Right To Play/International/news and media
Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Right To Play Thailand celebrates International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

On April 6, Right To Play joined the rest of the world to celebrate the first-ever International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.

In Sukothai, Thailand, with the support of the Thai Ministry of Education, Right To Play trained 60 health and physical education teachers using our Football for Development resourceparticipating in our play-based training to help children in their schools learn through sport and play.

Occuring during their summer break, the teachers came from several different schools and were trained by both our staff and the Ministry, with a focus on drug prevention for school-aged children.

As part of the day’s ceremonies,  Right To Play representatives spoke about the significance of the first ever IDSDP, followed by a video message from President and CEO Johann Koss. 

After the presentation, all 60 teachers signed the IDSDP banner, showing a symbolic commitment to bringing the Sport for Development and Peace movement back to their respective schools.

Friday, April 04, 2014


OTTAWA, CANADA (April 4, 2014) – Right To Play President and CEO Johann Koss gathered with Athlete Ambassadors and representatives of the Government of Canada at École Secondaire Publique Louis-Riel in Ottawa today for an early celebration of the first-ever International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, to be observed annually on April 6.

The event was marked by the announcement from Canada’s Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Hon. Christian Paradis, of a new $5.3 million commitment from the Canadian government to support the Right To Play project: Advancing Health, Education and Development for Children and Youth (AHEAD) in West and Francophone Africa.

“I am very grateful to the Government of Canada for this important investment in our work and its on-going support of the Sport for Development movement,” said Koss. “It is a true milestone to now have an official UN-sanctioned day to celebrate each year. The recognition of sport and play as effective tools for promoting education, health and peace has been elevated to a global level. We believe play has the power to change a child’s life. This is something Canada has understood and supported for years, and I am both grateful and honoured to mark this inaugural day here together.”

Right To Play has been a pioneer and global leader in Sport for Development for more than 13 years. A proud Canadian-based organization, it uses the transformative power of play to educate and empower children facing adversity. Working in more than 20 countries worldwide – including Canada – Right To Play reaches one million children through regular, weekly play programming

Right To Play was joined in Ottawa by Athlete Ambassadors and Canadian Olympians Rosie MacLennan (2012 London gold medallist) and Philippe Marquis (2014 Sochi men’s freestyle skiing), Ottawa—Orléans Member of Parliament Royal Galipeau, and more than 30 local students.

“As a Canadian athlete, I am so proud to have represented my country internationally,” said MacLennan, who has visited Right To Play programs in Liberia. “As an Athlete Ambassador, I am so proud to see the way my country represents itself internationally through such incredible investment in the power of play.”

The AHEAD project represents a one-year investment that will help Right To Play reach more than 235,000 children through critical play programs in Benin, Ghana, Liberia, Mali and Rwanda. It follows on a six-year (2007-2013), $20 million investment by the Canadian government for the Play To Learn program in West and Francophone Africa, as well as a $5 million commitment announced in January to establish Right To Play’s three-year Learning, Empowerment and Play project in Jordan, which provides educational support to local children and communities affected by the Syrian Crisis through play.   

About Right To Play

Right To Play is a global organization that uses the transformative power of play to educate and empower children facing adversity. Through playing sports and games, Right To Play helps children in more than 20 countries to build essential life skills and better futures, while driving lasting social change. Founded in 2000 by four-time Olympic gold medallist and social entrepreneur Johann Olav Koss, Right To Play is headquartered in Toronto, Canada and has national offices in Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, and regional offices in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America. Our programs are facilitated by 600 international staff and more than 13,500 volunteer Coaches. 


For more information contact:

Kyla Pearson
Media and Communications Officer
Right To Play International
Email:  kpearson@righttoplay.com                                     
Phone: +1 (416) 949-3301          

Follow us on twitter: @RightToPlayIntl
Like us on Facebook:

Additional Information:

On August 23, 2013, the United Nations General Assembly declared April 6 as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace in recognition of the positive influence sport can have in building peace and contributing to the advancement of human rights, and social and economic development.

April 6 is significant as it is the date of the opening of the modern Olympic Games in 1896.

Learn more about our impact and results: http://www.righttoplay.com/International/our-impact/Pages/FactsandFigures.aspx

Read our 2012 Annual Report: http://www.righttoplay.com/International/news-and-media/Documents/AR_2012_FINAL_single.pdf

See Johann Koss’ message on the inaugural International Day of Sport for Development and Peace and other Right To Play videos: http://m.youtube.com/user/RightToPlay1

Thursday, February 13, 2014

On this day 20 years ago, a young boy from North Carolina named Joey Cheek, watched Norwegian speed skater Johann Koss win the Men's 5000m gold at the Lillehammer 1994 Winter Olympics. He watched Koss win two more speed skating gold medals at those Games, and told his mom: "I want to do that." Twelve years later, to the day, he did. He did 'that' and more. 

