UNESCO sponsors youth tennis tournamentParis – Some 300 12 to 14 year-old tennis players from about 50 countries will participate in the Fila Cup – Open des Jeunes – 2003 tournament, which will be held at the Stade Français in Paris under the auspices of UNESCO from July 6-13.
This is the second year of UNESCO’s involvement in the tournament, which has been organized for the past 14 years by the Tennis Section of the Stade Français immediately following the celebrated Roland Garros International Tournament.
As with last year’s event, UNESCO’s participation will focus on the themes of conflict resolution and building a culture of peace.
In a space at the centre of the tournament site’s “Rainbow Village”, UNESCO will present participants and spectators with a range of films, videos, publications and exhibitions highlighting co-operation among its 188 Member States to place education, culture, science and communication at the service of development.
Workshops will be held on culture and heritage, AIDS prevention education and a game known as La Carte du mental, in which players undertake a kind of voyage of initiation to the essential values that make a champion, such as respect, tolerance, dialogue and solidarity.
“Sport is traditionally recognized as vital for building a healthy body and a strong character,” said Marcio Barbosa, Deputy Director-General of UNESCO. “Today, however, it is increasingly important from another point of view. International encounters like this one bring together young people of different cultures and temperaments. Here they learn and practice fair-play, tolerance and mutual respect through peaceful competition, which should be the only kind of competition on this planet.”