The ISF is glad to announce that it has received the prize for the Best Diplomatic Action at the 2016 Peace & Sport Awards.
The Peace & Sport Awards celebrate the achievements of sport related initiatives contributing to peace and development all over the world. They were assigned during the Gala Night of the Peace & Sport International Forum, happening every year at the end of November and gathering all the most important stakeholders of the Sport for Development and Peace environment.
The prize was awarded to the ISF and regards a fact happened in the month of April during the Table Tennis World Schools Championships in Eilat, Israel, organised by the National Physical Education Supervision of the Ministry of Education with the help of the Israeli School Sport Association. The programme of the event included a cultural day in which all the athletes visited the city of Eilat and its surroundings, among which there was a part of the desert where the borders of Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia almost touch. In this very place, some of the athletes, coming from different parts of the world, decided to take a picture showing the White Card, the symbol that Peace & Sport chose to promote sport for development and peace. These athletes were immediately joined by all the other participants: this White Card picture became not only the symbol of the event itself, but also the proof that sport unites people, regardless of the country they represent on the field of play. The fact that this picture was taken on the border between countries that, in the recent past, had numerous controversies, demonstrates that sport (and youth/school sport in particular) can transcend borders and create the basis for peace initiatives.
The ISF President, Laurent Petrynka received the prize from the hands of the Peace & Sport President, Joël Bouzou. After the award, Mr. Petrynka affirmed: “I am honoured to receive this prize that symbolises all the efforts of the ISF in creating the occasions to unite young people from all over the world through school sport. I would like to dedicate this award to Avraham Zuchman and Ofer Shimoni, whose vision of peace and diplomacy through sport inspires continuously the ISF initiatives. The honour of this recognition must also be shared with all our members that work daily to involve more and more students in school sport activities and teach them the fundamental values of friendship and respect. What happened in Eilat, during the Table Tennis World Schools Championships is the proof of their success, and we are happy to be here today to celebrate it.”