Eight years ago today, US speed skater Joey Cheek won gold in the Men's 500m event at the Turin 2006 Winter Olympics. Following in the footsteps of Koss - his childhood hero - Joey donated his $25,000 gold-medal bonus to Right To Play, which he calls "unquestionably, the most meaningful thing I've ever done in my life."

Since then, he's become one of our most passionate, dedicated Athlete Ambassadors and personifies the true spirit and power of the RTPNation.

"Play is a necessity. And the lessons that Right To Play teaches children, they're necessary for us to have the world we want to live in."

Happy Anniversary, Joey!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

SOCHI, RUSSIA (February 11, 2014) – Our first of two events to be held in Russia took place Tuesday evening to celebrate our Athlete Ambassadors who champion our mission of helping children around the world learn through play. Competing athletes, heroes of Olympics past and legends of alpine skiing were in attendance, including former World Cup Champions Bernhard Russi and Andreas Wenzel, six-time Winter Olympian Marco Büechel and retired Canadian skier Britt Janyk.

From left: Bernhard Russi, Johann Koss and Andreas Wenzel at the Right To Play event.

Right To Play President and CEO Johann Koss spoke about the power of our Athletes Ambassadors to inspire children, and the invaluable contribution they make to our organization. Guests were also linked live via video to the field to explore how Right To Play’s innovative programs are helping to meet the needs of some of the world’s most vulnerable children. Connected with our Regional Program Manager Rola Hodeib in Lebanon, the group learned about how we’re adapting and expanding our sport- and play-based educational programs in Lebanon and Jordan to reach children and youth affected by the Syrian Refugee Crisis.

The second Right To Play event will take place Feb. 14 at Norway House in Sochi.

RTPNation Cracks Top 10 in Medal Standings

Congratulations to Athlete Ambassadors Dario Cologna and Patrick Chan on their medal-winning performances! Dario won gold for Switzerland in the Men's Skiathlon 15km Classic + 15km Free, while Patrick helped Canada claim silver in the Team Figure Skating event.

With two medals, RTPNation is currently ranked ninth on the medals table! Congratulations to all of the athletes competing at the games and demonstrating the best values of sport each day!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Join Right To Play Nation!

The Right To Play Nation (RTPNation) is a community of Right To Play supporters who believe that play can transform a child’s life.

We are led by our President and CEO, Johann Koss, and an international team of more than 300 Athlete Ambassadors who have written the history of our nation and experienced the transformative power of sport and play firsthand.

Allyson Felix
American track star Allyson Felix visits our programs in Uganda

RTPNation is made up of one million children and the thousands of volunteer Coaches who lead our play-based educational programs in more than 20 countries worldwide like: Peru, Uganda and Canada. But more than that, the RTPNation is made up of people like your family and friends, your sporting heroes and most importantly: YOU.

 As a member of the RTPNation, you’ll be at the forefront of the Sport for Development movement, supporting Right To Play as we help one million kids learn and grow through weekly play activities. Connected by our website (www.righttoplay.com) and social media, as a member of RTPNation you’ll be the first to experience our amazing stories from the field, hear our program updates, and learn about fun events, contests and volunteer opportunities to connect with Right To Play and our incredible Athlete Ambassadors—all in real time.    

Mark Cavendish
British cyclist Mark Cavendish visits our programs in Tanzania

As a RTPNation member you will stand alongside sporting and Olympic legends like: Clara Hughes (CAN), Joey Cheek (USA) and Summer Sanders (USA); legendary Ethiopian distance runner Haile Gebrelassie; women’s tennis superstar Li Na from China; Norway’s LPGA star Suzann Pettersen; Dutch field hockey’s Floris Evers; Twin soccer stars David and Philipp Degen (CH); British cyclist Mark Cavendish; American gold medal-winning track star Allyson Felix; the NBA’s José Calderón from Spain, and; UEFA 2012 Champions League and 2013 Europa League winners, Chelsea Football Club. 

Join the RTPNation and cheer on our more than 65 athletes competing in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. You’ll receive news about our team and get an exclusive look at our events in Sochi to celebrate the spirit of the Olympics, the power of play and the 20th anniversary of Johann Koss’ Olympic races that started it all! So, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@RightToPlayIntl) and Instagram (RightToPlayIntl) to help spread the word about how sport and play can change a child’s life.

Together we’re making the world a better place for children through play.

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