in Israel.

Australian Ambassador Chris Cannon representing the international diplomatic corps addressed the audience giving the Australian perspective on how sport has played an important role in bringing Australians from different backgrounds together. Ambassador Chris Cannon said: “As an Australian, our experience is that we see sport as a break force for peace, as a leveller. Sport brings people together .“

The event was organized by fellow Australian and NSW Maccabi Hall of Fame inductee Danny Hakim, founder of Budo for Peace.

Danny Hakim and ambassador
Chris Cannan

Hakim is also a board member of ALLMEP which sponsored the event. ALLMEP www.allmep.org is an alliance of 110 grassroots NGO’s that promote a shared society in Israel and peace in the middle east through people-to-people activities.  “The universal language of sport transcends the boundaries of religion, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. This event brought so many different sectors together and showcased the power of sport to build a shared society” said Danny.

Israeli Olympian athletes came to support the 14 Sport for Peace NGO’s representing 10 different sports, including soccer, tennis, wheelchair table tennis, karate, taekwondo, capoeira, catch ball, frisbee, surfing and kayaking.

A highlight of the event was a group photo of all the athletes for the global #whitecard digital campaign, which is expected to reach 90 million people on social media in the lead up year to the 2020 Olympic Games. A copy of the photo is available and free for use by the media.

Organizers say the event was intended to honor the positive power of sport around the world.

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