Cape Town - Leading figures in the world of sport development have expressed their excitement before Cape Town’s first World Sports Values Summit for Peace and Development on Monday after successful events in London, Tokyo, and New York City.
The summit was hosted by the UN in New York last year.
The initiative seeks to get stakeholders to discuss pertinent issues relevant to the world of sport.
The event starts on Monday at the Cape Town International Convention Centre and 15 000 delegates, which includes 1 500 pupils, are expected to attend various sessions over the two-day event.
Japanese philanthropist Dr Haruhisa Handa, the chairman of Worldwide Support for Development and the International Sports Promotion Society, said the summits were started to boost the role of sport in “advancing human development and peace”.
“This meeting looks at global governance, societal capital and development concerns,” Handa said yesterday.
“Each summit helps us build towards the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and deepens the inclusion of differently-led athletics.
Handa, who has invested in local soccer franchise Fives Futbol and Mpumalanga Black Aces, said following the three successful events in London, Tokyo and New York from 2012 to last year, Cape Town represented a sought-after destination.
“Cape Town was a much-desired location because of the magnitude of Nelson Mandela’s use of sport as a means of unification in post-apartheid South Africa,” he said.
“We selected Cape Town for this fourth annual summit because it is a beacon of hope and courage to the world.
“It is also why I have made a personal investment in this community by sponsoring both the Mpumalanga Black Aces Football Club and the Fives Futbol.
“Both of these outfits are inspiring the best of the human spirit through their unique approach to sport.
“The summits each focus on the crucial and extraordinary role that sport can play in human life. Sport brings disparate peoples together and helps to advance co-operation, development, and even peace.”
Well-known sport personalities such as former Bafana and Leeds United captain Lucas Radebe and five-time Australian Olympic gold-medallist swimmer Ian Thorpe will attend the summit.
Adam Fine, the chief executive of Fives Futbol, fell in love with the idea of uplifting society through sport. Fives Futbol has venues located in areas like Mitchells Plain and Hanover Park and offers life skills development for the youth who use its facilities.
Of the summit, Fine said:
“The significance is the bringing of global leaders, both young and old, to discuss pertinent issues and solutions to some of the sporting challenges we face in Africa.
“To the sporting world it is a dynamic dialogue between athletics, policy makers, academics, NGOs and social entrepreneurs.”