Basketball star recipient of Champion of Peace Award  

Utah Jazz and French International centre Rudy Gobert has walked away with Champion of Peace of the Year Prize for his social commitment and charity work.

The 2021 Peace and Sport Awards were celebrated online this year, but it didn’t make them any less special. People and institutions all over the world were recognised for their outstanding achievements and initiatives supporting the goal of championing peace through sport.

This year’s top prize, the Champion of Peace of the Year award, went to Rudy Gopert, centre for the Utah Jazz basketball team and French International player.

Through his foundation, Rudy’s Kids, Gobert supports charities that directly impact the lives of youth through education, recreation, community health, and community outreach programs. Rudy’s Kids Foundation also supports the Peacemakers Project in Rwanda, implemented by the Association of Kigali Women in Sports (AKWOS), led by Peace and Sport.

“On behalf of Peace and Sport, I would like to warmly congratulate Rudy Gobert on becoming the Champion for Peace 2021,” said Joël Bouzou, President and Founder of Peace and Sport. “It is a great honour to welcome him into our Champions for Peace club. This award rewards his commitment to children’s rights across the globe through the work of his foundation, Rudy’s Kids. Rudy Gobert is an exceptional basketball player and a true role model. As such, he can pave the way for a better world.”

Previous Champion for Peace of the Year Award winners include Lionel Messi, Siya Kolisi and Blaise Matuidi.

“As a professional athlete, kids look up to you and get inspired by your actions,” Gopert explained. “Through my foundation, I wanted to take up concrete actions to protect them and to empower them. I wanted to help improve the lives of children and families in need and help them achieve their dreams. It is a great pleasure to be recognised for my social commitment and I warmly thank Peace and Sport and Prince Albert II of Monaco for this Award. I look forward to continuing to inspire and support disadvantaged children.”

Other initiatives that were honoured include the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which received the NGO of the Year Award for their ‘Uniting through the power of football’ project.

Next up was the Youth and Sports Secretary of State of the Government of Portugal, which took home the Institution of the Year Award for its National Plan for Ethics in Sport (NPES), implemented by the Portuguese Institute of Sports and Youth (IPDJ) since 2012.

The World Rafting Federation won the most votes for the APRIL6 Initiative of the Year Award for its digital awareness campaign ‘Be white water’.

Finally, the Special Jury Prize went to peace animators of the NGO Cop Colombia Internacional, who were rewarded for the for their essential role in promoting peace through the practice of soccer in Usme, Colombia.

Photo source: Peace and Sport

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