WMF Celebrates the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace
April 6th marks the United Nations International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP), a day that presents us with a chance to recognize the positive role sport and physical activity play in people’s lives around the world.
“From empowering women and girls, young people, persons with disabilities, and other marginalized groups to advancing health, sustainability, and education objectives, sport offers tremendous potential for advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and for promoting peace and human rights. The United Nations has long recognized the power and universality of sport, using it to unite individuals and groups through supporting sport for development efforts, participating in events from the global to the grassroots level, and developing its own sports-related campaigns and initiatives.”
United Nations IDSDP Website
Minigolf as a sport fits the description provided above in a way that is unique among sports. Players of all varieties - old, young, male, female, non-binary, those with disabilities, individuals from all income and socio-economic backgrounds, etc - all play on the same courses for the same prizes and get the same experience out of the sport. It even extends to the ‘metaverse’ with virtual reality gaming expanding the access of players and the breadth of what can be imagined with a putter and a ball.
In addition, the versatility of the sport lends itself to use in educational spaces (schools, museums), community spaces (workplaces, restaurants/bars/pubs, churches) as well as to showcase other social causes like climate change.
Hear what minigolf as a sport for development and peace means from members of the minigolf community:
“In the US and Europe, minigolf is almost a universal constant and we’re getting to see that in more and more places around the world. While not everyone may engage with it competitively, so many have stories of playing it on holiday and we’re seeing it now used in all sorts of community spaces. It’s very easy to get people united with a round of minigolf and it always seems to bring out the best in people.”
Pat Sheridan, WMF Media Committee Chair and Co-Host of the Puttcast minigolf podcast
“Sport has a powerful unifying effect to bring together individuals and groups from all backgrounds and all parts of the world. It allows us to enjoy play and to promote physical activity and well-being across all communities as well as being a vital tool to help strengthen social ties and influence sustainable development and peace. Minigolf strives to follow these themes of solidarity and respect for all, and we can have an impact and help change the world by spreading our love of the game and getting involved. Our sport is truly a sport for all!”
Marc Chapman, WMF Development Committee Chair
“The best proof of minigolf bringing out the best in people can be shown by the endless stories of couples whose first dates with their partner, including myself, involved playing the game. The interactivity, playfulness, and accessibility of the sport make it a great option for sharing space and growing relationships. We adopted the term for A Couple of Putts "Mini Golf is For Everyone" out of our experience not only connecting with each other over the game but making lasting memories with a variety of people across the globe. Let's melt down all the guns and turn them into putters.”
Tom Loftus, Co-Founder of A Couple of Putts and the American Mini Golf Alliance (AMA)
“We’re proud to participate in the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace in partnership with the World Minigolf Federation and the American Mini Golf Alliance. We chose miniature golf as the medium for Walkabout in virtual reality precisely for its accessibility and because it is a sport that brings people both joy and formidable challenges. Everyone deserves ready access to a beautiful, serene place to gather their thoughts—or to escape them—where they can engage in a pursuit like mini golf alone or with others to occupy hands, head, and heart for an achievable goal all their own. But we must remember that most people don’t have the ability to get to such a place or to walkabout freely as they would like… the opportunity is ours today and every day to open up the sport to as many as possible, wherever they are.”
Lucas Martell, creator of Walkabout Mini Golf and head of Mighty Coconut studio
Let us know what role minigolf plays in uniting people in your life! Drop us a comment on any of our social media channels and use today to share the power of minigolf sport.