Deputy Director-General to inaugurate Youth Tennis Tournament on July 8Paris - The Deputy Director General of UNESCO, Marcio Barbosa, will inaugurate the Fila Cup - Open des Jeunes Stade Français in Paris on July 8 (4 p.m.). Some 300 young tennis players, aged 12 to 14, from 55 countries, will take part in the tournament which has been placed under the auspices of UNESCO this year.
The Tennis Section of the Stade Français has organized this tournament for the past 13 years. It follows the Roland Garros International Tournament (the French Open) and has become an event not-to-be-missed on the international tennis calendar. When it started in 1990, players from only six countries took part. In 2000, more than 50 nationalities participated, and the list is still growing.
This year, UNESCO, which considers physical education and sport essential for social development and personal well-being, has become a partner in the event. The Organization will offer a range of cultural and educational activities to spectators and participants, adding a new dimension to the tournament : that of a major intercultural encounter.
In a space at the centre of the tournament site’s Rainbow Village (open from July 5-14), UNESCO will offer a range of films, videos, publications and exhibitions. It will also organize workshops and games to highlight the importance of values such as respect, tolerance, mutual understanding and solidarity - values upheld by UNESCO, but also in sport. A « Smart Surf » cyber-corner will allow young people to further explore these themes on UNESCO’s webpages.
On Thursday July 11 (7 to 9 p.m), UNESCO will host a party, based on the theme of cultural diversity. Each participant will present an aspect of his or her own culture through an object they will have brought with them. A Five Continents buffet will close the event.
Stade français, Muriel Blochen, tél. 06 07 40 37 37
UNESCO, Eva Palmiro tel. 01 45 68 17 47