Kolkata: St. Lawrence High School, School (SLHS), Kolkata, with their alumni St. Lawrence Old Boys’ Association (SLOBA) hosted Ensemble 2019 and celebrated International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) today, 6 April 2019 at St. Lawrence High School ground.
The IDSDP is an annual celebration of the power of sport to drive social change, community development and to foster peace and understanding. Creating a historical link to the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, 6 April was declared the IDSDP by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 2013.
St. Lawrence celebrated IDSDP for the third consecutive year through a White Card initiative. Ensemble 2019 was partnered by Peace and Sport, Monaco.
More than 2000 students of SLHS and other schools of Kolkata along with Joydeep Karmakar Shooting Academy formed a human design on the school field. The pattern represented a pair of hands holding a green leaf with a globe inside it. On top of it, it had a rugby ball, wickets and a hockey stick. The impression on the field represented peace and environmental sustainability through sports.
Each person standing in the artistic diagram was carrying a national flag of a particular country. The national flags were displayed all at once before flipping it over to the other side, which was a plain white card, symbolizing peace through sports and one world. Students had a couple of hoardings which read, ‘We Play Together’, it spelled out peace, friendship and harmony through sport.
The Youth Olympic silver medalist and teenage shooting sensation was on the field and raised her white card for peace through sport. Mehuli was specially invited by Peace and Sport, Monaco to join and support Ensemble 2019. Along with Mehuli there were a few notable shooters including Ankur Das, national champion in para-shooting and Abhinav Shaw, the youngest gold medalist in Khelo India.
“The environment was somewhat like the one we had in Youth Olympics village, with so many national flags around. In sports, the rivalry is always present, but it is only sports which bring nations, races, ethnicity together. I am happy to be part of celebrating this wonderful day.“, said Mehuli
The basic intention of the initiative is to make school children aware of the fact that sport can be used as a tool to foster development and peace. Children at a very young age need to be introduced to how sports can benefit our society and help peaceful coexistence, and people from an early age should understand the value of fair competition in sports as a means to form responsible citizens.
Rev. Fr. Sebastian James s.j., principal of SLHS who has been a great supporter of peace and development through sport movement said, “Initiating and creating a symbiotic relationship among children and adults through sport is very important in today’s world”.
The logo for ‘Expression 2019’, an international painting competition on peace and sport was revealed during April 6 celebrations. ‘Expression‘ has received support from many national and international organization including the International Olympic Committee and World Anti-Doping Agency.