President and Founder of “Peace and Sport, L’Organisation pour la Paix par le Sport”, President of the World Olympians Association
Participating in sport is an opportunity to work for something larger than yourself, and to find yourself changed along the way. It is an essential part of what lies at the heart of Peace and Sport. Sport plays an unrivalled role in human society, through its ability to rouse the attention and emotions of individuals regardless of age, gender, geography or culture. The enormous power of sport is one that can be used to achieve great change for good, and as we consider our world today, we see that sport must be used for this purpose, to bring about the most tangible kind of change: to spread peace together.
It is a pleasure to know that tonight’s event is part of this collective effort for peace. Tonight, I am pleased to say that it is simultaneously beginning a campaign called ‘Sport Is Your Gang’, in cooperation with Peace and Sport. In communities and environments where violence and hardship are a part of daily life, it can be hard for youth to know that strength can be used to protect the weak, and to serve peace. M uaythai o ffers a challenge and a discipline which harness s trength and p ower f or h uman development. Sports champions can share this message through the solid examples of their lives, as role models giving back to sport what they have gained from it.
I look forward to the upcoming President’s Cup 2012 Peace and Sport Through Muaythai which will take place in the Islamic Republic of Iran next month. In recent times, the goal of peace has become more relevant than ever. It is my hope that the 50 participating countries will enjoy every success competing together to promote harmony and cultural understanding across borders.