Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 26

Thread: Can Sport Help Promote Peace?

  1. #1
    Very Active Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Florence, Italy
    Posts
    191

    Can Sport Help Promote Peace?

    The United Nations has declared 2005 the

    International Year of Sport and Physical Education

    Kofi Annan says:

    "Sport is an international language that can bring people together, no matter what their origin, background, religious beliefs or economic status."

    "The International Year of Sport and Physical Education (IYSPE 2005) provides a unique opportunity to focus the world’s attention on the importance of sport in society and on how sport and physical education programmes can be used as tools to help combat challenges such as extreme poverty, conflict and HIV/AIDS and help achieve the Millennium Development Goals."

    What do you think about the potential of sport to promote peace, to bring people of different backgrounds together?

    Mary

    By the way, if you are organizing an event which you believe fits the criteria of the International Year of Sport and Physical Education, you can contact the UN for sponsorship (no $$ though, just their blessings!) I got it for my Strait of Messina swim!
    VIVA LA VITA!!!!!!!
    VIVA LO SPORT (Sano e Pulito)!!!!!

    www.iswimitaly.it

  2. #2
    Very Active Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Galesburg, IL
    Posts
    1,635
    Mary,
    I don't think so. But it can do things. Has anyone looked into FINA's swim against Malaria or Swim Accross America ?

  3. #3
    Very Active Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Florence, Italy
    Posts
    191
    The World Swim for Malaria is a great initiative! We masters in Italy just heard about it yesterday, and we definitely plan to organize a benefit event. Here's the link:

    World Swim for Malaria
    VIVA LA VITA!!!!!!!
    VIVA LO SPORT (Sano e Pulito)!!!!!

    www.iswimitaly.it

  4. #4
    Very Active Member aquageek's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    5,624
    Blog Entries
    588
    Hopefully no one will swim in a mosquito infested swimming hole.

  5. #5
    Very Active Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Deland, Florida
    Posts
    1,016
    "Quote Annan"
    "The International Year of Sport and Physical Education (IYSPE 2005) provides a unique opportunity to focus the world’s attention on the importance of sport in society and on how sport and physical education programs can be used as tools to help combat challenges ....."

    Gosh, Annan’s new focus on Sports is all the more remarkable for the fact that they are made against the backdrop of the biggest scandal in U.N. history, the ill-fated Oil-for-Food program, now the subject of at least four congressional investigations, three U.S. federal investigations, as well as a U.N.-appointed commission of inquiry, the Volcker Commission.


    Several questions remain regarding Kofi Annan:

    1. Did the U.N. Secretary-General deliberately turn a blind eye to U.N. mismanagement and corruption in overseeing the Oil-for-Food program?

    2. Did he sympathize with the efforts of Saddam Hussein and key members of the Security Council to lift U.N. sanctions against Iraq?

    3. Were efforts made by the Hussein regime to influence the actions and decisions of the Secretary-General with regard to Iraq?

    4. Was Annan influenced in his decision-making regarding the program by his son’s involvement with Cotecna?

    5. What was Annan's involvement ($ reward) in the Oil-for Food program?

    I think the Sports bodies around the world can do without UN help or intervention.....at least until they get their ducks in a huddle.....

  6. #6
    Very Active Member nkace's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    101
    You have walk a thons, & run a thons, even bike a thons for a lot of causes. I have even done a virtual march on line for the environment.
    Internationally there are tons of sports that bring people together. This is a great avenue that should be explored more.
    I think this would be great.

  7. #7
    Very Active Member FindingMyInnerFish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    1,079
    Without getting into the UN controversy that Tom discusses, the idea of sports as an avenue to peace raises mixed feelings for me.

    The idealist in me wants to believe this is possible.

    The realist sees countries using their sports programs for propagandizing and (in some cases) drugging their athletes, turning their sports systems into an industry. Then too there's the cut-throat competition of international soccer matches, with players and coaches getting death threats. (Come to think of it, even here in Philly, the pitcher who threw the home run ball to Joe Carter in the '93 World Series was getting death threats.)

    Sports in some respects mimic war--team sports more so than individual sports. Think of the language ppl use to describe wins and losses. "____ routs ____." Or "____ rolls over ____." Try going to a game and rooting for the away team--especially if there's a serious rivalry going on. Historically, sports have served as training for war, as evidenced by the famous saying, "the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton."

    That said, I do see the potential: when I was a kid, there was a girl who constantly put me down because I wasn't good at sports. She was one of the "cool" kids. I felt pretty awkward around her. We went to the same day camp and year after year, it seemed things thawed between us. The very thing that divided us began to unite us. I wasn't that great at sports, but I was very determined and willing to try. At 14, my parents said I didn't need to go to the day camp anymore but by then I'd made friends and wanted to attend (aren't parents clever that way! I didn't want to and resisted every year for a while). She too attended, and I think we were the only 14-year-olds in our group--somehow that may have drawn us together...that and I think she grew to respect that I didn't give up easily. And I came to respect and admire her skill.

