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Driving social change through sport

Driving social change through sport

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) on April 6, 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.

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. 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, symbolising peace through sports and one world.

The Youth Olympic silver medalist and teenage shooting sensation Mehuli Ghosh 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 was to make school children aware of the fact that sport can be used as a tool to foster development and peace.

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."

Ensemble 2019 also opened a photography contest. Just take a photograph holding a White Card and post it on social media (Facebook or Twitter) between 6 – 11 April 2019, with the hashtags #WhiteCard and #Ensemble2019. The top five photographs will get certificates from Peace and Sport, Monaco and St Lawrence High School.

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 organisations including the International Olympic Committee and World Anti-Doping Agency.

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