Taking Olympic Education forward in Oceania
In today’s world, the practice of sport has changed. As a result, to get the new generation back onto the field of play, and to reach out to it, the IOC has developed full fledged strategy towards the young generation, not only to encourage them to practise sport, but also to promote the Olympic values, which are values of life. This strategy includes, of course, the new IOC project, the Youth Olympic Games, and an Olympic Values Education Programme (OVEP), which was at the heart of a continental seminar hosted last week by the Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee in Suva, under the auspices of the IOC, through its Culture and Olympic Education Commission.
Sport: a tool for education
Almost 30 participants from 13 NOCs in Oceania were introduced to the OVEP, its toolkit, “Teaching Values: An Olympic Education Toolkit”, and how to apply it. This toolkit has been developed in order to help educators, coaches and youth group leaders to teach the educational values of the Olympic Movement: joy of effort, fair play, respect for others, pursuit of excellence, and balance between body, will and mind. The participants also had the opportunity to present their own national Olympic education programmes. A very fruitful discussion also took place on the specific problems related to young people in “borderless” island nations, and how sport is contributing or can contribute to their education, sharing and knowledge.
Participation of young people: a priority
The Fiji seminar strove to achieve, among others the following objectives:
- Using the power of sport to help equip those involved in youth development issues with the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes necessary to help young people become productive, responsible citizens and active contributors to national, regional and global development processes.
- Setting OVEP strategic goals at the local level (e.g. to reduce youth vulnerability and to help young people make the transition from childhood to adulthood in a safe and peaceful environment; increase and expand opportunities to support youth development through sport; support the development of their human and social identity; and help them to achieve a secure start to life)
- Developing action plans and specific national-level projects in partnership with educational authorities and others involved in youth development issues (e.g. empower young people in classroom-routed settings leading to lifelong learning skills)
- Ensuring the participation of young people in the implementation of projects (e.g. multiple youth participation strategies – promoting youth organisations, youth and school councils, youth forums and youth parliaments, youth camps and youth workshops)