April 6th is the United Nations (UN) International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. Together, FIFA, the UN, and the World Health Organization (WHO) have joined together to release and advertise the #BeActive campagian this year in order to encourage people to be #HealthyAtHome while in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. It is important to continually encourage individuals to be active due to the impact sports have on development and peace in the world as described by author Niels de Fraguier.
In his article, Fraguier describes how “sport is progressively used to create cohesion and solve problems with a low-cost and flexibility characteristics”. This is especially relevant at this time as the pandemic has caused significant stress in the lives of most people. As depicted in Fraguier’s article, sport has the ability to increase social development by the process of “Education FOR sport, Education BY Sport and Education THROUGH Sport”. Relating this back to the UN International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, the UN considers sport to be “a fundamental right for all people, and it includes all forms of physical activity” (Fraguier, 2018). Considering this, along with Fraguier’s findings, the importance of the #BeActive and #HealthyAtHome campaign released on the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace is especially important this year because of its ability to educate and bring people together (even while staying apart) through shared values, behaviours, time interacting together (through participating with others that you are isolating with or over different networks such as video calls), etc., during this difficult time. Not only this, but it may be less difficult to be active during this time due to the low-cost and extreme flexibility of being able to participate in active behaviours from individuals’ homes.
The support this campaign is receiving will hopefully make it highly successful. FIFA is working with the UN and WHO to have teams set aside their rivalries and advertise this campaign, encouraging their fans to be active. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) President has also come forward to back this day and this initiative. Thomas Bach, the IOC President in a video published stated how it is important to use “sport to protect our planet and reinforce our bond with each other”.
The support of large organizations, such as FIFA and the IOC, is extremely important to encourage people to participate in the #BeActive and #HealthyAtHome campaign that has been introduced along with the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace 2020. The more the values of this day and campaign are internalized by people, the greater the education and social development between people will be during and after this pandemic.