April, 6th International Day of Sports for Peace and Development
April 6, 2023
The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace is celebrated annually on 6 April.
Sport is a force for good and this is why it matters
The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace is celebrated annually on 6 April. Now in its 10th year, this day presents an opportune moment to reflect on the growing role of sport in building peaceful and inclusive communities and enriching people’s lives across the globe, and particularly in the UAE.
In an increasingly divided world, sport still has the power to bring people together and bridge differences. From cheering for favorite teams in the World Cup to celebrating star athletes and the underdogs in international competitions and the Olympics, sports create an atmosphere of pride, an appreciation for human resilience, and a sense of togetherness that’s difficult to match. At community level, practicing sports not only makes our children and youths healthier, but it also teaches them about responsibility, fair play, team spirit, working out winning strategies together, and resolving conflicts with competitors peacefully. This is particularly why sports can be a game-changer in building societal harmony and encouraging the values of respect, developing the skills of listening with empathy, compassionate communication, and finding areas of commonality and shared humanity among people with seemingly little in common.
In the UAE, which is a country that’s already among the safest in the world and home to people of more than 200 nationalities, we are witnessing a growing interest in sports. It is recognized as a platform for inclusion and community development, with unprecedented investments in infrastructure, initiatives, and world-class sporting events filling up the Abu Dhabi and Dubai calendars throughout the year. This strong emphasis on sports across the UAE has paved the way for cycling to take its share of the spotlight. And with the development of an enabling ecosystem, cycling in Abu Dhabi has become accessible to people of all ages, with bike sharing and miles of new cycling paths and tracks available all over the city. And with this growth in cycling, UAE Team ADQ, the UAE’s professional women’s cycling team was established, not only to represent the UAE internationally but also to harness this growing interest in cycling to promote values that are best demonstrated through sports and build a legacy that matters to the people of the UAE.
We have achieved great success and learned a lot since the establishment of UAE Team ADQ
in 2021. And while we continue to celebrate our success at regional and international events, in the months and years to come, we need to continue providing opportunities and remove the barriers to the uptake of cycling, especially among women. This has never been more important, because if we harness the power of sport, we will not only improve the physical and mental health of the nation, but we will also connect communities, nurture a culture of achievement, and build an inclusive society for all.