Annual World Fair Play Awards
The International Fair Play Committee handed out the 2013 World Fair Play Awards during a specially organized Gala Ceremony held in Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan, on July the 19th.
In addition to Dr. Jenő Kamuti, the President of the International Fair Play Committee, Prof. Dr. Natalia Parshikova, State Secretary, Deputy Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation and Mr. Andrey Selivanov, Deputy Executive Director of the Russian Olympic Committee spoke during the ceremony. During his speech, Dr. Jenő Kamuti emphasized that during the 51-year-history of the Committee, Russia has never hosted fair play award ceremony before. He added:''in the 21st century sport is one of the main attributes in education. The award winners of tonight have given great examples in sports and beyond''.
The head of the organization drew attention to the fact, that for the first time, Special World Fair Play Awards would be given to such public figures that have significantly supported the development of sport – with no personal interest attached.
Prof. Dr. Natalia Parshikova, State Secretary, Deputy Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation said: ''we always keep in mind the values of sport, they are important, same goes for the spirit of Fair Play. The International Fair Play Committee acknowledged our efforts by bringing these important festivities to our country''.
Mr. Andrey Selivanov turned to the athletes on behalf of the Russian Olympic Committee and said: ''you are a role model for the younger generation of athletes. You are setting an example, which will help them towards the better understanding of sports, its ethics and the spirit of fair play. You show values that could be followed, not only in competing, but also in everyday life''.
Mr. Mintimer Shaimiev, the Former President and State Counselor of the Republic of Tatarstan received a Special World Fair Play Trophy. He was one of the biggest contributors to the 2013 World Summer Universiade tender and in its organization in Kazan. Accepting the award, he said: ''we are very proud that we achieve more and more in organizing different sport events and competitions. It is a great pleasure for us that the International Fair Play Committee decided to hold the 2014 World Fair Play Congress and 2013 World Fair Play Awards Ceremony in the Republic of Tatarstan. It is very important to preserve the purity and honor of the sport, especially today, when more and more people start to play sports''.
Mr. Alisher Usmanov, the President of the International Fencing Federation was also rewarded with a Special World Fair Play Trophy. His wife Ms. Irinia Viner-Usmanova, the Chairwoman of the Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation accepted the award on behalf of him.
The 2014 World Fair Play Events were organized at the time of the 2014 World Fencing Championships in Kazan.
Further Trophy Winners:
ACT OF FAIR PLAY
Pierre de Coubertin World Fair Play Trophy - MARTIN DAMSBO, ARCHERY, DENMARK
During the warm-up before the individual bronze medal final at the Compound 2013 World Cup in Antalya, Turkey in June 2013, the bow of Braden Gellenthien – who was Martin Damsbo's opponent – malfunctioned and could not be repaired in time for the final. His spare bow had also broken down earlier that day. In order to make it possible for his competitor to compete against him, Martin Damsbo offered him his spare bow without a moment of hesitation – even though in archery, athletes are required to have two bows as there is no time out for equipment failure. In the end, Martin Damsbo won the match, but his unconditional generosity and his act of putting sportsmanship before the medal, the prize money and the ranking points at stake for qualifying for the end-of-season World Cup final in Paris has earned him the distinction of the Pierre de Coubertin World Fair Play Trophy.
SPORTS CAREER AND LIFE IN THE SPIRIT OF FAIR PLAY
Jean Borotra World Fair Play Trophy - MOHAMED ABDELAZIZ GHONEM SOLTAN, EGYPT
Prof. Dr. Mohamed AbdelAziz Ghonem Soltan used to be the head coach of the Egyptian National Boxing Federation, and now he has been elected President of the same Federation until 2016. Meanwhile, he is also the Vice-Dean for Education & Student Affairs at the Faculty of Physical Education for Men at Helwan University. Besides his above merits, he accomplished a fair play act back in 2004 at the Athens Olympic Games, which cost the team an Olympic gold medal. During the boxing competitions in the Athens Olympic Games when Prof. Ghonem was the Head Coach of the Egyptian National Boxing Team, one of the Egyptian boxers marched into the semi-final and won it. Unfortunately, the sportsman had a serious injury in his arm – an injury that would not prevent him from competing, but which might affect his career as a boxer and might harm his arm in the long run. Despite the pressures to let him take part in the final match (with a very good chance for the Egyptian team to obtain its first-ever gold medal), Prof. Ghonem refused to let the boxer compete in order to save him from a permanent injury, which we consider as a case of the promotion of the Fair Play model for the upcoming generations to seek. He always showed a remarkably generous attitude throughout his sports career, and he is worthy of the 2013 Jean Borotra World Fair Play Trophy.
