Estonian athletes win 'Peace and Sport' award for supporting refugees

The Estonian Olympic Commitee's 'White Card Day' project #üheskoos
The Estonian Olympic Commitee's 'White Card Day' project #üheskoos Source: Estonian Olympic Committee

The Estonian Olympic Committee's (EOK) April 6 "white card' campaign "#üheskoos" (together) in support of war refugees from Ukraine, has been recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the United Nations (UN) at the "Peace and Sport" awards ceremony in Monaco.

The UN General Assembly declared April 6 as the "International Day of Sport for Development and Peace" (IDSDP) in 2013, to recognize sport's potential to promote positive social change.

April 6 was marked in Estonia for the first time in 2017. Since 2020, the EOK has linked the day to a topical event or issue since 2020. This year, the Estonian sporting community was called on to support Ukrainian war refugees in Estonia in every way possible.

As part of the campaign, a video was produced in which the message "#üheskoos" (together) was displayed on white card by some of Estonia's top athletes. Olympic gold medalists Gerd Kanter (discus), Irina Embrich (fencing), Kristina Šmigun-Vähi (cross-country skiing), along with bronze medal winners Allar Raja (rowing) and Kelly Sildaru (freestyle skiing) all participated, as did bodybuilder Ott Kiivikas, Nordic combined skier Kristjan Ilves, sprinter Karl-Erik Nazarov and the Estonian men's national football team.

Merili Luuk, communications manager at the EOK, said Estonia's "White Card Day" campaign had received praise from organizations around the world.

"It's really nice to see our video bring tears of gratitude to the eyes of representatives from Ukraine, as well as those from the UK, Canada and Rwanda, for example. The EOK would like to thank all of the 300 or so professional and amateur athletes who, individually or as a team, took part in White Card Day and called for people to support Ukrainian war refugees. Thank you!" said Luuk.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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