OVEP Initiatives

Estonia / School Olympic Games

Summary

This programme has set up since 1996 by the Estonian Olympic Academy. All schools in Estonia can send in their candidature to hold School Games, which must include an educational week and a sports festival. Specific training is organised to encourage teachers to participate and set up projects.

Objectives

• Disseminate the Olympic ideals among Estonian pupils of all ages
• Increase their knowledge of Olympism
• Make school sporting life more dynamic
• Accentuate diversity in sport through the Olympic traditions
• Train teachers in Olympism
• Give pupils the opportunity to experience the Olympic spirit

Approach

The programme starts in autumn by an awareness phase aiming to motivate physical education teachers, school directors and sports administrators to set up School Olympic Games with their schools.

An Olympic education course is offered in Estonia's main cities to inform teachers and present to them the various aspects of the organisation of School Games. Basic training on the history of the Olympic Movement and on the concept of school games is given. Some organisers of previous editions of School Games come to share their experience and give practical advice.

Between September and December, the Estonian Olympic Academy organises a competition aimed at selecting the best School Games projects. The schools interested hand in a file which must comprise two parts: an Olympic Education Week and a School Festival. A committee of six experts selects the best projects and gives them financial support.

The Olympic Education Week can comprise activities such as:

• An introduction to Olympic themes in school subjects (history, geography, languages, maths, etc.)
• The implementation of a fair play competition
• The creation of an Olympic mascot
• The organisation of tests and games on Olympic knowledge.

The sports festival must include:

• An opening ceremony, with a cultural programme and elements such as a participants' parade, the Olympic flame, flag and anthem, and the judges' and athletes' oath
• Competitions in various sports; the Estonian Olympic Academy ensures the diversity of the sports proposed, so as to allow all the pupils to participate according to their capacities
• A closing ceremony, based on the Olympic Games one

The organisers of the School Games can also propose various activities such as literary or artistic competitions, meetings with prestigious Estonian athletes, or a visit to the Estonian Sports Museum.

Finally, the Estonian Olympic Academy presents a certificate to the best School Olympic Games. The criteria for recognition are:

• Setting up an Educational Olympic Week
• Organising opening, closing and medal ceremonies
• The quality of the artistic and cultural programmes
• Taking into consideration the principles of fair play in the activities proposed

A manual (for pupils and teachers) has been produced in the framework of the programme. It can be useful for teachers of various subjects (history, languages, maths, etc.). A web site and audio-visual material have also been created.

Results

The preparatory courses for teachers in organising the School Olympic Games bring together 20-125 participants every year.

In 2008, 44 projects of School Olympic Games was sent to the competition of the Estonian Olympic Academy, involving 113 different schools and kindergartens, including 4 schools from Finland, Latvia and Russia.

In 2008, alltogether 12974 pupils took part in the School Olympic Games in Estonia (the total a population of Estonia is 1.345 million people).

In 2008, according to the decision of the commission of the experts, the Estonian Olympic Academy supported financially the organising of the School Olympic Games by 177500 EEK.

Since the start of the programme in 1996, 156 School Olympic Games have been recognised and awarded the certificate by the Estonian Olympic Academy.

Practical advice

• Make acquaintance with the idea of the School Olympic Games, evolved by the Estonian Olympic Academy (including educational activities!), using produced educational materials (handbooks, videos, exhibitions, photos, articles).

• Introduce the idea to the headmaster and other teachers, using illustrative material. Explain, that after a huge work your school might have a new exiting, educating and sportive tradition of Your School Olympic Games, which unifies the whole school into one friendly family.

• Compose the programme and choose suitable style of your School Olympic Games (Ancient Greek, different states, different animals..).

• Choose the Organising Committee, involving the headmaster, teachers and pupils. Give them concrete tasks (organisation the contests of the Olympic mascot, stands, Olympic knowledge test, introduction of fair play principles, organisation of the cultural programme etc).

• Encourage other teachers to use the Olympic theme in their subjects during the Olympic Education Week.

• Introduce the idea of the School Olympic Games and fair play for students, using educational videos.

• Set up the opening and closing ceremonies of the sports festival according to the Olympic Charter.

• Choose different (funny!) sports events for the sports festival. Remember, that every pupil should have possibility to competite! Do not forget the competitions for teachers, parents and sponsors.

• Make the budget of Your School Olympic Games. Look for sponsors (local government, banks, different foundations, local companies etc).

• Inform the press and local TV about your School Olympic Games.

• Do not afraid to ask advice from the Estonian Olympic Academy!

Downloads and useful links

• “Handbook of the School Olympic Games” (in Estonian)- pdf-file is available in http://www.olympiaharidus.eu/public/files/Kooliol%FCmpiam%E4ngude%20k%E4siraamat.pdf

• “Olympic Guidebook” III, IV (in Estonian) – pdf-files are available in http://www.olympiaharidus.eu/index.php?page=142

• Pop-up (mobile) exhibition “Olympia and the Games: Party inside us” (in Estonian) – pdf-files are available in http://www.olympiaharidus.eu/index.php?page=138

• Pop-up (mobile) exhibition “Our sports heroes – glory of Estonia” (in Estonian and Russian) - http://www.olympiaharidus.eu/index.php?page=153

• Educational video “School Olympic Games (in English) - http://www.olympiaharidus.eu/index.php?page=152

http://www.olympiaharidus.eu/  (partially in English)

Copyright :
Estonian Olympic Committee