    Sports brings with it a kind of intimacy, even among strangers, that is hard to find elsewhere. After a swim meet, I met my competitors in the shower, locker room, and sauna. And we ceased to be people with titles or records or whatever. We were just women sharing our experiences. After some group runs, the runners sometimes gather at a local restaurant where no matter how fast or slow anyone is, the common ground is that we all knew what it was to hurt from your best effort, to walk into a restaurant sweaty and laughing at ourselves.

    Maybe the question is not so much whether sports generally can promote peace--but how can they? Competition is great--healthy, fun, demanding of our best efforts. I tend to be uncomfortable w/ someone saying, "oh I'm not competitive" as if somehow that's politically incorrect. I'm all about PC. And slow as molasses. But even in a slow race, I have been known to hear footsteps behind me and say to myself, "no way she's going to pass me!"

    Anyone serious about a sport knows how that feels, knows what it is to wonder if you can take another step, if you can swim another stroke, if you can avoid maxing out in oxygen debt and finish the race. It doesn't matter what country you're from, how fast you are, how much money you have. The athlete feels both strong and fragile--feels herself at the edge of what it is to be human, testing herself against others. Competitors share the same pool, the same track, the same race course, the same struggle of will.

  8. #8
    Very Active Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Deland, Florida
    Posts
    1,016
    FindingMyInnerFish...great post....thank you

  9. #9
    Very Active Member FindingMyInnerFish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    1,079
    Originally posted by Tom Ellison
    FindingMyInnerFish...great post....thank you
    Thanks Tom! I've been doing a lot of thinking about the topic! Glad you liked the post!

  10. #10
    Active Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    61
    I don't know about peace, but I'm really surprised that USMS clubs don't get more involved in fundraising. They have a Walk 4 a Cure, Rune 4 a Cure, etc. - why not raise money for the Komen Foundation with Swim 4 a Cure?

    My sister runs marathons and does bike "tours" for the Luekemia Lymphoma Society (our uncle suffered, and a friend of mine currently is scheduled for a bone marrow transplant because of). I don't own a bike, and hate running, so how can I swim for the cause?

    Organizations fighting MS, AIDS, various cancers, Alzheimers, all sorts of things, do athletic type fundraisers. Anyone know how a USMS club could put together a postal swim or something of the sort to support these types of causes?

    Kae

  11. #11
    Very Active Member Scansy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    793
    Gee Tom, I was thinking about putting up a similar post, but you saved me the trouble!

    If Annan is pushing The International Year of Sport and Physical Education" I have to ask.... what's in it for him?

    Originally posted by Tom Ellison
    "Quote Annan"
    "The International Year of Sport and Physical Education (IYSPE 2005) provides a unique opportunity to focus the world’s attention on the importance of sport in society and on how sport and physical education programs can be used as tools to help combat challenges ....."

    Gosh, Annan’s new focus on Sports is all the more remarkable for the fact that they are made against the backdrop of the biggest scandal in U.N. history, the ill-fated Oil-for-Food program, now the subject of at least four congressional investigations, three U.S. federal investigations, as well as a U.N.-appointed commission of inquiry, the Volcker Commission.


    Several questions remain regarding Kofi Annan:

    1. Did the U.N. Secretary-General deliberately turn a blind eye to U.N. mismanagement and corruption in overseeing the Oil-for-Food program?

    2. Did he sympathize with the efforts of Saddam Hussein and key members of the Security Council to lift U.N. sanctions against Iraq?

    3. Were efforts made by the Hussein regime to influence the actions and decisions of the Secretary-General with regard to Iraq?

    4. Was Annan influenced in his decision-making regarding the program by his son’s involvement with Cotecna?

    5. What was Annan's involvement ($ reward) in the Oil-for Food program?

    I think the Sports bodies around the world can do without UN help or intervention.....at least until they get their ducks in a huddle.....
    Go Steelers!

  12. #12
    Active Member Sparky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    53
    I'm with both Kael and InnerFish, even though they each make different points.

    On the practical side, USMS would do well to use swimming events as ways to raise money for various causes. That would also bring out the so-called "non-competitive" swimmers who might find a bigger purpose in the endeavor than simply making better times. I run in road races not to compete but to help raise money for a worthy cause.

    And to give myself shin splints. There, I said it.

    Sport has a limited ability to bring people together. At first, it seems like a great idea, but as politics gets involved, the stakes get ratcheted up until the whole idea of unity is as insignificant a thought as what color the jerseys are.

