10 December 2004
Volunteers playing "circular tug-of-war" on IVD.Colombo, Sri Lanka:
Famous Sri Lankan cricketer Muthiah Muralitharan joined International Volunteer Day celebrations with 200 volunteers from various volunteer sending agencies in Sri Lanka.
All international volunteer sending agencies working in the country participated in the event held from 3 to 4 December 2004 with the theme "Sport for Development and Peace building" in conjunction with the upcoming International Year for Sports and Physical Education 2005.
There were presentations about the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), discussions on different issues and rationale behind the MDGs, the role of voluteerism and challenges for Sri Lanka in the field of sports for development and peacebuilding.
These were followed by traditional Sri Lankan games such as circular tug-of-war, king stomach dance, and dead man race.
Mr. Muralitharan, a cricket superstar and sports role model as well as an active volunteer through his foundation, highlighted the importance of volunteering for reconciliation and development. He shared his experiences on his vision on how sports can be utilised as a cheap and holistic mechanism for reducing ethnic divides and addressing poverty issues in Sri Lanka. The event ended with the appointment of Mr. Muralitharan as the Sri Lanka's spokesperson for volunteerism.
The IVD events were organized by United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, along with international volunteer sending agencies namely, Australian Youth Ambassadors (AYAD), Australian Volunteers International (AVI), Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV), Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), Project Trust (PT), Volunteer Services Overseas (VSO), UNITERRA and World University Services Center (WUSC) organized the event.