Lotto Players Bopanna, Qureshi, Soderling and Schiavone Join Forces to Promote Peace through Tennis
Lotto sponsored tennis players Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi, Indian and Pakistani respectively, have been working all year to promote peace through tennis. Together with Lotto Sport Italia and the organization "Peace and Sport,"* Bopanna and Qureshi have flagged this initiative using t-shirts and jackets with the slogan “Stop War, Start Tennis.” They have worn the line during training sessions and pre-play since Wimbledon.
Rohan and Aisam have been friends for over ten years and have very successfully teamed up as doubles partners for the last three. Their respective countries have lived in a situation of unease and tension in the region of Kashmir since it won its independence from the British Empire in 1947.
Peace and Sport emphasizes how much sport unites, as highlighted by the two players’ partnership.The two tennis stars took the initiative to promote peace through sport after having noticed that communities from both countries forget hostility when they support them in international competitions. With the message “Stop War! Start Tennis!” Bopanna and Qureshi remind us that sport is a universal language that facilitates dialogue, going beyond political, racial, religious, ethnical and social differences.
Robin Soderling and Francesca Schiavone are wearing the shirt and jacket in this video to support their fellow Lotto colleagues.
Not available to the tennis masses, but I think they should be. Never enough peace in my book.
*“Peace and Sport, L’Organisation pour la Paix par le Sport” is a neutral and apolitical international initiative. It is based in the Principality of Monaco and placed under the High-Patronage of HSH Prince Albert II. Peace and Sport puts sport and its structuring values at the heart of development projects led within communities in crisis around the world. With interventions in areas of post-conflict, extreme poverty or lacking social cohesion, Peace and Sport makes sport a vehicle for tolerance, respect, sharing and citizenship at the service of sustainable peace.