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UNESCO at the BNP Paribas Cup
19 years ago, the Stade Français created the Youth tennis tournament Cup, named the BNP Paribas Cup since 2004. Along the years, this event became the "French Open for youngsters of 14 years old and less…". This year's tournament will take place from 7 to 13 July in Paris, France.

2008-06-28 9:00 am

We no longer count the young people who took part in this event before becoming champions of Europe, junior champions of the world, victors of the “grand chelem” tournaments or Olympic medalists: OJ Wilfried Tsonga, Justine Hénin, Arnaud Di Pasquale, Richard Gasquet, Paul-Henri Mathieu, Fernando Gonzales… But for 7 years, in addition to being an exceptional springboard towards excellence, this event has given itself another dimension. In partnership with UNESCO, the tournament offers to convene on the same ground: "Sport and Attitude".

The international final phases will join together more than 50 Nations and will take place on the clay courts of the Stade français from 7 to 13 July 2008 - the exact location where the first world tennis championships were held in 1927.

Since 6 years, UNESCO has been associated to this event. This year sees the addition of a UNESCO village, developed especially for the occasion. It will promote numerous interactive workshops. The young participants will have the opportunity to experience cultural diversity, promote sustainable development, reflect on the issues of human rights and the protection of World Heritage, via a number of interactive activities adapted to their age group. Intercultural dialogue will be the key issue at the heart of the UNESCO village.

An anti-doping workshop, organized in association with WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency), will offer the young players an occasion to reflect on their personal feelings towards sport and the values of fair-play, solidarity and tolerance. An activity on the theme of sustainable development, will serve to make young people aware that their actions, especially that of consumerism, can have repercussions on biodiversity, the environment and their way of living.

The theme of conservation and the protection of World Heritage will also be on the programme of events; with a series of activities arranged to make the young people aware of the role of the Convention on the Protection of World Heritage, adopted in 1972.

Another innovation this year: The young players will be able to circulate around the UNESCO village, by means of a “Passport to the World”, presenting each of the stages of the village. A UNESCO visa stamp will be marked on the passport, after each stage. The passport will also contain a contacts page, ensuring that the players, from all over the world, remain in contact. The aim is to show the young players that cultural diversity is a driving force to development and a means of enriching one’s life.

With the participation of the Municipalities of Paris and Washington, D.C. "A warm welcome... and more!"
The BNP Paribas Tennis Open is part of a series of tennis opens; with Beijing, Moscow and Washington D.C. acting as subsequent venues. The partnership with UNESCO was formalized in 2005, with the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation (Understanding) between the two organizations, which was once again renewed in 2007. Co-operation, around the concept of “Sport and Attitude”, is intended to promote intercultural understanding and to increase the instances of learning through sport.

The “Sport and Attitude” tournaments, alongside with UNESCO, also offer a chance for several young athletes chosen by merit, from each participating capital city, to take part in the World Class Tennis Tour (WCTT). Starting this year, three young American tennis players from Washington, D.C. have been invited to compete in the tournament at the Stade Francais in Paris. In exchange, three young Parisian players will travel to Washington, D.C. in the fall for the premier US edition of the WCTT, where the finals will be played on Presidential Election Day 2008.

Photo: © UNESCO / Michel Ravassard

Related Link 1 - URL http://www.worldclasstennistour.com/accueil/en_index_bnp.php

Author(s) UNESCO, Sector for Social and Human Sciences
Keywords physical education and sport
Geography Keywords France, Europe and North America

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