UNESCO and The Stade Franšais join forces for "Junior Roland Garros"More than 300 young tennis players (aged 12 to 14 years) from more than 60 countries will participate in the BNP Paribas Cup – Stade Franšais – Paris, to be held from July 1 to 10 at the Stade Franšais, in Paris, under the auspices of UNESCO. A press conference to launch the event will take place on May 31 at 9.30 a.m. in the BNP Paribas reception rooms at the Stade Roland Garros.
This is the third year of UNESCO’s involvement in the international youth tournament, organized for the last 15 years by the Tennis Section of the Stade Franšais following the French Open at Roland Garros. For the first time since the creation of the sporting event, however, the tournament’s final will actually take place at the Stade Roland Garros on July 11.
Within the tournament site's "Rainbow Village", UNESCO will make available to participants and spectators a range of publications and exhibitions highlighting co-operation among its 190 Member States to place education, culture, science and communication at the heart of development. Workshops will be held focusing on four main themes: doping, action for non-violence, teaching values through sport, and cultural diversity in sport. The public can also play a game entitled “La carte du mental”, a kind of journey of initiation illustrating the essential qualities of a champion throughout life, and attitudes linked to values such as respect, tolerance, dialogue and solidarity.
A conference and debate about doping will also be organized. The issue is a priority for UNESCO, which has been given the task of preparing an international instrument against doping in sport. A draft convention is being prepared and will be submitted for adoption to UNESCO’s General Conference during its 33rd session in the autumn of 2005. Opening the first intergovernmental meeting to prepare this international instrument last January, Director-General Ko´chiro Matsuura declared, “Through its contravention of basic ethical values, through its threat to athletes’ health and through its contempt for rules and honest endeavour, doping has become the most serious challenge to the credibility and integrity of sport.” He continued, “And this is happening at a time when sport is playing a larger role in the life of our societies than ever before. Sport, furthermore, has become a truly global phenomenon. As such, it has tremendous potential to bring people together and to promote forms of competitiveness that raise the human spirit rather than plunge us into hatred and conflict.”