Pope Launches Sports Foundation

Named in Honor of John Paul II

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LONDON, SEPT. 17, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI inaugurated a sports complex today named in honor of John Paul II that will be used as a training ground for the 2012 London Olympics.

The Pope blessed the John Paul II Foundation for Sport of St Mary’s University College in Twickenham directly before addressing the «Big Assembly» via Internet of over 800,000 of the Catholic school students of England, Wales and Scotland.

«In view of London’s forthcoming Olympic Games, it has been a pleasure to inaugurate this Sports Foundation,» the Pope said, «named in honor of Pope John Paul II, and I pray that all who come here will give glory to God through their sporting activities, as well as bringing enjoyment to themselves and to others.»

The foundation was created by the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales as a way to promote John Paul II’s teachings on the subject of sport. The venue has been chosen by the South African Olympic team as their base for 2012 preparations.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales, has stated his strong support with the foundation as «it uses sport to try and introduce to young and old alike the importance of health, the dignity of our bodies, the care of physical well-being and its spiritual meaning.»

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