20 November 2021

"Epos, Ethos, Paideia, Polis: rethinking the sport of the future together"

The head of the Church and Sport office at the symposium on the future of sport organized at the International Olympic Academy
Simposio Olimpia-1.jpg


From November 10 -14, a symposium entitled "Epos, Ethos, Paideia, Polis: rethinking the sport of the future together" took place in Olympia, Greece.

At the headquarters of the International Olympic Academy, the initiative was promoted by the National Office for the Pastoral Care of Leisure, Tourism and Sport of the Italian Bishops' Conference. Representatives of sports federations, members of the Olympic Committee, the School of Sport, Italian sports associations of Christian and non-Christian inspiration participated.

The objective was to reflect, with the help of the four Greek words Epos, Ethos, Paideia, Polis, on the evolution that the world of sport is experiencing and to seek new strategies to support and relaunch the sport of tomorrow, especially at the educational and formative level. Taking part in the conference was the head of the Dicastery's Office for Church and Sport, Santiago Pérez de Camino, who, on the first day, spoke about the ethical tension that exists in sport and how sport is experiencing a period of profound transformation, which the pandemic has accelerated and amplified. "There is a temptation to go back, to close in on oneself, looking for a cave where one can take refuge and hide in the past. But sport lived with constancy and seriousness has a deep ethical dimension that could help society to restart to create a more inclusive and fairer society. Never before as in this moment, sport must recognize itself in the values of a solidarity and socially inclusive ethic, moral and above all responsible."

On the third day, Pérez de Camino spoke about sport and inclusion. "Sport is a great opportunity for inclusion, but it is not automatically inclusive. What is needed is a vision and planning capable of protecting the inclusive value of sport, which is transformed into a common commitment to counter the excesses of sport, promote a sport tailored to the most fragile people and put social marginalization back at the center through sport.

As Pope Francis has reminded us several times, what is opening is the time of alliances. Because no one is saved alone."

The Symposium aims to be a first step for a collaboration between the institutions of the Church and the world of sport to form the new generations and to transform society through the practice of sports.