Sport prizes awarded by UNESCO and the International Committee for fair playAthens (Greece) – Greek Olympic Champion Voula Patoulidou and New Zealand rugby player Tana Umaga are among the laureates of sports prizes awarded by UNESCO and by the International Committee for fair-play (CIFP) in Athens yesterday at the Fourth International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Sport and Physical Education (MINEPS IV).
UNESCO’s prize, created in 2002, is attributed every two years to reward distinguished services to physical education and sport. This year’s laureats are: Bangladeshi athlete Qazi Abdul Alim; Cuban basketball player Jose Llanusa Gobel; Algerian footballer Makloufi Rachid; Greek athletics champion Voula Patoulidou; and Ethiopian educator Lakew Yigletu. The prize was also awarded, posthumously, to Romanian high school teacher Victor Tibacu. Five institutions were also honoured with the prize: the Sokol organization (Czech Republic); Germany’s Sport Association for the Disabled (DBS); the Macao Seniors Sports Association (China), the National Council for the Development of Physical Education and Sport in Basic Education (Mexico) and the National Association for the Promotion of Women’s Sports (Rwanda).
“In a world marked by all too many incidents of racism and intolerance, it is important to fight for ethics in sport,” said Assistant Director-General of UNESCO, Françoise Rivière, who spoke on behalf of Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura at the ceremony, which was held under the patronage of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Marianna Vardinoyannis.
As he awarded the International Fair Play prizes for 2003, the le President IFPC, Jenõ Kamuti, declared: “We need role models, heroes, who prove […] that it is possible to win through honest play”. The Pierre de Coubertin Trophy, awarded by the IFPC since 1964 for an act of fair play, was awarded to Tana Umaga. During a match, the All Blacks star stopped an attack to help a player of the opposing team who was injured.
The Jean Borotra and Willi Daume trophies for a career in sport and for the promotion of fair play will be presented in Paris in February 2005 to Canadian ice hockey player Wayne Gretzki and to Janusz Piewcewicz (Poland), Secretary General of the International Committee for Fair Play from 1977 to 1997.
A special trophy for the promotion of fair play was also awarded to the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura.