Nelson Mandela and the Power of Sport

Nelson Mandela, inspirational leader of South Africa and the man widely believed responsible for ending apartheid and civil strife in that country, passed away last week at the age of 94. Anyone who watched the movie, Invictus, knows that Mandela used rugby as a way to unite South Africans of all colors during perilous times.

His belief in the power of sport was no Hollywood fabrication. This video of Mandela, speaking at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco in 2000, illustrates his views.

“Sport has the power to change the world.
It has the power to inspire.
It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.
It speaks to youth in a language they understand.
Sport can create hope, where once there was only despair.
It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers.
It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination.”

As physical educators and coaches, sport is your language and your tool. Be proud in knowing that every day you cultivate Nelson Mandela’s high ideals.



Dick Moss, Editor,

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