Play4Peace promotes diversity through sports in Belgium
Play4Peace is a citizen-driven initiative by a group of Belgian entrepreneurs of various origins.The goal of the initiative is to use sport as a way to promote diversity, universality, tolerance, peace and togetherness.
The third annual edition of Play4Peace Belgium took place on the 25 and 26 March in the run up to the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace on 6 April. Young people and families from all backgrounds and age-groups attended and got to meet eachother through playing the 30 sports on offer at the event.
This year, Play4Peace championed the United Nations campaign, Together. The event encompassed the spirit of this campaign with the objective to celebrate diversity and use sport to create a dialogue between communities and generate new positive narratives.
In this edition of Play4Peace, the team partnered with around 30 local, national, and international organisations, including two refugee centres from Wallonia in Belgium.
A number of sports personalities attended as ambassadors for Play4Peace such as the footballer Mehdi Carcela, tennis champion Joachim Gérard, the Jiu-Jitsu world champion Amal Amjahid. Additionally, the event also counted with the presence of three Belgian ministers who showed their support for the campaign.
At a press conference at UNRIC, Emmanuel Mossay, co-founder of Play4Peace stated that “this is more than just a sports event; it is an occasion to create a dialogue between people. Everything is centred around solidarity.”
Caroline Petit, Deputy Director of UNRIC said that “UNRIC is pleased to encourage these local initiatives that target kids, families and communities to celebrate what unites them in the spirit of togetherness. We encourage the humanity and team spirit of this Belgian initiative. In sport, you are judged by your ability to compete, the effort you put in and your courage regardless of race or religion.”
Play4Peace and UN Brussels running teams will join together to participate in the popular 20km run in Brussels on 28 May along with 35,000 runners.
Later in the year, they will work together again for the Night of Sport during the European Week of Sport at the end of September, under the banner of Together.