International Day of University Sport 2017

© / Aspen Photo
Penn Relays 2012, Philadelphia

International Day of University Sport 2017         

Message from Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO

University sport is very highly regarded in the world of sport and education.

Fully integrated into the learning curriculum of the citizens of today and tomorrow, it represents a vital aspect of individuals’ development and fulfilment. The pedantic repetition of “Anima Sana in Corpore Sano / A Healthy Soul in a Healthy Body” is not enough to attain the ideal of harmony between body and soul. This maxim must be translated into specific public policies and practices in order to give it substance throughout people’s lives, starting at the youngest age.

University sport (...) a vital aspect of individuals’ development and fulfilment.

Irina Bokova
UNESCO Director-General

University sport is central to such measures: it nurtures a love for sport, gives it structure and allows champions to flourish, while passing on the values of an open mind, fair play, solidarity and excellence, which benefit society as a whole.

International Day of University Sport is an opportunity to underline the social role played by universities and their curricula, making sport available for everyone in order to foster the regular practice of a physical activity in the greatest number of people. It also allows UNESCO to reaffirm its committed support to personal and collective development through sport and education, for the spread of a genuine sports culture, which we believe inherent to a culture of peace. Those are the stated principles of the International Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport and the International Convention against Doping in Sport.

In this spirit, UNESCO is proud to support the International University Sports Federation and work together towards upholding a high-quality sporting environment so that all societies dare to dream faster, higher and stronger.

Download the message in PDF format
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© / mooinblack

The International Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport is a rights-based reference that orients and supports policy- and decision-making in sport.

Based on the universal spirit of the original Charter, and integrating the significant evolutions in the field of sport since 1978, the revised Charter introduces universal principles such as gender equality, non-discrimination and social inclusion in and through sport. It also highlights the benefits of physical activity, the sustainability of sport, the inclusion of persons with disabilities and the protection of children.

The Charter promotes inclusive access to sport by all without any form of discrimination. It sets ethical and quality standards for all actors designing, implementing and evaluating sport programmes and policies.




   Photo Book

   The Power of Sport Values

   UNESCO Publishing

Colour? What colour? Report on the fight against discrimination and racism in football

Did you know?

  • In 2008, 1.533 billion people were insufficiently physically active.

  • Physically active children are 15% more likely to go to college.

  • Physically active children are less likely to smoke, become pregnant, engage in risky sexual behavior, or use drugs.

  • Kids of active moms are 2x as likely to be active.

  • Physical inactivity is responsible for 6% of coronary heart disease, 7% of type 2 diabetes, and 10% of breast and colon cancers.

  • Sport mobilizes large numbers of committed volunteers, developing skills and networks that are transferable to other areas of social engagement.

  • Investment in sport (time, equipment, facilities) yields three times more than investment in medical costs savings.

  • It is estimated that non-communicable diseases (NCDs), connected to physical inactivity, will be the major cause of death in Africa by 2030.



   Colour? What colour?
   Report on the fight against
   discrimination and racism in football

   Albrecht Sonntag
   David Ranc

   Under the coordination of UNESCO and
   with the support of Juventus, the report
   takes stock of what has been done
   and is being done against racism
   and discrimination in sport.

Colour? What colour? Report on the fight against discrimination and racism in football