«That all may be one» (Jn. 17,21)
We were born for these words, for unity, to give a contribution to its realization in the world. Chiara Lubich
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|Sports Weekend scores a win in Ohio!|
|Written by Midwest Young for Unity|
|Friday, October 15, 2010|
Organized by the Midwest Young for Unity, the Sports Weekend brought together more than 80 participants from across Columbus and Ohio and from as far away as Indiana, Michigan and Illinois.
Live music filled the St. Mary’s Commons hall as participants registered and picked up a colored bandana with the event’s logo. A short presentation on the Young for Unity opened the morning, followed by the experiences of youth on building peace at school and with friends.
Lunchtime gave the newly formed teams a chance for the members to get to know one another better and build team unity. Then, it was time for sports! While playing basketball, soccer, pipeline, obstacle course and human bridge, kids were challenged to live the 6 rules of the Sports4Peace program.
“I’m not much of an athlete,” wrote, a 13 year-old girl, from Newark, Ohio at the conclusion of the day, “but today, I got really involved and played my best.” A 12 year-old parishioner at St. Mary’s said he liked the “hang in there point.” “It helps me learn never to quit on anything,” he said.
In 2004 alone, more than 20,000 kids in Austria participated in the Sports4Peace program, developed by the local Focolare community to promote the Golden Rule in sports. The Sports4Peace program has since become a model for similar initiatives in England, Holland, Germany, France, Poland, Italy and Argentina. And it continues to underline that sports can be an instrument to learn more than just competition.
The afternoon in Delaware continued with a video presentation on Blessed Chiara Luce Badano, the 18-year-old Italian youth of the Focolare, whose process for beatification occurred the very same day in Rome. Named by Pope Benedict as a model of sanctity for youth today, Chiara Luce, an athlete herself, is now being hailed for her heroic measure of love for God and neighbor throughout her battle with bone cancer.
For their excellence in team unity, fair play and good sportsmanship, three teams received golden medals, as a reminder of the Golden Rule, while all participants received a bookmark souvenir with the six Sports 4 Peace points.
As the aim of the Sports4Peace program, kids showed that sports can be a way to build peace. After having been asked if she learned anything new today, a 14-year-old girl from St. Mary’s Delaware answered, “Yes. To help others and be supportive and see Jesus in everyone.”
Another girl said she “learned to work as a team,” while a 9-year-old from Michigan stated that he learned “that working together and honesty in sports or activities are important.”
The excitement to meet again for future Young for Unity events was felt among youth and adults. When asked whether she’d like to be invited to the next event of Young for Unity, a 9 years old wrote, “Definitely positively yes!” And she wasn’t alone in that thought. "When is the next one?!" was heard as parents took their children home.
13-year-old Chicagoan concluded, “I liked the point do your best because we should do our best not only in sports but in everything we do … Of course, “it was a great way to have fun, meet new people and build unity.”