By Will Shand from Milan, Italy, July 23, 2015: The International Centre for Sport Security has joined forces with two major foundations from China and Italy to strengthen socio-economic development and inter-cultural dialogue through sport across cities along the historical Silk Road.
Grounded on the cultural and geopolitical relevance of the Silk Road, a 6,347 km trade route which connects China and India with the Mediterranean Sea, the partnership between the ICSS, the Priorità Cultura Association and Silk Road Cities Alliance lays the foundation for the preparation of several transnational programmes to instil the values of sport into young people and bring them together through sport.
The initiative will also seek to promote different forms of cooperation through sport to support socio-economic development across the cities located on the Silk Road, starting from Beijing till the city of Venice, also going through Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Balkans.
The agreement was signed by ICSS President Mohammed Hanzab, Chairman of Priorità Cultura Association and former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture of Italy and former Mayor of Rome Francesco Rutelli, and Silk Road Cities Alliance President Hao Yaohua.
The partnership was strongly supported by the Silk Road Cities Alliance following the launch by the Chinese government of a national programme to enhance the social and cultural impact of sport.
This programme contains a particular reference to sport purity and integrity, together with the launch of modern sport infrastructures in the whole country.
Speaking at the signing Francesco Rutelli said:
“Sport is not just physical activity; sport is culture and opportunity for human development. Alongside the Silk Road Alliance, we are keen to strengthen ties with the ICSS to promote development through sport. Let me praise the efforts of the ICSS in this field such as its Save the Dream initiative, which works today on the front line to promote inter-cultural dialogue through sport and the development of more fair societies.”
Many of the initiatives of the agreement will be conducted through Save the Dream, an initiative of the ICSS and the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC). Working with organisations across sport, art, media, technology and society, Save the Dream aims to educate, promote and protect the core values and integrity of sport for young people.
Chairman Hao Yaohua, Chairman of Silk Road Cities Alliance said “We are committed to establishing friendly and cooperative relations with our friends from Priorità Cultura and ICSS. We wish to make sport a universal language and a tool to educate young generations to fair values.”
ICSS President Mohammed Hanzab concluded:
“We are fascinated by the idea to build new programmes and alliances for the good of sport along the historical path of the Silk Road. All these cities have an important piece of history in common. We will work to further develop such relations through sport and together protect its purity.”