Photos: UN Day of Sport for Peace & Development

International
Students and staff hold the white card

Students and staff hold the white card

6 April was declared the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace in 2013 and since then has been celebrated around the globe

Students and staff from a wide selection of nationalities at WIT gathered to hold the white card as part of the only registered event in Ireland for the UN Day of Sport for Peace and Development.  The Office for International Relations at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) held its inaugural celebration of this International Day where a series of events took place to mobilise the entire WIT community in recognition of the transformative power of sport and its potential to advance positive social change.

The opening event was a global digital media campaign under the hashtag #whitecard where staff and students gathered to hold a white card.  This was a symbolic action in reference to the red card held up by a referee on a playing field when a sports player has committed the most serious offense.  Here, the colour white symbolised purity and peace to represent the positivity and constructiveness of sport in society.

The opening event was a global digital media campaign under the hashtag #whitecard where staff and students gathered to hold a white card.  This was a symbolic action in reference to the red card held up by a referee on a playing field when a sports player has committed the most serious offense.  Here, the colour white symbolised purity and peace to represent the positivity and constructiveness of sport in society.

Celebrating healthiness, happiness and individuality is also at the heart of this international day of celebrations and the annual Colour Run-Walk-Wheel held by WIT Students' Union (WITSU) as part of their Equality & Inclusion week was a multi-coloured and multi-cultural dazzling sight.  Participants were covered in bursts of coloured powder as they walked, jogged and danced their way around the Cork Road campus.

Commenting on the day’s proceedings, Sinead Day, International Affairs Manager said “The Office for International Relations at WIT understands and values the UN International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.  We believe that sport has the capacity to develop and empower individuals.  It plays a strategic role in teaching life values such as teamwork, fairness, discipline and respect for the opponent.  Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General made the important point that sport has become a world language that breaks down walls and barriers and most importantly that it is a powerful tool for progress and for development.  The goal of our celebrations at WIT in honour of this day is to promote the values of cooperation, tolerance and understanding by bringing students from different countries together in a range of sporting activities.  Sport is a tool for education, development and peace and this is the message we want to share with our Irish and international students and with our partners throughout the world.”

Other events that took place throughout the college campuses were a yoga class led by WIT lecturer Monica Rudi Kent and an international soccer tournament led by Alan Brannigan, WIT student on the BBS Recreational & Sport Management Programme.  Event organisers teamed up with Campus Restaurants to promote ‘Brain Foods’ to encourage students to eat healthily and wisely by choosing foods that enhance brain performance.

Under the UN motto "making sport popular, universal and inclusive" the days’ events were about bringing together all students, from all nationalities, cultures and backgrounds and the focus was on fun, not competition.


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