On the International Day of Peace, Peace and Sport is committed to deploying new sports in fragile countries. First example: Biathle.
Monaco, 21 September 2009 – As the whole world celebrates Peace Day, “Peace and Sport, L’Organisation pour la Paix par le Sport” announces a fortification of its efforts to put sport at the service of sustainable peace throughout the world.
To do this the Monaco-based organization under the High Patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco is developing new sports practices adapted to the reality and conditions of areas in which they operate: areas made vulnerable by armed conflict, extreme poverty or lack of social cohesion.
In cooperation with its International Sports Federation partners, Peace and Sport will work to pioneer sports activities that can be practiced by a great number of people, without social or economic discrimination, in order to promote reconciliation, dialogue and stability social in susceptible countries.
Biathle is the first sport introduced as part of this innovative approach intended to circulate the values and virtues of structured sport more widely and more effectively, especially to young people.
Created in 1999 by the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne, Biathle is a new discipline consisting of two base events of modern pentathlon: running and swimming. A popular sport that is accessible to all and spectacular to watch, Biathle can be practiced without investing in equipment or facilities, making it particularly easy to implement in the most deprived areas.
Peace and Sport will support the organization’s first Biathle Championships held on Lake Tanganyika, Burundi, on September 29. The competition will take place in the “Olympafrica” Centre run by the Burundi National Olympic Committee, a partner of Peace and Sport. In this troubled border region, the event will promote peace and help to ease ethnic tensions.
The organization will help the South African Federation of Modern Pentathlon in an action program that uses the Biathle to supervise young people who have been members of violent gangs or who live on the street in South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Namibia.
Dr. h.c. Klaus Schormann, President of the UIPM, said: “Biathle is a sport which is very easy to implement and practice, without the need for expensive facilities or even personal equipment. I am very pleased that now it can demonstrate its capacity to contribute to peace-building in areas in the world that desperately need it, thanks to the backing of Peace and Sport.”
Joel Bouzou, President and Founder of Peace and Sport, added: “The intrinsic qualities of Biathle make this sport attractive and accessible to young people living in areas where Peace and Sport operates. All that‘s needed to practice this sport is a stretch of clean water, either a swimming pool, lake or the sea. The values conveyed by Biathle may also be an important source of inspiration for youngsters who often have no benchmarks, ideals, nor supervision. Control, discipline, management of effort, and respect for the environment are all structuring principles of life that contribute to sustainable peace. On this International Day of Peace, I am happy to make this undertaking that will produce concrete results in the field to benefit the most disadvantaged. “
The announcement of this partnership took place at the 11th Biathle World Championships, held on 20 September in Monaco under the High Patronage of HSH Prince Albert II. Peace and Sport was the main partner of the championships.