On the initiative of Estonian Olympic Committee, International Day of Sport for Peace and Development has been celebrated in Estonia since 2017. The focus is on fighting school bullying - more specifically inviting bystanders to intervene in bullying since it is very often the reactions of bystanders which decide whether the bullying situation will continue, worsen or stop.This year, the spokespersons sharing their own personal stories and giving advice on how to intervene, were:
- Allar Raja, Olympic bronze medallist in rowing and member of NOC Athletes' Commission
- Julia Beljajeva, two-time World Champion in épée fencing
- Olga Borisenko, three-time World Championships bronze medallist in taekwondo
- Janek Õiglane, World Championships 4th place in decathlon
- AVIS Utilitas Rapla basketball team, Estonian Championships silver medallist 2017
Also hundreds of Estonian athletes and teams as well as schools and organizations joined in with the White Card initiative and posted on Instagram and Facebook with the hashtags #äralasekiusata #WhiteCard #terveeestieest
Last year, around 150 Estonian athletes participated in the initiative, and Estonian Olympic Committee was awarded the Silver Egg prize at the prestigious Estonian Festival of Creativity "Golden Egg 2018" in PR social awareness campaigns category.
International Day of Sport for Development and Peace is celebrated annually on April 6 on the initiative of International Olympic Committee and United Nations. In Estonia, the day was celebrated for the first time in 2017. In cooperation with NOC Athletes Commission, we decided to focus on intervention in school bullying – a major problem in Estonia with around 50% of all students admitting to having been bullied at some point.