    Playing games to unite folks is a great idea, but we have to realize at some point, it's only a game.

    In my humble opinion, natch.

    Adam
    Adam Richter
    "It is better to ask some of the questions than know all of the answers." —James Thurber

  13. #13
    Very Active Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Woonsocket
    Posts
    148
    If left to the athletes then peace may be promoted. When governments and politicians get involved then sport is just another pawn in the political game. Did the olympic boycotts in
    80 and 84 help with peace?
    Howard

  14. #14
    Very Active Member scyfreestyler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Kalifornia
    Posts
    3,316
    This thread is destined for closing due to it's political nature but I will say that Kofi Annan get's no respect from me.

  15. #15
    Very Active Member Scansy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    793
    Originally posted by 330man
    This thread is destined for closing due to it's political nature but I will say that Kofi Annan get's no respect from me.
    And I bet he can't keep up with any of us in a 400 IM either!
    Go Steelers!

  16. #16
    Very Active Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Galesburg, IL
    Posts
    1,635
    1. I thinkn that the UN has become so big it can't be managed. It is an organization that does some good & some bad. I think it is like any big institution.

    2. The malaria swim and Swim Across America are really both outside of USMS's abilities. both are expected to bring in more money than orginally thought possible.

    3. USMS seems to have enough on its plate trying to get people swimming. It seems to me that it needs a major membership reorganization and thrust. How can a membership organization continue when it doesn't have a membership drive?

    4. Sports are politcal. Just look at what sports each country tries to influence through its sports federations and other organizations.

  17. #17
    Very Active Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Florence, Italy
    Posts
    191
    wow! the major part of the responses here are surprisingly (for me) negative! so negative my pc got hit by a virus and is down - I'm just checking in from an internet cafe...

    no one thinks sports can help promote peace, not even a little?

    question: if a thread can be closed for its political nature, why is the one about foreign athletes training at USA universities still open?

    Peace!

    Mary
    VIVA LA VITA!!!!!!!
    VIVA LO SPORT (Sano e Pulito)!!!!!

    www.iswimitaly.it

  18. #18
    Very Active Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Galesburg, IL
    Posts
    1,635
    Originally posted by Maryyyyyy
    wow! the major part of the responses here are surprisingly (for me) negative! so negative my pc got hit by a virus and is down - I'm just checking in from an internet cafe...

    no one thinks sports can help promote peace, not even a little?

    question: if a thread can be closed for its political nature, why is the one about foreign athletes training at USA universities still open?

    Peace!

    Mary
    Mary,

    that's a great question. Maybe you haven't been in the US recently enough but we are having a huge debate about foreigners, illegal aliens and possible terrists. the country has been so changed. there is so much anti-foreigners mentally that it has run over into the pool. My personal oppinionis that it is at the least embarrasing.

  19. #19
    Very Active Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Deland, Florida
    Posts
    1,016
    "no one thinks sports can help promote peace, not even a little?"

    Gosh, in my post I didn't say that. I did say, I do not think the UN can promote peace or anything else right now because they are snowed under dealing with the biggest scandal in U.N. history, the ill-fated Oil-for-Food program, now the subject of at least four congressional investigations, three U.S. federal investigations, as well as a U.N.-appointed commission of inquiry, the Volcker Commission.

    Also, when you say “promote peace”.....Please define PEACE.....

    Anytime diverse groups of people come together toward one goal, such as athletic achievement, ideas and culture will be commonly shared and exchanged among the athletes. Each will have the opportunity to see first hand that for the most part, we are much the same. We love our families, want the best for our children and share many of the same aspirations in life that men and woman have shared for centuries.

    Will this common bond help promote peace? Well, it sure as heck can’t hurt! As for the UN being involved, pass on that idea. I do not trust the UN! I believe they are partisan in their politics, corrupt in every respect and the mouth piece for any nation that will stuff their pockets under the table. In short, why get Drackula to guard the blood bank?

  20. #20
    Very Active Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Florence, Italy
    Posts
    191
    I'm very sorry for the negative twist this thread has taken. That certainly wasn't my intention when I opened it. I am not in a position to defend the UN nor Kafi Annan and have no intention of doing so, just as I have no intention of condemning them

    In the name of peace (please see the definition below, especially n. 5) I would like to ask that the administrator close this thread before it goes any further.

    peace

    NOUN:

    1.The absence of war or other hostilities.
    2. An agreement or a treaty to end hostilities.
    3. Freedom from quarrels and disagreement; harmonious relations: roommates living in peace with each other.
    4. Public security and order: was arrested for disturbing the peace.
    5. Inner contentment; serenity: peace of mind.
    VIVA LA VITA!!!!!!!
    VIVA LO SPORT (Sano e Pulito)!!!!!

    www.iswimitaly.it

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •