Athletes raise #märka whitecard to fight abusing


Estonian Olympic Committee celebrated  International Day of Sport for Peace and Development on April 6 with athletes raising white cards adding the message #märka (Estonian for #notice) to urge the public to notice abuse and challenge it.

Urmas Sõõrumaa, the president of the NOC, says that sport is a source of joy and emotions, but unfortunately, there often is a dark side to medals. “Safety in sport means respect, justice and the absence of any intentional violence. However, there are those who have been deprived of the option of enjoying sport safely, and the violence inflicted on them is not only physical but also emotional. The trauma of abuse will, sadly, stay with a person for life. Let us notice and help those who need help!”

If you suspect someone might be needing help, please inform the victim support hotline 116 006, the helpline for children 116 111 or its web page

Among others, the message #märka was communicated by the members the Athletes Commission, Olympic winner in the discus throw Gerd Kanter, Olympic bronze winner in rowing Allar Raja and the other rowers of his quadruple scull, speed skater Saskia Alusalu, track and field athlete Annika Sakkarias, biathlete Johanna Talihärm, volleyball players Liis Kullerkann and Kert Toobal, parathlete Matz Topkin, bodybuilder Ott Kiivikas; freestyle skiing world champion Kelly Sildaru, épée fencing world champions Julia Beljajeva, Erika Kirpu, and Irina Embrich; silver medallist of the world championship in javelin throw Magnus Kirt, bronze medallist in the world championship in wrestling Epp Mäe, players on the national football teams Frank Liivak and Kairi Himanen, player on the national volleyball team Robert Täht, the Taltech/Tradehouse women’s volleyball team, and the Põlva Servit handball team.

The celebration of the 6 April was initiated by the International Olympic Committee and the UN as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. This day is dedicated to how sport can make society better: sport can unite people, contribute to dialogue, and foster care and understanding. The symbol of the day is the white card: while the red card in sports stands for a major violation, on 6 April, athletes all over the world show the white card which symbolises tolerance, caring and positive attitude. In Estonia, the White Card Day is promoted by the Estonian Olympic Committee.