Saint-Owen – Culture Secretary Amanda Thomas today proposed an athletics championship open to all former members of the Papal States of Sanctaria in order to foster friendship, history, and diplomacy between the different linked, but now independent, countries.
Speaking at the opening of a new handball center in Saint-Owen, Glorionis today, Thomas said her department was speaking with equivalents in countries such as Munsteran, Atlantaena, Clan Nich, as well as others in order to establish an “Olympics-esque” multi-sport event – though Thomas today only mentioned athletic events such as shotput, distance running, sprinting, cycling, and swimming.
Dubbing them the “Friendship Games”, though with the caveat that she would expect that name to change, Thomas said that Sanctaria’s history, both of its people and of its culture and sport, was deeply entwined with the other countries that formed the Papal States, and that to “encourage healthy sportsmanship competition” between the countries would be good for diplomatic relations, as well as tourism, “and general camaraderie”.
The proposal has already attracted much praise, but also criticism, with some on social media complaining that Sanctaria already declines to participate in regional sporting competitions, such as the IDU Olympics or the IDUFC, and that the investment into a new competition much smaller in scope is “risky”. Thomas’ conversation with reporters today also took her counterparts abroad in the relevant countries by surprise, with Vale Wren’s Sport Minister saying it was “the first [he’s] heard of it”.
KEVIN MARTINS, Sports Editor