John Paul II and the role of sport
Every sport, at both the amateur and competitive level, requires basic human qualities such as rigorous preparation, continual training, awareness of one’s personal limits, fair play, acceptance of rules, respect for one’s opponent and a sense of solidarity and unselfishness…”
The John Paul 2 Foundation 4 Sport (JP2F4S) was launched by Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to Britain in 2010. The new organisation is inspired by John Paul II’s vision for sport, which has as its primary focus the building of spiritual character through excellence in sporting skills and fitness.
JP2F4S aims to develop inner peace in individuals and thus peace in communities so as to improve the quality of life for all.
St John Paul II was loved throughout the world for his humility, compassion and love for other people. He also loved sport and praised the Olympic Games and the discipline and self-sacrifice of the world’s great sporting competitors.
John Paul II also showed how those of us with more modest talents can create our own balanced and even-tempered game. For example, when he was at school in Poland, during football matches between Jewish and Catholic groups he would often volunteer to play in goal for the Jewish team.
John Paul II’s greeting to those taking part in the European Games for the Blind in 1985 sums up the inspiration of all disability sport, right through to the elite level of the Paralympics. “Your sporting activities are a sign of your great human capabilities. You do not allow yourselves to be overcome by difficulties. You are determined to overcome them. In this you show great gifts of mind and will.”
He loved the outdoors and believed that sport could do so much for all people. These are some of the different ways John Paul II saw sport can improve our physical and spiritual lives:
“Sport … protects the weak and excludes no-one … frees young people from the snares of apathy and indifference and arouses a healthy sense of competition in them…
“Sport is a factor of emancipation for poorer countries and helps to eradicate intolerance and build a more brotherly and united world…
“Sport which contributes to the love of life, teaches sacrifice, respect and responsibility, leading to the full development of every human person…
“Every sport, at both the amateur and competitive level, requires basic human qualities such as rigorous preparation, continual training, awareness of one’s personal limits, fair play, acceptance of rules, respect for one’s opponent and a sense of solidarity and unselfishness…”
The John Paul 2 Foundation 4 Sport aims to support all those who share this view of how sport can help any one of us to improve our life and performance and help others to achieve their potential.
To join the Foundation please follow this link to the page – How can I join JP2F4S