Playing for Peace, an exhibition celebrating the role of sport in bringing together international communities, was launched in Coventry Cathedral on 4 October 2011. David Moorcroft, former 5000m world record holder and 2012 Ambassador for Coventry, opened the exhibition along with Nick Chavasse from Coventry Cathedral.
Playing for Peace – the result of a collaboration between Coventry University’s Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies (CPRS) and The Peace Museum in Bradford – is one of a select few projects to have been awarded an exclusive Olympic Truce ‘Inspire Mark’, which recognises innovative and exceptional projects that are directly inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The exhibition was awarded the prestigious mark for its work promoting the principles of the Olympic Truce, a tradition originating from Ancient Greece which encouraged countries throughout the world to lay down arms during the Games and embrace goodwill, unity and reconciliation.
Playing for Peace celebrates particular occasions in history when sport has played a crucial role in promoting peace.
Amongst the exhibits are the 1994 Winter Olympics – for which the Olympic Truce was revived to allow medical personnel to enter a besieged Sarajevo to provide vaccinations for children – and the ‘Stop War Start Tennis’ campaign, which saw Pakistani and Indian tennis stars urge their respective governments to allow a tennis match to be held with a net strung across the only road border crossing between the two countries in the war-torn Kashmir district.
Dr Ian Brittain, a member of the team that researched and developed the exhibition at the Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies at Coventry University, said:
“We’re thrilled to be launching this exhibition to the public and to be celebrating how sport, and the Olympic and Paralympic Games in particular, can bring people together to promote peace and goodwill throughout the world.”
Seb Coe, chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, said:
“Sport is a powerful channel for promoting conflict resolution and reconciliation within and between communities. I am proud that the Playing for Peace exhibition is helping us to promote the main concept behind the modern Olympic Truce of helping to build a better and more peaceful world through sport and the Olympic ideal.”
The Peace Museum is available to run education sessions in relation to the exhibition. For more information, please contact The Peace Museum.