International Day of Sports for Development and Peace, 6th April, Ensemble 2019
St. Lawrence High School, (SLHS), Kolkata, India, with their alumni St. Lawrence Old Boys' Association (SLOBA) hosted Ensemble 2019 and celebrated International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) on 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 students from Joydeep Karmakar Shooting Academy formed a design on the school field. The pattern represented a pair of hands holding a green leaf with a circle inside it. The green leaf represented the Environmental Sustainability since its the third pillar of the Olympic Movement. The major responsibility of this pillar is to ensure environmental development incorporated into Games in order to bring-in Symbiotic relationship among / between generations. The circle represents the globe which proves no matter what differences countries have among each other they are all like pearls in a string to make a garland. On top of it, there is an American Football, wickets and an Ice hockey stick and a pair of Table Tennis Bat which resembles different sports that brings the world it's citizens together. 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. These national flags meant when it's the question of peace in the world they are all together and the medium being sports. 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".