Press release: World Fair Play Day 2021 Brussels

You will already know about Fair Play Day, which has been held each year on 7th September for the past 8 years , on the initiative of Panathlon Wallonie-Bruxelles, in Belgium. As the name suggests, Fair Play Day is designed to defend the values of Fair Play and sporting ethics wherever sport, in all its forms, is played and enjoyed. Fair Play Day also underlines that fact that Fair Play can be promoted by via large-scale programmes, as well as through simple actions and gestures.
Since 2020, Fair Play Day has taken on a global dimension, driven forward by the partnership with international institutions promoting Fair Play, the International Fair Play Committee (CIFP), the European Fair Play Movement (EFPM) and Panathlon International (PI), again on the initiative of Belgium’s Panathlon Wallonie-Bruxelles association. Numerous other international institutions, including the various national Olympic Committees, have added their weight to this celebration of Fair Play through their desire to unite all those involved in the sporting world around a unifying project that promotes the universal values of sport in general.
Through unifying organisations, such as the International Fair Play Committee, the European Fair Play Movement and Panathlon International, the three of which represent more than 120 countries.

So it was that on 7th September of this year, the City of Brussels once again threw open the doors of its Gothic Hall at the famous Town Hall in Brussels to host the 2nd edition of World Fair Play Day.

This second edition of the event again enjoyed the support of leading sporting personalities: the table tennis player, Jean-Michel Saive and the sprinter, Cédric Van Branteghem.

The official presentation to the Manneken Pis of a costume in the colours of World Fair Play Day
The day was also an opportunity for all of the partners in World Fair Play Day to honour the individual who is certainly the best-known ambassador of the City of Brussels: the Manneken Pis, with the presentation of a new costume in the colours of World Fair Play Day.
We can say that the ideal of Fair Play fits the little fellow like a glove – particularly as he had already been presented with a Fair Play Day costume previously by Panathlon Wallonie-Bruxelles in 2017.

Stars of their individual sports and real contributors in life
This 2nd edition of World Fair Play Day showcased the movement, which is supported by elite sports stars who are involved in the development of society-based projects that illustrate the pathway taken by universal Fair Play.

A number of initiatives revealed to the public that, in addition to their talent, sportsmen and women demonstrate human and civic values in life, both inside and outside sports stadiums, tracks or halls. Panathlon Wallonie-Bruxelles is proud to have brought the following connections together:
“The White Line” programme of the sprinter, Cynthia Bolingo,
the writing of a book in collaboration with youngsters by the judoka, Lola Mansour, the involvement of the disabled motor racing driver, Nigel Bailly, who visits schools and Public Youth Protection Institutions to tell the story of his own journey with its enormous message of hope: “Believe in your dreams; in life, everything is possible”.

The involvement of athletes in societal-based projects during their career is not a straightforward matter. Elite sport demands a daily workload of training, combined with incessant protocol or media obligations. Through these actions, in which they become involved on behalf of others, they are able to take advantage of the fact they are well known to play an active part, particularly in liberating social groups outside their sporting circles, enhancing their position as role models and establishing themselves as ambassadors for Fair Play.

In days gone by, sportsmen and women tended to conduct their careers separately and it was only after they retired that they used their name for charitable purposes, often locally, at club evenings or federation events. The thing that has changed today is that athletes now manage to conduct their careers and society-related commitments at the same time. Their influence is all the greater, which in turn increases the effect of their actions.

Values
Whereas the age we currently live in revels in easy money, individualism and a sense of ‘every man for himself’, extensively glorifying the sporting spectacle and jaw-dropping contracts of a handful of champions with a high market value, fed by petrodollars, it is essential to remember the essence of sport: being involved, on various types of fields, courts and pitches, in the sporting activities of millions of anonymous people who distinguish themselves each day through actions that magnify the beauty of sport for sport’s sake and the very ideal of mens sana in corpore sano. Sport in which friendship, team spirit, surpassing oneself and mutual respect are the links in a universal chain where everyone involved is inspired by Fair Play. That, at least, is what World Fair Play Day aims to cultivate and promote to all and against all the odds.

Honouring the City of Brussels and the other Belgian winners of the CIFP’s Fair Awards
As the cherry on the cake, the City of Brussels was awarded the Willi Daume Trophy by the International Fair Play Committee for its actions to promote Fair-Play in 2020. This is a world first that showcases an individual city as a Fair Play city. The Willi Daume Trophy is the highest level of international recognition regarding the promotion of Fair Play. The award was presented by Dr. Jenő Kamuti, President of the International Fair Play Committee.

« As a former sportsman, I fully agree with the indispensable benefits of fair play in the sports world. Beautiful moments often follow it. Thanks to Panathlon Wallonie – Bruxelles, the International Day of Fair Play is now recognized worldwide. The City of Brussels is fully in line with these values and makes them an indispensable basis for the practice of sport », adds Philippe Close, Mayor of the City of Brussels.

