Estonian athletes raise white card to thank family


Estonian athletes raised a white card with the message #aitähperekond (Thank you family) to celebrate the International Day of Sport for Peace and Development.

Family plays a big role in developing an athlete's path – whether it be parents, grandparents or a group of friends, school family, or training partners. On the White Card Day, we thank those who have led us to the sport we love, supported us regardless of the weather and mood, and helped us get through the most difficult times.

EOK communication manager Merili Luuk says the White Card initiative has found a place in Estonian athletes’ calendars. "It is so heartwarming that our sports people find the will to join our action. For many years, we have shown the White Card about various social problems, so this year we found it necessary to bring some positivity to the sports world,“ said Luuk.

Estonian wrestler Epp Mäe says family’s support is huge. "There is a family you are born into and there is a family you grow up in around you throughout your life. This white card must be several times larger to show the support that comes from family,“ she says.

Epp loves her dog Hermes.“After a long, tiring training camp the best feeling is to come home and be greeted by your loving family. All difficulties seem easier in an instant," says Mäe who is aiming for her Olympic medal in Paris.

Liis Kiviloo, the captain of the Estonian women's volleyball team has played abroad for many years. Since this season, she has been a member of Estonia's Rae Spordikool/VIASTON team. According to her, the team is her second family. "After many years abroad, I can finally look into the audience and see my loved ones at every game. We have created a powerful volleyball family here and I feel I am being taken care of by our fans and the whole community,“ Kiviloo says.

The celebration of April 6th 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 sports can make society better: it 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 April 6th, athletes all over the world show the white card which symbolizes tolerance, caring, and a positive attitude. In Estonia, the White Card Day is promoted by the Estonian Olympic Committee.


Photos: Karli Saul/EOK, erakogu