WADA is launching its latest education initiative, The Play True Generation Program, at the Third Commonwealth Youth Games, a major event for athletes under 18 years old, held October 12-18 in Pune, India.
The Play True Generation Program aims at encouraging young athletes, their coaches and support personnel to be leaders in promoting and ensuring clean sport worldwide.
“The Play True Generation is a generation of athletes, coaches and support personnel who believe that clean sport is one of the fairest and most powerful tools for positive change and growth,” said WADA’s President, the Hon. John Fahey. “It embraces peace, fair play and respect. By launching this initiative, we want to encourage tomorrow’s champions to be the catalysts for a strong movement against doping and to embrace the values of clean sport.”
During the Commonwealth Youth Games, athletes and officials visiting the Play True Generation Center in the Athlete Village have the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to the ideals of the Program by completing an anti-doping pledge card that is then displayed on the walls of the Center. Participants can also complete a survey sharing their attitudes and beliefs about doping, and test their knowledge about anti-doping by taking the youth edition of WADA’s Anti-Doping Quiz. In addition, young athletes have the opportunity to play the “Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games” video game provided by WADA’s partner, digital media and content provider ISM.
“ISM knows how to make learning captivating and fun. We have an important mandate and by working with a company like ISM we are confident that today’s and tomorrow’s leaders will want to join the Play True Generation,” said WADA’s Director General David Howman. “ISM looks forward to working with WADA at the Commonwealth Youth Games and is excited about future partnerships leading up to the 2010 Youth Olympic Games,” added ISM’s CEO and President, Raymond Goldsmith.
In addition to WADA personnel, the Play True Generation Center in Pune is staffed by the administrators of the four Regional Anti-Doping Organizations (RADOs) whose offices are funded by the Commonwealth Secretariat and based in Commonwealth countries.
The Commonwealth Secretariat’s support to the anti-doping activities in these four regions (East Africa, Southern Africa, the Caribbean and Oceania) is primarily focused on the education and information side of the fight against doping in sport. Following the Games, the goal of each of the RADO administrators will be to promote and deliver sustainable programs for youth in their respective regions.
“The Commonwealth Youth Games are a great opportunity for WADA and the anti-doping community to educate and reach out to young athletes,” said David Howman. “WADA is grateful to the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Commonwealth Games Federation and the Local Organizing Committee for the strong support for the Agency’s activities and to doping-free sport in general. The lessons learned during this first Play True Generation event will be a springboard for preparations for the Program’s future activities, including at the First Youth Olympic Games to be held in Singapore in 2010.”
“The Commonwealth Games Federations (CGF) is delighted to be working with WADA in the promotion of drug-free sport,” said the CGF Chief Executive Officer Michael Hooper. “This partnership in Pune for the Third Commonwealth Youth Games provides an excellent opportunity to create greater awareness and understanding amongst young athletes. Education is a fundamental weapon in the fight against doping, and the implementation of such initiatives by WADA is most welcome. These athletes are future ambassadors and role models. It is essential that they understand and endorse the fight against doping and cheating.”