National Olympic Committee
Deutscher Olympischer Sportbund (Germany)
On the morning after 23 June 2013, the Olympic Academy in Germany was already shifting its focus on preparations for Olympic Day 2014 in the city of Cologne. With the support of the Mayor and Cologne’s German Sport & Olympic Museum, the main aim of the day was to introduce new sports and activities to children in order to inspire them to be active beyond Olympic Day. To achieve this goal, the German Olympic Committee’s (DOSB) Olympic Academy enlisted the help of Olympians to give lessons in their sports to enthusiastic youngsters.
Olympic Day in Cologne was a unique opportunity for children to engage in the Olympic spirit, have fun, learn about the Olympic Games and anti-doping, as well as discover new sports and make new friends.
- With the growing importance of social media as a communication tool, DOSB primarily promoted its Olympic Day activities through its digital platforms: Facebook, Twitter and the Olympic Academy website. Schools were then encouraged to register for the day directly on the DOSB website.
- The event was situated in and around the historical grounds of the museum, where 50 willing volunteers from the museum as well as volunteering university students, DOSB staff and Olympians were on site to greet local school children joining in the day’s activities.
- Stands featuring educational information on a range of topics, including anti-doping, Olympic values and the Olympic Games, were set up.
- A number of stations introducing a range of sports to the children were also set up across the site. The sports being featured included golf, archery, rowing, judo, handball and fencing as well as wheelchair basketball and blind football.
- With the assistance of Olympians, the children were taught different skills according to the specific sport.
- The presence of Olympians, as well as the opportunity to see up close an Olympic medal, inspired the children to try their best and learn from athletes who have competed at the highest level.
- In order to encourage the children to participate in as many activities as possible, a stamping card was introduced. Following every stop at a stand i.e. speaking to an Olympian and trying out their sport, the children had their card stamped. Once the stamping card was full, the youngsters received an Olympic Day certificate!
- The German Sport & Olympic Museum also provided a key educational base for the day, and hosted short educational workshops on the history of the Olympic Games and anti-doping. As well as informing children, school teachers were an additional key target group.
- Each teacher attending was given 12 posters ranging from the different editions of summer and winter Olympic Games to key facts on anti-doping.
DOSB Olympic Academy, the German Sport & Olympic Museum in Cologne and the local authorities
The DOSB would like to ensure the youth of Germany have more of an opportunity to voice what they would like to do on Olympic Day, and aim to ask them for their recommendations and contributions. The DOSB would also like to grow their Cultural and Educational programme, and use Olympic Day as a “springboard” to launch their objective of engaging more youth in sport. This aligns with IOC President Thomas Bach’s key message of “getting the coach potatoes off the couch”.
The DOSB Olympic Academy’s sole objective was to create an inspiring and educational day to encourage the youth of Cologne to participate in sport not only on but beyond Olympic Day. The event demonstrated the value of offering children the opportunity to meet sporting role models such as Olympians, as these were key in motivating young people to be active and demonstrating the importance of Olympism and its values.