« It is a real honor for the City of Brussels to be awarded for its efforts towards promoting the spirit of fair play. We are thrilled to having been associated with the creation of this international day. We hope that, in the future, we will be able to play our part in the promotion of those common values among all athletes ». Benoit Hellings, First Alderman City of Brussels in charge of Climate and Sports.

In fact, the International Fair Play Committee has been presenting the Fair Play Awards in various categories since 1964: for an act of Fair Play, the promotion of Fair Play, sportsmanship throughout a career and Fair Play for youth.

The International Fair Play Committee’s 2020 list of Fair Play Awards gives pride of place to our country. In addition to the City of Brussels, there were now fewer than 6 other Belgian winners whose names are now inscribed in gold letters on the CIFP Roll of Honour:
Soignies Rugby Club – World Fair Play certificate of the Willy Daume Prize – Category: Promotion
The municipality of Profondeville – also a winner of the World Fair Play certificate of the Willy Daume Prize – Category: Promotion
The youngsters at the Lycée Jean Jaurès in Charleroi – also rewarded with the World Fair Play certificate of the Willy Daume Prize – Category: Promotion
François Poull – also a winner of the World Fair Play certificate of the Willy Daume Prize – Category: Promotion
Keevin Malcourant – who received the Pierre de Coubertin World Fair Play Day certificate – Category: Act of Fair Play
And Panathlon Wallonie-Bruxelles – World Fair Play certificate of the Willy Daume Prize – Category: Promotion

The second World Fair Play Day was celebrated all over the world. Founders make further efforts to reach and cooperate with more organizations in next year’s celebration.

World Fair Play Day online celebration

Every year, September 7 is the day that sports organizations, athletes, coaches and sports leaders who feel the spirit of fair play commemorate fair play. The International Fair Play Committee celebrated this day with a broadcasted live show from Budapest this year.

If you missed it, watch  the program on CIFP’s YouTube channel here: World Fair Play Day online celebration 

The Presidents of the four founding organizations sent message as well as several international sport leaders. You can watch the reports about different sport events, and listen interesting discussions about Fair Play.

The challenge 100 DAYS FOR FAIR PLAY knows its winner

To mark the 2nd World Fair Play Day (WFPD), and to encourage people to take on a physical activity despite the pandemic, the European Fair Play Movement in cooperation with ASKÖ (Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Sport und Körperkultur in Österreich), the Austrian EFPM member organisation and KFP SOSV (Club fair play of the Slovak Olympic and Sports Committee) launched the challenge “100 DAYS FOR FAIR PLAY “. The challenge started on May 31, 2021, precisely 100 days before the 2nd WFPD taking place in Budapest on 7. September 2021. We invited participating teams to accomplish the distance of 1,275km, equivalent to the distance from Brussels to Budapest- where the first WFPD took place. We encouraged all participating teams to post their progress, and also to post a message of FAIR PLAY (photo, image, video, banner etc.) on the EFPM Facebook page (www.facebook.com/EuropeanFairPlay/). Sports enthusiasts from 5 countries took part in the challenge: from Turkey, Austria, Poland, Belgium and Slovakia. Some teams were busier and faster than others, but all participants displayed a great deal of enthusiasm and motivation. This is also documented by the fact that from 27 teams, 13 reached the imaginary goal – Budapest. Moreover, the participants of the challenge – some on bicycles, others running, swimming or simply walking, covered altogether more than 53,000 km in 100 days.

The victory went to the Turkish team “THE GENTLEMEN OF MÜLKIYE”, which was the first to reach the required distance. The team members not only share a 20-year-old friendship and love of sport, but also the effort to spread humane values.

Students from the Secondary Sports School in Košice (SVK) finished second. The team included two young cyclists, Marek and Florián, and the triathlete Peter. They were coached by their very active teachers and coaches, Marcel Nemec and Juraj Dancák.

The representatives of ASKÖ Kärnten (AUT) and the Fair Play Team of the University of Physical Education in Warsaw (POL) were also some of the most hard-working teams.

All participants showed enthusiasm and motivation. This is further documented by the fact that from 27 teams, 13 reached the imaginary finish line in Budapest. Through different sports – cycling, running, swimming or simply walking, in total, they covered more than 53,000 km in 100 days.

All participating teams who also became ambassadors for fairness and tolerance, spreading the message of fairness towards your peers and the environment, promoting the written and unwritten rules of humanity, tolerance, solidarity and friendship – in short, fair play.

One week to go for World Fair Play Day – Toolkit is ready

One week later, on 7 September, the international sport society will celebrate the World Fair Play Day again.

We feel honored for the many partners who signed the Manifesto and who will make local celebration.

We produced a Toolkit to facilitate the preparation. Please, find it here: SBT – Final World Fair Play Day 7th Sept things to do – toolkit

World Fair Play Day program is always open for new partners. We kindly wait for your application!

