International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

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To me, running seems like an idiot’s game. Where do these people run to? Do they miss the bus every day at the same time with their tiny backpacks? Are they late for the airport? Or do they miss their favourite series?

These people who run, God knows where to, must not know that Netflix exists. If they run because they miss their favourite series (the very boomers…), you have to explain to them that you can play it whenever you want and, if not, you have to explain to them that another option is to lie on the sofa eating chocolate and popcorn (in the order they want or mixed in a crazy way, just let yourself go).

These people who run, God knows where to, must not know that Netflix exists. If they run because they miss their favourite series (the very boomers…), you have to explain to them that you can play it whenever you want and, if not, you have to explain to them that another option is to lie on the sofa eating chocolate and popcorn (in the order they want or mixed in a crazy way, just let yourself go).

Despite my best efforts to discourage her, my best friend has taken up sport and now there’s no stopping her. Whatever I say to her, she tells me that it can be fixed by doing sport. I say “my legs hurt” and she says “then start running”. Me: “Well, I don’t know what to do this afternoon”, she: “If you were signed up for a sport, you could go and do it”. Me: “I’m nervous and worried”, she: “Shall we go climbing so you can get some fresh air”.

But since when has sport become the solution to all the world’s problems: it fixes pain, social marginalisation, cardiovascular diseases, helps sustainability and, on top of that, the series last longer because you don’t have time to do marathons of whole afternoons (you have to go to the club on Tuesdays and Thursdays).

I miss the times when we all (or was it just me?) thought that sport was a drag and that those who ran were crazy. Especially because, with so much insistence, in the end I had to sign up for one of the thousand sports that my friend suggested and I’ve lost weight, my legs hurt less, I’ve made a lot of friends, I’ve travelled thanks to the club’s outings and I feel more active than ever.

That little prick has fixed my life for me. Who told her to make my life better? And what do I talk about all day long if I can’t complain about the pain, the boredom, the marginalisation and the stupidity of those who go running? If you talk about sport, I’ll kill you.


In the end it will have to be a fundamental right, what do you mean it already is? Let’s see if I can find out more about it below…


Sport and physical activity are a fundamental right and a powerful tool for strengthening social bonds and promoting sustainable development and peace, as well as solidarity and respect for all. This Day recognises this positive role in communities and in people’s lives.

In this sense, sport helps to change the world. It is a powerful vehicle for social inclusion, gender equality and youth empowerment. The values that are acquired through sport – such as fair play and team spirit – are invaluable to society.

Since the establishment in 2013 of this International Day, the UN invites States, international, regional and national sport organisations, civil society, including non-governmental organisations and the private sector, and all stakeholders to participate in the celebration and help raise awareness.

Further information

The objectives and content of this proposal can be related to those of the International Day of Peace (21 September); they can also be linked to the European Day of School Sport (26 September).

In Aragon…

Law 16/2018, of 4 December, on physical activity and sport in Aragon explains in article 2 that all citizens in Aragon have the right “to practice physical activity and sport on a voluntary basis and to associate freely for the exercise of this right”. Therefore, the Aragonese public administrations must facilitate “the exercise of the right to practice sport and physical activity for all citizens, whether for leisure, health, well-being, improvement of physical condition, or performance and competition”, guaranteeing that this practice is carried out under equal conditions and opportunities.

The web portal of the General Directorate of Sports of the Government of Aragon has a lot of information on regulations, campaigns, initiatives, news, recommendations… Information is also provided on the Aragonese Strategic Plan for Sport. There is also a complete web portal around school games and sports in Aragon.


Two details

The theme of this International Day in 2023 is “Scoring goals for people and the planet“. As in previous years, it proposes activities focusing on the impact and influence of sport on sustainable development and peace. Sport has the power to change the world. The UN uses it as a tool to bring individuals and groups together by supporting sport for development efforts, participating in events at both global and grassroots levels, and developing its own sport-related campaigns and initiatives.

