IOC teaches hundreds of young athletes to protect their sport and PLAY FAIR
During the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) held in Lillehammer, Norway, last month, a large majority of the 1,100 participating athletes coming from 70 nations visited and participated in the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s PLAY FAIR booth.
Using collaborative and entertaining methods, this stand in the Youth Olympic Village taught the young athletes aged between 15 and 18 about the threat of competition manipulation and how they can play an active role in preventing any form of cheating in their sport. Through an interactive quiz and workshops, athletes were made aware of the risks and guided on what actions they should or should not take. Olympians were also on hand to help spread the messages, hosting workshops and talking to the young athletes about this topic.
Central to this exercise was educating the young sportsmen and women about the IOC’s Play Fair Code of Conduct, in order to protect their sport:
- Be True: always do your best, never fix an event
- Be Safe: never bet on your sport or competition
- Be Careful: never share information that could be used for betting purposes
- Be Open: if you are approached to cheat, speak out!
Education through role play and real-life experience
As part of the Learn & Share Focus Day, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), in collaboration with the IOC, conducted a PLAY FAIR workshop to educate 200 ice hockey players and officials on the dangers of competition manipulation. The session included an intervention from a professional player who shared his experience with the young athletes as a word of caution and in the hope that this may prevent the next generation of hockey players from making the same mistake.
“I played four World Championships and was one of the best scorers of the Danish league. Then I placed a bet on my team,” said the sportsman. “I didn’t think that I was doing something wrong.” But he then outlined the serious consequences: “I was fired from my club and banned from the national team. I missed a World Championship. I lost my job and suffered financially. My poor judgement put my teammates and my team in a bad position.”
The Danish player also explained important things NOT to do in order to maintain integrity: “If you play in ice hockey, placing bets on a game you’re involved in is wrong. Also don’t share team information with others such as confidential medical information or line-ups, neither personally nor in the world of social media.”
Watch a clip about the Integrity Workshop and what the young ice hockey players had to say here.
Read the IIHF story here.
Protecting clean athletes
The IOC’s PLAY FAIR activities conducted in Lillehammer are fully in line with Olympic Agenda 2020, the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, and place a strong focus on protecting clean athletes. Other related measures recently initiated and financed by the IOC include a Global Capacity Building and Training Programme on Integrity in Sport in cooperation with INTERPOL; the IOC’s Integrity and Compliance Hotline whereby individuals can report any suspicious behaviour; and an Integrity E-Learning tool for athletes, which will be launched at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. The IOC also recently published the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions.
Norway first NOC to implement new Olympic Movement Code
The Olympic Movement Code on the Manipulation of Competitions was approved in December 2015 by the IOC Executive Board. Its aim is to provide the Olympic Movement and its members with harmonised regulations to protect all competitions from the risk of manipulation. Any sports organisation bound by the Olympic Charter is to respect the provisions of the new Code, with the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Norway the first NOC to implement the Code during the Youth Olympic Games Lillehammer 2016.