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Celebrate International Day of Sport for Development and Peace with #WhiteCard

04/05/2017, 9:00pm CDT
By Kristen Henneman

USA Fencing President Donald Anthony Jr. (third from right) and Rio Olympic medalist Daryl Homer (second from right) joined with ITTF and WTF presidents and elite athletes to support Peace and Sport for a collective #Whitecard picture following the press

Champion for Peace Maria Toorkpakai together with Fencer Daryl Homer and top-level athletes in taekwondo and table tennis

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – While at their core sports pit athletes against each other with the spirit of competition, they have also proved to be a valuable tool to bring people of different backgrounds from across the world together for a common cause.

On April 6, USA Fencing encourages its members to participate in the fourth annual International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, a day to celebrate the power of sport as a vehicle for social change and community development, as well as promote the many ideals of sports, including cooperation, solidarity, tolerance, teamwork and health at all levels of competition.

Created by the United Nations in 2014, April 6 is also the anniversary of the start of the first Modern Olympic Games in 1896.

Members of the sports community are invited to show their support and commitment to peace by joining the annual #WhiteCard campaign and posting a photo of themselves on social media holding up a white card and using the hashtags #WhiteCard and #ISDSP2017.

The campaign originates from Maud Bernos’ photo exhibition, ‘Carton Blanc,’ which featured children living in areas of conflict or post-conflict and their involvement in sport. The inspiration of the exhibit was the red card, a common symbol in sports to show serious wrongdoing. Bernos substituted the color white to represent the positive impact of sport, such as peace.

To promote and celebrate the launch of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, 2016 Olympic silver medalist Daryl Homer (Bronx, N.Y.) participated in a launch event at the UN Headquarters in New York City on March 28 with 1984 Olympic bronze medalist Peter Westbrook (New York, N.Y.) and Donald Anthony (Columbus, Ohio), who represented the Federation Internationale d’Escrime as a vice president of the international federation.

“For fencers, whether on the piste or after competition, a spirit lives in them that fits precisely the UN peace and development initiatives,” said Anthony during the UN press conference. “On a daily basis, education, human development and a healthy lifestyle play a role in the fencing athlete’s everyday life, and while fencing is a fighting sport, perhaps ironically you will not find a more peaceful character than that of an accomplished swordsman, and you will find they strive to encourage peace in their everyday lives.”

The event was hosted by the Permanent Mission of Monaco to the United Nationals as well as Peace and Sport. Representatives and Olympic athletes from the International Table Tennis Federation and the World Taekwondo Federation also attended and put on demonstrations of their sport. All attendees supported the cause with #WhiteCard pictures.

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