PROMOTION OF FAIR PLAY
Willi Daume World Fair Play Trophy - INTERNATIONAL CHILDRENS GAMES COMMITTEE, SLOVENIA
ICG Committee was nominated for the Fair Play Award for the promotion of fair play and the integration of a fair play award into the programme of the Summer Children's Games 2013 (14-19 August) in Windsor, Essex, Canada. The establishment of the International Children's Games Committee was initiated by Mr. Metod Klemenc from Slovenia. Not long after the idea was conceived to organize special games, some pupils (aged 12-15) met on 5 June 1968 in Celje to compete against each other in various athletics disciplines. The pupils came from the then-Yugoslavia (Belgrade, Zagreb, Celje, Kranj Trbovlje), then-Czechoslovakia (Brno), Austria (Graz), Switzerland (Lausanne) and Italy (Udine). Since then, the Games have been organized in many different towns all over the world. Sport is not the only item on the agenda of these Games. They also aim to contribute to learning about foreign cultures and ways of life through different side events. ICG Committee has merited the 2013 Willi Daume World Fair Play Trophy thanks to their dedicated effort to encourage the idea of fair play at international level.
Fair Play Trophy for the Youth – Under the auspices of the IOC President
1. HANA DRAGOJEVIC, SAILING, CROATIA
At the sailing regatta for cadets, Opatija Spring Cup held on 7 April 2013, Hana Dragojević, a nine-year-old girl (Labud Sailing Club) saved a boy, Marko Smolić (Val Sailing Club). His sailing boat capsized and he was left entangled in the lines in a position from which he could not free himself. Hana Dragojević was among the leading contestants, but when she heard Marko's scared and loud distress calls, she changed her course, approached Marko's sailing boat and jumped into the sea in order to help him. She righted the capsized sailing boat, disentangled the boy from the lines and saved him. By her act, Hana showed that fair play is an attitude and that it is more than victory. She is worthy of being the female winner of the "Fair Play Trophy for the Youth"- Under the auspices of of the IOC President.
2. "TRIQUI CHILDREN" TEAM, BASKETBALL, MEXICO
The "Triqui Children" basketball team (indigenous "Triqui" children of school age – aged 12 on average) representing Mexico won the 4th International Mini-Basketball Festival held from 11 to 14 October 2013 in the city of Cordova, Argentina. The children competed barefoot because they learned to play basketball in poor indigenous "Triqui" communities in the state of Oaxaca, their place of birth. Playing barefoot could have cost them their victory, or could have diminished their athletic performance. When the Organizing Committee urged the team to put on tennis shoes for the game, the children played with great difficulty or could not play at all because for obvious reasons, their feet did not tolerate shoes. Even under these extreme circumstances, the "Triqui" children competed with a real sense of responsibility, honour and spirit of fair play, and managed to win the tournament. For their great team spirit and unique willpower, the team has deserved the "Fair Play Trophy for the Youth" - Under the auspices of of the IOC President.
Dr. Jenő Kamuti, the President of the International Fair Play Committee
Prof. Dr. Natalia Parshikova, State Secretary, Deputy Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation
Mr. Mintimer Shaimiev, Former President and State Counselor of the Republic of Tatarstan
Ms. Irinia Viner-Usmanova, Chairwoman of the Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation
Photos: Press Department of Executive Directorate of Sports Projects Kazan
Original Article: Gábor Deregán
Translated by: Vera Vajta