International Day of Sport: Novak Djokovic addresses UN
World number one Novak Djokovic had an honour to address the United Nations and speak on behalf of global family of athletes on Friday, August 23.
In a historic decision, the UN General Assembly approved by consensus a proclamation establishing an International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. The Day will be celebrated each year on April 6, the date of the opening of the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896.
Novak addressed the Assembly right after Jacques Rogge, the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). He thanked the UN for adopting the resolution and reminded everyone of the values of sport, of its importance for children around the world, and the encouraging effect it has on children to work hard and dream big.
Novak also expressed his hope that the International Day would motivate people to do more to cultivate intrinsic sporting values such as fair play, teamwork and respect for opponents.
“These ideals are universal. Every successful society is built on them, and the more we instil respect for these ideals in ourselves, the better the world will be that we leave to our successors. Sports has a unique convening power, and it can help direct greater attention to the most at-risk and vulnerable in our communities – particularly disadvantaged children,“ said Djokovic.
Novak reminded that famous athletes have a large responsibility. When they speak out, they reach a large audience and can motivate young people to achieve their dreams.
“We can make a tangible difference in their lives, helping them reach their full potential. When we partner up with international organizations, governments, and local civic groups, we can do even more. That is why it’s such a privilege to be the UNICEF National Ambassador for Serbia, and it’s one of the reasons why I established the Novak Djokovic Foundation,“ Novak explained.