By Vatican News staff writer
From September 29 to 30 in the New Synod Hall at the Vatican, sports enthusiasts and representatives of major sports and intergovernmental institutions and organizations will be meeting to discuss the social responsibility of sports and and how participating in sports can promote human, educational and spiritual growth, responding to a call of Pope Francis.
Sport for all
The international summit, entitled, “Sport for All: Cohesive, Accessible and Tailored to each Person” is promoted by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, in collaboration with the Dicastery for Culture and Education and the John Paul II Foundation for Sport. The Summit aims to continue in a journey that began with a previous international meeting “Sport at the Service of Humanity” organized back in October 2016. Following it was “Giving the Best of Yourself,” the Holy See’s first detailed document on sport published in June 2018.
During the Summit, a Declaration will be presented that calls on the world of sports to look to the future by embracing three key characteristics: cohesiveness, accessibility and tailored to each person. The first area on cohesiveness focuses on the need to reduce the gap between grassroots and professional sports with the idea that unity in sports present a value to be safeguarded and supported. Accessibility aims to guarantee that all people have the right to practice sports, regardless of their social background, whether it be poverty, migrant or refugee status, war, incarceration, etc. The third characteristic focuses on enabling all people to be able to practice sports, even when they have physical or psychological challenges or hardships.
The Summit will include the participation of over 200 people from the world of sports (athletes, coaches, managers), international sports federations, and also amateur sports associations. Representatives of different Christian denominations and other religions will also be present, as well as non-profit organizations and educational institutions from around the world working for inclusion in society through sport.
At the conclusion of the Summit, in the presence of Pope Francis, participants will be invited to sign a Declaration with a commitment to give greater promotion in their own institutions and sports organizations to the social and inclusive dimensions of sports. This invitation will later be extended to all sports entities, especially those inspired by a Christian vision of the person and of sport itself.