On the initiative of Panathlon Wallonie-Bruxelles
Meeting on Friday 31st March 2017, in the Congress Hall at the House of Representatives, the representatives from the religions practised in Belgium, as well as secularism, Olympic and sporting movements, Paralympics, Belgian Special Olympics and Panathlon itself, hereby acknowledge on the occasion of the “sport, spirit of humanity” symposium, this declaration
* Based on the precept that sport is a channel for individual fulfilment in society; that it contributes to the development of the body and mind; that it promotes openness, bonding and social relations between individuals;
* Aware of the fact that each human being is complex and diverse, enriched by all of the experiences gained from life, philosophical beliefs, traditions and individual or collective commitments;
* In view of the fact that each individual who performs a physical or sporting activity adheres to the values and rules which govern that activity, whether it is for leisure, or as part of preparing for an exhibition or sporting competition;
* Given that these values in particular are those of fair play, camaraderie, team spirit, enjoyment in making the effort, solidarity, respect of one’s opponents, referees and officials, coaches, trainers, teachers and supporters, etc.;
* Considering that any overindulgence conducted in the practice and organisation of sport must be banned (doping, gambling, etc.);
* Stating that a “person who practises sport and physical exercise” may be any individual involved in the supervision and management of sport, such as mothers and fathers, trainers, coaches, leaders, teachers, instructors, managers, supporters, doctors, assistants, physiotherapists, etc.;
* Taking into account the fact that the “person who practises sport and physical exercise” freely acknowledges the rules issued and accepted by communities of sportspeople, who respect and supplement the higher rules of life in the form of treaties, directives, laws, decrees, orders, etc. that govern relations between people;
* Accepting as a broadly demonstrated fact that sport and physical exercise practised in society can take place in many locations, including stadiums, local sports grounds, swimming pools, velodromes, multisport complexes and all facilities that form an integral part of the “sporting environment”, such as changing rooms, assembly points, cafeterias or places where people meet within the “sports complex”;
* Knowing that these sports facilities may take other temporary or permanent forms (such as local sports grounds, marked routes, touring events, marathon, triathlon or duathlon circuits [non-exhaustive list]) and that these “sports facilities” are supplemented by specific infrastructures to accommodate the athletes, players and competitors;
* Accepting that the vast majority of sports or physical exercise facilities are located in public spaces (and may even belong to the communities themselves) and so by definition are open to all;
For all of these reasons, while each person engaging in sport possesses their own rich values and philosophies of life or of belonging, he/she accepts that once they cross the threshold or enter the sporting arena, they will agree, with no exceptions, to adopt and conform to the rules of sport in the widest sense, without promoting their philosophical convictions in an ostentatious or intolerant fashion, in any way whatsoever”.
In endorsing these words, the representatives of the
- Special Olympics Belgium ;
- Belgian Olympic and Interfederal Committee;
- Association Interfédérale du Sport Francophone;
- Belgian Paralympic Committee;
- Belgian Physical Education League;
- Episcopal Conference of Belgium;
- Council of Protestant Evangelical Worship in Belgium;
- Jewish Central Consistory of Belgium;
- Central Committee of the Anglican Church in Belgium;
- Orthodox Church in Belgium;
- Lay Action Center;
- Buddhist Union of Belgium;
- The Muslim Executive of Belgium;
- The Panathlon Wallonie-Bruxelles
undertake to disseminate them and comment on them in their respective communities so that sport and sporting activity, including for leisure, should develop strongly, that “living and enjoying sport together” and its values should become universal values.
Madame Christine Defraigne, President of the Senate, hereby takes formal note of this Declaration.
The Panathlon Wallonie-Bruxelles, initiator of this project and signatory of this Declaration, remains guarantor of the ongoing process and, with the other signatories, of the dissemination and implementation of this Declaration.
Brussels, 31st March 2017