Two Vatican dicasteries—that of the Laity, Family and Life and that of Culture and Education, have been working for months on an ambitious project. They have been focused on creating a joint declaration on sports with people such as Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee and Filippo Grandi, the High Commissioner of the UNHCR, a UN Refugee Agency.
FR. ALEXANDRE AWI MELLO
Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life
In this context, it may feel like talking about sports is not appropriate, or even, that it is not the right time to do it. But it is. Because with so much war, division, so much loneliness after the pandemic, sports can help so much.
When sports put the person at the center, the temptations of corruption, winning at any cost and commodification of the body are overcome.
The declaration, which will be signed at the end of the “Sport for All” Summit, explores the issue of inclusion in sports and focuses on reducing the gap between professional and amateur sports.
MONS. MELCHOR SANCHEZ DE TOCA
Dicastery for Culture and Education
Inclusion seems to be the fashionable term. All social policies, when they talk about sports, talk about inclusion and the words that are in style. Sometimes, it is difficult to know what we are talking about when we talk about inclusion. This is what tomorrow's convention would like to explain.
Veteran athletes and presidents of foundations dedicated to the promotion of sports and the inclusion of people with disabilities attended the press conference.
Multiple half-marathon world champion
It's a step for Vatican to take this initiative and also to the first institution to give us this declaration. It's a document that is not an easy document but it contained also the space of us to speak about the rights of humanity to do sports and also there's a component of peace. There's also a component of development and I think there's a lot of things in the document.
RODRIGO HÜBNER MENDES
President, Rodrigo Mendes Institute
I see it as a very relevant initiative bringing leaders that can join forces to leverage the potential of sports. I see sports as a powerful engine to promote inclusivity and equality.
Sports is a major theme in Pope Francis' pontificate, who spoke about the importance of sports in the prologue of the document, “Dare il meglio di sé,” which means “to give the best of oneself.”
I like to see the effort of young men and women in sport. Because sport is a marvel. Sport brings out all the wonderful things we have inside. Keep it up because it leads to great nobility.
The “Sport for All” initiative has created a space for dialogue on the importance of sports and is another step forward in the Vatican's commitment to sports.