Marketing 'peace' through Sports | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 01, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 01, 2016


Marketing 'peace' through Sports

Photo: Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo

There should not be any doubt that people around the globe realize the most expensive commodity is 'Peace' in today's world. Hence it needs focused marketing effort to make it more mass and available across the globe. So, what can be a effective vehicle to market this hopelessly scarce product?  Due to professional requirements I get opportunity to talk to some cricketers from different parts of the world to understand their point of view on various issues including global harmony. I was amazed to experience the humility and commitment of those cricketers to spread goodness across this wonderful earth. They embraced sports as a profession not just for the sake of meeting their livelihood, rather they have a great deal of passion to spread the joy of happiness and peace across nations, cast and creed. Hence sports can be a great tool to market peace amongst people around the world.

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When we dig further we can find these sportsmen play a very important role in propagating rights of humanity by engaging people and leaders in sports activities.They reduce the gap of human capacity through the carnival of sports, fair etc. Therefore sports improves lifestyle and human interactivity hence it helps improves mutual respect and non- discrimination across borders.

Sports as a business contribute to creating employment opportunities and promoting peace, development, and respect beyond geographic territory. Sport therefore contributes not only to achieving economic and social progress, but also instils values of respect and tolerance. If used in the right way, it can help develop a generation and an environment underpinned by respect and cooperation. This means sport can wipe out all forms of discrimination. We feel extremely regenerated when we see Sachin Tendulkar and Shoaib Akhter are playing in the same team with extreme passion and promote cricket in USA. We feel more hopeful when we experience BPL matches in Bangladesh participated by cricketers from all test playing nations. No wonder, Sangakkara was mentoring a local young cricketer with passion while he was playing for one local BPL team.  Muhammad Ali was a great ambassador for justice and peace and he has been an inspiration for decades.

Younger generation across regions can benefit and grow from the values of sport, such as integrity, teamwork, excellence, respect, tolerance, fair play and friendship. Sportsmen are therefore the key to promoting, educating and sensitising people about the importance of equality in human rights. It can be used as a vehicle to boost equal opportunities for education, health, gender and ethnic equality, and to protect the rights of persons with challenges and the environment, among others. If the nations nurtures right to play for its citizen and create such environment, there window of peace opens for greater audience. We get mesmerised when we see Sachin Tendulkar talks about the values of cricket, not for only India, across nations through a TV channels.

The cohesion and neutrality of the sporting movement are important factors for achieving the sports ideal and values. The Initiative “Sports for Peace” was invented during the preliminary stages of the Olympic games 2008 in response to the question whether sports or major sporting events could be obliged to common ideals. In sports for peace athletes from all over the world gain an important platform on which they can join their responsibility to promote the essential intrinsic values of sports: fair play, tolerance, freedom, inter cultural understanding etc

As a politically independent initiative, “sports for peace” offers a neutral basis to foster the spirit of fair play, the sense of community and elimination of prejudice.

Ken Doherty is an Irish professional snooker player and radio presenter. He is the one of only two players to have been world amateur and world professional champion. He was also World Under-21 champion in 1989. He said “There are five S's in sports. They are stamina, speed, strength, skill, and spirit; but the greatest of these is spirit.” Let this spirit of sports be the essence of bringing peace in the lives across the world.

The writer is a communication professional.

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