A vehicle for peace

THIS is the Nelson Mandela story. A little bit. Just a little bit.

When he was elected president after his incarceration for 27 years, Nelson Mandela used sports to unite his country – South Africa.

President Mandela pacified his black presidential guards who wanted to literally kick the asses of the white presidential guards. But President Mandela wanted them to co-exist and to understand each other.

The government of South Africa with whites at the help incarecerated Mr Mandela beause he advocated for equaolity and end to racism. For 27 years, he was impriisoned.

When he was free, he ran and won as president of South

Africa. And the work of unification begun for Mr. Mandela. To dramatize his call for unity and peace, he wemt into sports. South Africa’s rugby team composed mostly of whites had his full support.

Mandela met the rugby boys of South Africa and gave them a pep talk about his love for sports and his pure intention of promoting peace through sports.Against the advice of his black friends, Mandela explained to them his dream of uniting South Africa.

And Mandela with his persistence, noble intentions, and his condescending attitude of reaching out to his critics and supporters, united his country. Sports became a powerful weapon to unite his people. They became the champion at that time.

Sports became a powerful vehicle for peace. This is one of the main reasons why Butch Ramirez, now chair of the Philippine Sports Commission wanted to pursue sports for peace activities in those conflict areas especially in Mindanao.

During his first term as PSC chair, Ramirez tried the sports for peac in MIdsayap at the height of the war between government and rebels in the arera. Hosted by Notre Dame of Midsayap, the 5-day sports for peace became a reality in the grounds of the college.

Fr. Romy Saniel, then member of the board of the sports for peace NGO snd president of the college brough the children and youth from the rebel camps and let them play with the rerst of the participants.

The children and the youth played against each other as formation was done by the college psychologists together with PSC pople. The sports for peace activity was successful kept in the AVP of a nother OMI priest entitled Bola di Bala.. The AVP became the main presentation of Notre Dame for their college.

In a gathering of sports coordinators all over the country in Manila which we facilitated, we came to know of a son of an MNLF who talked about their struggle as he asked the PSC to hold games in the southern part of MIndanao especialy in the Muslim areas.

Being a national player in Karatedo, he urged the PSC to gather the children of those areas for a sporting activity and to sustain such a sporting program so these young people will be engaging in activities that would make them productive, than carry arms.

I have asked Prof Hnery Daut, the deputy director of the PHilippine Sports Institute to bring this gentleen in all areas where PSC has an engagement, especially sports summit and consultative meetings.

Sports may look ordinary, but it could be the most powerful vehicle to achieve peace in our land. , .

Posted in Sports