The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has been ‘walking the talk’ in Switzerland this week, with a number of employees taking part in an innovative physical activity run by the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva.
As part of celebrations for the WHO’s 70th anniversary this year, the ‘Walk the Talk: Health for all Challenge’ was a major health promotion event, held on the eve of the 71st World Health Assembly in the Swiss city. Supported by government authorities, the United Nations and other high-profile partners, including WADA, the aim of the event was to launch a global movement to promote health and, particularly, physical activity as part of a healthy sustainable future.
It was part of a wider ongoing campaign to raise awareness and profile of the work and goals of WHO and other international health agencies, highlighting the organization’s mission to improve global health. The event itself involved a walk/run race at three distances (3km, 5km and 8.5km) around Geneva, linking some of the city’s key health, international and tourist landmarks.
At the start/finish area, WADA set up a branded information booth equipped with iPads loaded with ‘Clean Sport’ quizzes for completion by participants and other visitors. There were also WADA-branded giveaways, such as baseball caps, shirts and various pins, to help share the ‘Play True’ message.
WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus visited the WADA booth and held discussions with WADA Senior Executive Director of Sciences and International Partnerships Dr Olivier Rabin.
Dr Rabin said: “WADA was pleased to be associated with this successful event, delivering a strong message in support of physical activity without drugs. Just like the WHO, health and physical activity are at the core of our mission. As the global leader of clean sport, WADA’s job is to ensure that the integrity of sport is protected, that fair play is respected and that athletes can ‘play true’ and be confident that those they compete against are also clean and playing by the rules. Our association with this event emphasized once again the importance for all – athletes and others, young and old – to respect the value of fair play.”