Over 500 diverse youth across 6 time zones witnessed the power of sport to bring unity on International Day of Sport for Development and Peace
Generations for Peace Hosts 17 Simultaneous Football Games in 9 Countries
Tuesday, April 9
Generations for Peace, a global non-profit peace building organisation based in Jordan, engaged over 500 youth in 9 countries with Get the Ball Rolling 2019, an international series of football games that united diverse youth to celebrate International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP). The purpose of the global event was to emphasise the power of sport to foster unity and build peace across physical, mental, and emotional borders.
At 11am UTC (2pm in Georgia), 17 simultaneous matches began across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. In Tbilisi, the games created a safe space brought to life at Public High School 155 and welcomed youth from various backgrounds, including those who have faced school bullying or violence, to overcome divisive barriers through sport.
Tornike Chargeishvili, Lead Pioneer of Generations for Peace in Georgia, oversaw the event in Tbilisi and said, “Georgia has for many years faced challenges when it comes to social cohesion and transforming violent conflict among youth in schools. Get the Ball Rolling 2019 was a great opportunity to address those challenges and many others around the world, providing a safe space through sport where local youth could unite, crossing mental and emotional borders they face every day and recognising that they are not alone.”
Over the last 12 years, the organisation has trained, mentored and supported more than 11,400 youth volunteers, whose efforts have positively impacted more than 524,000 children, youth, and adults in 50 countries. In addition to its renowned Sport for Peace programming, the organisation also uses arts, advocacy, dialogue, and empowerment tools, addressing challenges of gender inequality, post-conflict trauma response and reconciliation, and more.
Mark Clark, Generations for Peace CEO, commented on the event’s impact, saying, “Generations for Peace believes in the enormous potential of youth to lead positive change in their own communities, and in the power of sport as a universal language to unite those who are faced with division and violent conflict every day. Across nine countries and three continents, the simultaneous football games involved not just our trained Pioneers, volunteers, and participants, but also engaged local community members, demonstrating these values and encouraging anyone to build peace and pass it on!”
The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace is an annual day recognised by the UN and celebrated its sixth year on Saturday, 6 April 2019. The day serves to raise awareness of the potential of sport to contribute to global objectives for development and peace due to its vast reach, unparalleled popularity, and foundation of positive values.