Commitment of the Bureau of the Parliament of the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles

The Bureau of the Parliament of the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles (french part of Belgium) and its members subscribe to the commitments included in the Manifesto of the World Fair Play Day. They salute, at the same time, the actions carried out by Panathlon Wallonie-Bruxelles as regards the promotion of the values of Fair Play in the sport which are fully in line with the work of the members of the Parliament with the analysis of two projects of decree relating, for the one, to the integration of a Code of sporting ethics in the regulations of the sporting federations and, for the other, to a better representation of the women in the decision-making bodies of the sporting federations as well as to the promotion of the feminine sporting practice.

On behalf of the Bureau of the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles

Rudy Demotte

President

100 DAYS FOR FAIR PLAY

100 DAYS FOR FAIR PLAY
be part of the project as Fair Play and sport ambassadors

To mark the 2nd World Fair Play Day (WFPD), and to encourage people to take on a physical activity despite the pandemic, the European Fair Play Movement in cooperation with ASKÖ (Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Sport und Körperkultur in Österreich), the Austrian EFPM member organization and KFP SOSV (Club fair play of the Slovak Olympic and Sports Committee) are launching the challenge “100 days for Fair Play”.

Check the details here: 100 DAYS for FAIR PLAY

Thirty Belgian institutions

While Panathlon Wallonie-Bruxelles is already preparing the Belgian events of September 7th, date of the 2nd World Fair Play Day, the diffusion of the Manifesto continues in the country. We are proud and happy to be able to count on the support of thirty institutions: federations, municipalities, sports centers, schools that are committed to act for more Fair-Play. Proof that our whole society is concerned.

The signatories : Comité Olympique et Interfédéral Belge (COIB), Association Francophone de Golf (AFG), Fédération Francophone de Gymnastique (FfG), Fédération Francophone de Karaté (FFKAMA), FéMA, Ligue Belge Francophone de Rugby (LBFR), Ligue Francophone de Handball (LfH), Ligue Francophone de Hockey (LFH), Fédération de Tir Sportif (URSTB-f), Ministre des Sports Valérie Glatigny, Poullball, Special Olympics Belgium (SOB), Stop Racism in Sport, Urban Youth Games, association Foot Fair Play, Ganshoren Dames Club, Golf de Rigenée, Gym R. S. Auderghem, Parc Auderghem Hockey Club, RCS Sart-Tilman, Royal Kituro Rugby Club, Royal Léopold Club, CSL Thuin, LeuzArena, RCA Lessines, École Saint Cœur de Marie de Hannut, Ville d’Arlon, Ville de Beaumont, commune de La Bruyère et Commune de Rebecq.
Sans compter le soutien de plusieurs personnalités dont Mme Eliane Tillieux, Présidente de la Chambre des Représentants

World Fair Play Day – 6 months before and after

6 months after the officialization of the World Fair Play Day and 6 months before the 2nd edition (September 7, 2021) : the international partners are working to mobilize a large number of actors within the framework of this global program.
The “World Fair Play Day”, every September 7th, is a sports initiative designed to promote Fair Play and Ethical Values in sport. Everyone in sport both on and off the pitch is invited to highlight Fair Play initiatives, projects and successes every year on this date.

In culmination of seven years national ‘work of Panathlon Wallonie-Bruxelles, the International Fair Play Committee (CIFP), the European Fair Play Movement (EFPM) and the International Panathlon have come together for a celebration of Fair Play to be held on the same date each year, namely 7 September.
This date was chosen back in 2013 by the Panathlon Wallonie-Bruxelles to commemorate the day in 1963 on which Jean Borotra, one of the renowned “four musketeers” of French tennis, met in Paris with the figures who would go on to found the International Fair Play Committee.

So the “World Fair Play Day” was officially announced and inaugurated on September 7th, 2020 at the iconic Brussels Town Hall, as an initiative of these 4 partner institutions, all working to promote and defend the values of Fair Play. In parallel, due to the covid situation, a webinar was held with 18 Latin-American NOCs and sport authorities from Budapest. All the participants in reality and virtually were enthusiastic for the future celebration of Fair Play.
Today, March 7, 2020 is a key date: 6 months have passed since this announcement and in 6 months time the 2nd World Fair Play Day will take place.

No less than 80 institutions (sporting and institutional) from around the world have signed the Manifesto to show their commitment to World Fair Play Day. Let’s hope they will be joined by many more.
This “World Fair Play Day” program is based on a Manifesto that organisations and institutions can sign up to and demonstrate strong commitment to the promotion of Fair Play in sport and a willingness to fully cooperate in this sporting and societal program. The unexpected difficulty of today points out the basic values of Fair Play like solidarity, taking care about each other, selfless help and the social interest is more important than the individual interest.

We invite you to consult the menu above of this website dedicated to the program where you will find further information, the photos and movie of the 2020’s “World Fair Play Day” and the list of those who have already signed this manifesto.

Thierry Witsel ratified the Manifesto

Mr Thierry Witsel, French-speaking deputy, Member of the Parliament, father of the Belgian Red Devil football player Axel Witsel and President of the association “Stop Racism In Sport” ratified the Manifesto. He played football and futsal, then he became football trainer. We are happy to celebrate together World Fair Play Day on 7 September.