Building peace in the minds of men and women

International Day of University Sport

20 September

University sport has a very special place in the sporting world as a vector of human, social and civic values, fully integrated into the education of today’s and tomorrow’s citizens.

By putting sport at the heart of dialogue between teachers and students, the International Day of University Sport, celebrated by UNESCO and the International University Sports Federation, aims to promote these values among young adults and, through them, to society as a whole.

Dialogue, self-respect and respect for others, fair play and pursuit of excellence are all framing principles of student training. Education and sport need to be at the core of our societies, and this Day provides a forum to highlight the social role of universities and their curricula by making sport available to all and encouraging people to exercise regularly.

Celebration of this Day also provides an opportunity for UNESCO to reaffirm its commitment to individual and collective development through sport and education, as stated in the International Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport and the International Convention against Doping in Sport.

Message from the Director-General

"Universities have an essential role to play in promoting quality physical education. They are places for self-development, for learning about the world and about citizenship, but they must also leave no one behind – because everyone, regardless of their situation or state of health, should have the right to practise one or more sports, whether at a recreational or competitive level. (...) More than the victories and defeats, records and performances, what is essential this year is the promise of a fairer and more inclusive society – strengthened, not diminished, by the hardships it has endured."

— Audrey Azoulay, Director-General

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