Champion for Peace Fode Ndao: My goal is to use sport as a tool for dialogue and social cohesion
Fodé Ndao of Senegal is Karate’s “Champion for Peace”.
Fodé Ndao of Senegal is Karate’s “Champion for Peace”. As the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) to be celebrated on April 6 approaches, Karate mobilises to commemorate the transformative power of sport.
The world of sport is raising the #WhiteCard as a symbol to represent the positive influence of sport. Heading Karate’s contribution to the spread of the #WhiteCard campaign, Senegal’s Fodé Ndao is holding his white card as a sign of the constructive values of sport. The #WhiteCard campaign was created by the organisation “Peace & Sport” to mobilise the sports world as well as governments and civil society to celebrate the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.
“I am committed to contributing to the initiatives of sports diplomacy and field programmes, especially in Africa, with the essential support of the 100 ‘Champions for Peace’ to promote sport as a tool for dialogue as well as to achieve the objectives of peace,” said Fodé Ndao.
International coach and current head coach of the Senegal national teams, Fodé Ndao was selected Karate representative as ‘Peace & Sport’ ‘Champion for Peace’ for his contribution to the development of education and cohesion. The ‘Champions for Peace’ are a group of high-level sports icons personally committed to the movement of achieving peace through sport.
“To be a Champion of Peace for Peace and Sport means to bring together and develop partnerships between the world of peace, the world of sport and the political world,” states Ndao. “This is why I support these programmes and initiatives, even more considering the values of Karate and the strength of the WKF all over the world,” he adds.
STRENGTH OF KARATE VALUES
Born in a Karate family, Fodé Ndao started practising the sport at the age of five in his father’s dojo. He soon became fascinated by the competitive side of the discipline as well as by the power of its values. Ndao became the national champion at age 20 and two years later he claimed the African Crown. In 2000 he achieved his biggest success as a competitor when he won the silver medal at the World Championships in Munich (Germany).
After retiring from the high-level competition, he devoted himself to spreading the Karate values. “My objective was to create a place where the values of sport could be shared with future generations while supporting young people in achieving their dreams,” said Ndao who moved to France in 1997 where he founded a Karate club in the city of Besancon.
After competing in the 9th friendship games in Bujumbura in Burundi for Peace and Sport, he joined the 'Champions for Peace' club to pass on his experience and joie de vivre. “For me, being a Champion of Peace is an honour as it allows me to make the most of my intrinsic and extrinsic values,” he adds.
KARATE AND #WHITECARD
The Karate world is joining the #WhiteCard campaign by posting their pictures with the white card on social media. Fodé Ndao reflects on the power of Karate as a tool to transmit educational values to people of all ages all over the world.
“Karate has strong educational, mediating, therapeutic and promotional principles that are extremely useful in social environments. I encourage all karatekas to get involved in social work as Karate is much more than a sport,” he adds.