‘Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together’ for PEACE

The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual
understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.’ /
The Olympic Charter/

6th April is annually celebrated as The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace all over the world. The date was not chosen randomly; on the contrary, it was in 2013 that the United Nations General Assembly decided on the day to commemorate the first modern Olympic Games that had taken place on 6 April 1896, an event promoting the contribution of sport to creating harmony in the world and so positively affecting people’s lives in all its corners. Chosen as the global theme of 2022 celebrations, “Securing a Sustainable and Peaceful Future for All: The Contribution of Sport,” the message is supposed to raise awareness of the harmony understood as human development in unity with the planet as well as amity between individuals and nations experienced in peaceful, sportive rivalry.

Citius, Altius, Fortius

‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’ (‘Citius, Altius, Fortius’ in Latin) has been the Olympic motto since 1894. In 2021, it was updated, due to the pandemic situation, to  ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together’ to represent solidarity of the whole world in the face of the threat posed by Covid-19. In 2022, when the world stands in solidarity with Ukraine, the motto seems to take on another, absolutely priority, dimension – TOGETHER for PEACE!

Sport on Europeana

The Sport Collection on Europeana is the place to visit if you are searching for information presenting sporting heritage expressed in over 200,000 items of photographs, videos, texts, recordings and others. The European Sport Heritage exhibition depicts well-known modern sporting events as well as lesser-known ancient ones such as the Gladiator and Naumachia Games or Scottish Highland Games. Those interested in histories of the Olympics and Paralympics will definitely enjoy the Heroes of the Olympic Games exhibition presenting sports achievements of about 50 talented athletes of different nationalities and also reflecting world events, all of them included in six chapters, namely Legends portraying Olympic and Paralympic stars, Trailblazers breaking new ground, Game changers making a difference, First timers making history, Crowd pleasers constituting role models and Champions reaching the winner’s podium. Being Polish myself, I cannot help mentioning the name of the Polish pole-vaulter Władysław Kozakiewicz who owes his title of a crowd pleaser not only to the gold medal he won in the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow but also to the gesture he made after his historical jump.

Sport as seen by Europeana educators

Among the 600 learning scenarios created by Europeana educators and available on the Teaching with Europeana blog, there are also those dedicated to the theme of sport. Thus, Our Sport Heritage,  based on the above-mentioned European Sport Heritage exhibition, allows students not only to learn about the importance of sport but also to compete in games created by themselves. French virtual classroom: exploring the heritage of sports in Europe constitutes another example of a lesson plan that proceeds like a game. STEM in Sports and Dance combines the theme of Paralympics with maths and science. Stronger Together is a proposal for educators wishing to interconnect Art, Physical Education and English during their classes, while Our Healthy Lifestyle is a good choice for teachers searching for new ways of developing their students’ athletic and  language skills at the same time. In this case, you should also check out Highland Games – your students will love the lesson, especially the part conducted outdoor.

Sharing sports stories – for PEACE

Are you a sportsperson or a sports fan who perceives sport as a uniting factor? Do you believe in the power of sport as a peacemaker? Have you got your own story to tell about your sporting experience? Why don’t you share it with Europeana to contribute to telling ‘a really big story – the story of Europe through our sporting heritage’? Let’s make it our common story – our CALL FOR PEACE, for the world where fights happen ONLY in sports fields, where people respect each other and nations compete in mutual respect and understanding as equals. War is NOT part of human nature. Sport is.

Interested in Europeana sharing sports stories with you? Sigh up for the Sporting Heritage email course to have amazing sports stories delivered, for a week, straight to your inbox.

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By Katarzyna Siwczak, Europeana Education Ambassador

CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the National Library of Israel.

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