17 August, 2015

The Bike Race for Peace

On 6 August 2005, the Sata Foundation inaugurated the 1st Bike Race for Peace in Burgundy, France, to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan on 6 and 9 August 1945, respectively, and to promote the Sata Foundation's humanitarian mission. It happily coincided with the official return of the head of the Madonna of the Urakami Church in Nagasaki, to that Church in a nationally televised ceremony.

At the 1st Race, Mr. Bernard Hinault, five-time winner of the Tour de France, and Mr. Andrea van Agt, former Prime Minister of the Netherlands, played a substantial role to make it a great success. Participants and their supporters learned for the first time the story of the Madonna of Nagasaki, especially the story of the destruction of her figurine by the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, as well as her rise from the ashes to become a symbol for world peace and the main inspiration behind the Sata Foundation. No more abuse of science to further the cause of war!; No more folly to make war in total disregard of civilian sufferings!, were the sentiments commonly shared by those present at the Race. They therefore joined more than 20,000 individuals from various continents in agreeing that this statue of the Madonna deserves international recognition as a symbol for world peace.

Encouraged by the success of the 1st Race, the 2nd Race was organized on 5 August 2006. Some 500 cyclists competed in what has become an important annual event in Burgundy. Cycling is France's most famous national sport, immortalized by the Tour de France. It is heartening that the citizens of France now also cycle with passion to raise public awareness about the need to be humanistic and to join hands in making this world a peaceful place to live for the present and future generations. Fund was raised by the Race and after-race charity dinner. A substantial amount of the fund raised at the said events was donated to a charitable association with the mission of constructing a hospitality house for relatives of intensive care patients of the General Hospital of Saint Brieuc in Brittany, France. The remaining amount raised went to the Sata Foundation's account to support the Foundation's mission-including its humanitarian projects to provide healthcare for people in developing countries and for victims of armed conflicts, and to promote international rules of law.

The 3rd Race on 4 August 2007 continued what is an established, traditional event, which grows from strength to strength in terms of the number of participants and the support received, with proceeds from the Race going to charities whose work falls within the Sata Foundation's mission.

In 2008, the 4th Anniversary of the Bike Race for Peace was honoured by the blessings of the Honourable Mayor of Hiroshima and the Honourable Mayor of Nagasaki, whose cities and citizens have endured the horrendous experiences of being the victims of the atomic bombings. They welcomed the Bike Race for Peace as an important part of the worldwide efforts to end weapons of mass destruction. (Please click here to see their messages.)

The annual Run for Peace Rally has now been held for more than 10 years in succession, in Chailly, Burgundy, France, with the participation of approximately 500 cyclists, led by Mr. Bernard Hinault, the godfather of the event since its kickoff. There are now three circuits: Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Tohoku, with different distances and elevations. Also Mr. Francesco Moser, who has been a good rival with Mr. Hinault, has taken part in the Race since 2014 all the way from Italy and put enthusiasm into the Race. He made it through the course Tohoku (81km) in 2 hours 20 minutes, coming in 11th in the Race in 2015. His fantastic record boosted our morale greatly.

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This event has inspired races for peace in some other parts of the world. In Japan, it was hosted the 3rd Meiji-Jingu Outer Garden University Criterium in 2009, to which the Sata Foundation made some donations in 2009 and 2010, so as to keep this tradition going from strength to strength.

Please join us in keeping the spirit of the Race alive!

Donations provide a most important source of support for maintaining our activities. Contributions in any amount will be gratefully received.

Please make your donations to:-
Sata Foundation: Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Head Office, Tokyo, Japan, Account No. 200-9481436. You can also make donations by credit card.
Receipts will be provided on request.

Web site:http://www.chailly.com
E mail:cbabonnet@chailly.com
Tel : (33)3 80 90 30 30
Fax : (33)3 80 90 89 78

The Sata Foundation website : www.madonnagasaki.org

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