International Day of Sport for Development and Peace 6 April

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace is an annual celebration which started in 2014. The day aims to highlight the power of sport to drive social change, community development, and to foster peace and understanding.

As the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro are just around the corner (just 5 months away!), the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will this year promote how athletes and the Olympic Movement use sport to foster peace and reconciliation, underlining the power of the Games to promote tolerance and solidarity among everyone involved.

The IOC was founded in 1894 by Pierre de Coubertin and he strongly believed in the importance of using Olympism as a means to promote harmony among individuals and nations. Therefore, the international day is an excellent opportunity to remind the world just how effective and important carrying out sport or physical activity is, on all levels.


Sport and physical activity helps to address a number of factors including education, health, social inclusion, youth development, gender equality, peace-building and sustainable development.

Health factors: Exercise through sport is linked to reduce the risk of over 20 illnesses, including cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Did you know, sport participation can also save between £1,750 and £6900 in healthcare costs per person?!

Economic factors: £20.3 billion was made to the English economy as a result of sport and sport-related activity, in 2010. The contribution of employment is even greater bringing in an estimated number of 400,000 full time equivalent jobs.

Social and cultural factors: What’s more, sport has resulted in improved attainment statistics, lower absence rates, reduced drop-out rates and increased progression to higher education. These are all wonderful effects of sport on education.

Studies have shown numeracy scores have improved by an average of 8 per cent, above non-participants. In addition, other studies have found that sport programmes aimed at youths (at risk of criminal behaviour) can enhance self-esteem and reduce reoffending. (Sport England, 2016)

So how are you celebrating International Day of Sport for Development and Peace?

Why not take part in a sports activity of your choice and you’ll be sure to reap the benefits. Find Your Sport offers information on how to get involved in your chosen sport whether you wish to be a player, coach or even a volunteer.

Tennis for Kids  is a new initiative that offers free 6-week coaching courses for 5-8 year olds. Or, visit your local leisure centre and take advantage of the sport activities available.

Happy International Day of Sport for Development and Peace!

You may also be interested in our wellbeing article, 10 Reasons Why Exercise is The Best.


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