Platform for Sport, Development and Peace

Sport is a cross-cutting element in achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The Platform for Sport, Development and Peace is an initiative dedicated to sport as a strategy for social development in Ibero-America. Its website explains how it helps to achieve the following objectives more directly:

  • End of poverty (1)
  • Health and well-being (3)
  • Quality education (4)
  • Gender equality (5)
  • Decent work and economic growth (8)
  • Sustainable cities and communities (11)
  • Peace, justice and sound institutions (16)
  • Partnerships to achieve the goals (17).

More detail and more concrete data can be found in Sport in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

A reflection

Sport teaches values such as fairness, teamwork, equality, discipline, inclusion, perseverance and respect. This is what the United Nations says about the Olympic spirit.

At the opening of the last Tokyo Games, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that “the Olympic spirit brings out the best in humanity: teamwork and solidarity, talent, tolerance… it inspires and unifies us in difficult times… If we all applied the same energy to our global challenges, we could achieve anything: peace; a clean, green and prosperous planet; and a better, more equitable world.

The Olympic and Paralympic Games as a moment of truce in conflicts (is it fulfilled?) and as an occasion of visibility of countries and cultures.

Suggestions for teachers

The contents provided give us an idea of the transversal nature of sport, physical activity, healthy habits and the elements of coexistence that it generates around it. This gives an opportunity to reflect in the classroom, and even to debate and question some of these aspects in their confrontation with everyday life.

In addition to ideas that can be derived from some of the references given, we suggest, for example, reading and sharing the article “The football match that stopped the war” ( Anecdotal? (After all, they went back to killing each other).

More “personal” questions can also be posed, such as “What is your favourite sport and why?”, or others that allow for exchange and dialogue: “Individual effort and teamwork: what do you consider to be more important, in sport and in life? Do you think it is paradoxical to talk about the inclusive values of sport and overcoming personal challenges, on the one hand, and on the other, to favour competition, the moral of triumph and supremacy?


In this sense, it can be suggested to watch two films that put two contradictory aspects (rather at the antipodes) in relation to the Olympic spirit: the films Chariots of Fire (1981, Hugh Hudson, with the unmistakable soundtrack by Vangelis) and Olympia (Leni Riefesthal, 1938).


Cross-cutting elements

The Aragonese curriculum foresees “measures to make physical activity and a balanced diet part of young people’s behaviour. To this end, the daily practice of sport and physical exercise by pupils during the school day will be promoted, in the terms and conditions which, following the recommendations of the competent bodies, guarantee an adequate development to favour an active, healthy and autonomous life”.

With special attention to emotional intelligence as a methodological principle, “a classroom and school climate should be promoted that favours personal balance and personal relationships based on the fundamental values of coexistence”, stressing that “the mental and physical activity of pupils are mutually enriching” and that “motor skills should be addressed both as a means and as an end”.

Objectives that this proposal helps to achieve

  • To assume their duties responsibly, to know and exercise their rights in respect for others, to practice tolerance, cooperation and solidarity among individuals and groups, to exercise in dialogue, strengthening human rights and equal treatment and opportunities between women and men, as common values of a plural society, and to prepare for the exercise of democratic citizenship.
  • To value and respect the difference between the sexes and the equality of rights and opportunities between them. Reject discrimination against people on grounds of sex or any other personal or social condition or circumstance. To reject stereotypes that discriminate between men and women, as well as any manifestation of violence against women.
  • To know and accept the functioning of one’s own body and that of others, to respect differences, to strengthen body care and health habits and to incorporate physical education and the practice of sport to favour personal and social development. Know and value the human dimension of sexuality in all its diversity. Critically assess social habits related to health, consumption, care for living beings and the environment, contributing to their conservation and improvement.
  • To exercise democratic citizenship, from a global perspective, and acquire a responsible civic conscience, inspired by the values of the Spanish Constitution, as well as by human rights, which fosters co-responsibility in the construction of a fair and equitable society.
  • To consolidate a personal and social maturity that allows them to act responsibly and autonomously and to develop their critical spirit. To foresee and resolve personal, family and social conflicts peacefully.
  • Use physical education and sport to favour personal and social development.

Subjects with which it can be linked

  • Physical Education / Ethical Values (ESO, 1st cycle)
  • Physical Education / Education for Citizenship and Human Rights (ESO, 2nd Cycle)
  • Baccalaureate: To be assigned according to modality

Development of competences

  • Social and civic competences