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The global sporting family unites on April 6 under the banner of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace to acknowledge and promote the important role sport plays in strengthening communities and fostering peace and understanding across society.
Since first declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 2013 with the support of the International Olympic Committee, #IDSDP has been marked on April 6 annually, from aspiring athletes in their local community to professional teams competing on the global stage and everyone in-between. What unites them is the recognition of the important transformational role sport plays as a driver for social change and the opportunities and positive benefits for society when used as a tool for development and peace.
Rugby is recognised across the world for its character building values – discipline, respect, integrity, passion and solidarity – while fans and players have demonstrated a desire to use the game to give back to their community, be it through volunteering with their local school or club or rolling up their sleeves to support charities and organisations with rugby at their heart. This unique spirit of rugby has been particularly relevant during the challenging circumstances of the global Covid-19 pandemic and various individuals and organisations from the rugby family were acknowledged at the recent World Rugby Awards.
Rugby for development focuses on using the game to strengthen local communities and support wider society. Most if not all #RugbyForDevelopment initiatives reflect the objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, leveraging the suitability of rugby to deliver sustainable, measurable and values-based programmes across a wide range of communities, many of which face daily challenges.
Core objectives across these rugby for development programmes have metrics in place to support the attainment of education, health, gender equality, diversity and inclusion, environmental responsibility and peace building goals. In keeping with the team dynamic of rugby and the strong sense of solidarity it promotes, performance monitoring and a collaborative approach have proven the key to success for these programmes and an inspiration to others when looking at setting-up their own initiatives to address a particular cause or societal challenge.
World Rugby recognises the important work being done across the globe and collaborates in partnership, both formally and informally, with a variety of stakeholders including unions, regional associations, tournament hosts, commercial partners and suppliers across a broad range of initiatives using rugby for development.
With programmes taking place at the community, national, regional and international level, to mark IDSDP on April 6, the below provides a cross-section of just some of the rugby for development projects which aim to tackle common problems that communities and wider society are facing:
*Africa – Bhubesi Pride (education, rural development, local economy)
*Asia – ChildFund Rugby (leadership, gender equality, safeguarding)
*Americas – Trust Rugby International (disability, inclusion)
*Europe – SOS Kit Aid (solidarity, environmental sustainability)
*Oceania - Get Into Rugby PLUS (education, prevention of violence)
Meanwhile Campus 2023, the Apprenticeship Training Centre created by France 2023, had its first large-scale deployment last week, attended by French Prime Minister Jean Castex and Ministers Jean-Michel Blanquer (Minister of National Education), Elisabeth Borne (Labour Minister) and Roxana Maracineanu (Minister of Sport). In total, 1,500 apprentices - out of the 3,000 who will be part of the programme - had their first day on the 29 March, with the aim of "putting their ambitions in the service of sport".
Additionally, World Rugby works closely with a range of other stakeholders to promote and deliver sustainable and inclusive rugby for development initiatives, including the International Olympic Committee, Peace and Sport, the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation and International Gay Rugby among others.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “Rugby is a sport for all and as we mark the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace this year, the power of sport to unite and bring positivity to communities around the world has never been more relevant than during the unique and challenging situations brought by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“It has been a source of great pride to witness members of the international rugby family stepping up and putting our game’s great values into practice to help their societies in a time of need. World Rugby will continue to work closely with our regional associations and member unions to ensure rugby for development programmes continue to grow and reach out to diverse communities around the globe.”.
SOURCE: WORLD RUGBY/PACNEWS
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