"I love the sense of satisfaction that I get when I’ve done a swimming workout or race, and know that I gave my whole being and heart to God in every moment of the swim. It’s the best worship I can offer him."
Vatican conference 2016Stuart attended a conference at the Vatican on the subject of: "Sport at the service of humanity", 4-7 October 2016.
Thomas Bach,IOC President, speaks to delegates.Opening ceremony Speakers at the opening ceremony included:
Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the UN
The Archbishop of Canterbury
Thomas Bach, President of the international Olympic Committee
There is a pope in there somewhere!Origins and ownership
The conference was organized by the Pontifical Council for Culture, with the explicit support of the pope.
Sports stars Sean Fitzpatrick, Hugh Porta and Alessandro del Piero lent their supportThe vision
“A global movement that inspires every organization and participant in sport to live, think and act in accordance with ‘The sport at the service of humanity declaration of principles.’”
The Gala dinner in the Vatican MuseumThe mission
“To validate and endorse the ‘Sport at the service of humanity’ declaration of principles – the set of guiding values that articulates how faith and sport can harness their combined influence to serve the greater good and to develop partnerships to put the principles into action”.
A plenary sessionDeclaration of principles
The declaration of principles included the following statements:
Sport has the power to celebrate our common humanity, regardless of faith, race, culture, beliefs, gender and ability. Sport can bring us together – to meet one another across borders and boundaries, to learn to compete as friends, to respect and trust one another even in opposition. Sport has the power to teach positive values and enrich lives. Every one of us, who plays, organises and supports sport, has the opportunity to be transformed by it and to transform others.
See Stuart on the left in a small group discussionSix specific principles are listed:
The programme consisted included were some amazingly inspirational speakers, Stuart particularly enjoyed:
Tim Shriver, Chairman of the Special Olympics with Loretta Claiborne, special Olympian. Ms Nita Ambani, owner of Mumbai Indians and Founder Chair of the Indian (Football) Super League. Ivan Gazidis, CEO of Arsenal, on what Arsenal was doing for refugees. Sean Fitzpatrick, former All Blacks captain. Maria Toorpakai Wazir, Pakistani squash player who grew up in a Taliban controlled area and who had to pretend to be a boy and risk violence from the Taliban to play sport.
Ivan Gazidis talked about Arsenal's work with refugees.
Maria Toorpakai Wazir, Pakistani squash player
Sir Philip Craven, IPC, addresses the conference