Responding to a call by Pope Francis, an international summit titled, ‘Sport for All: Cohesive, Accessible And Tailored To Each Person’, was held from 29-30 September, 2022, in the New Synod Hall at the Vatican, where sports enthusiasts and representatives of major sports and intergovernmental institutions and organizations met to discuss the social responsibility of sports and how participating in sports could promote human, educational and spiritual growth. Adille Sumariwalla, President – Athletics Federation of India and interm President – Indian Olympic Association – represented India at the summit, which drew over 200 participants from the world of sports, including athletes, coaches, managers and international sports federations.
At the summit, which was held in collaboration with the Dicastery for Culture and Education and the John Paul II Foundation for Sport, Pope Francis urged athletes to fight against a throwaway culture that “treats men and women as products, to be used and then discarded.” Sports can risk becoming “a ‘machine’ of business, profit and consumer-driven showmanship, which produces ‘celebrities’ to be exploited. But this is no longer sport,” the Pope said, adding, “Sport is an educational and social good and it must remain so.”
Summit participants signed and presented Pope Francis with a final written declaration on 30th September, 2022, recognizing “the tremendous power that sport exerts in the modern world.”
Sharing a post on his social media, Adille Sumariwalla expressed, “It was a honour to represent India at this forum, interact with great like minds and solidify my commitment to sport through cohesiveness, accessibility and a tailor made approach.”
Born on 1st January, 1958, Adille Sumariwalla did the nation proud representing India at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, as an athlete and runner. Currently the President of the Athletics Federation of India, he was the first Indian to be elected as one of the council members of the IAAF, at its 50th congress. In August 2022, he was co-opted as the interm President of the Indian Olympic Association. He is also an entrepreneur, owning media businesses in India.
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