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24 Oct 2006
IOC News

World Forum on Sport, Olympic Education and Culture Closes in Beijing

The 5th World Forum on Sport, Olympic Education and Culture held under the theme “Sport and a World of Harmony” closed in Beijing on Tuesday.
Held in the Chinese capital, just under two years away from the 2008 Games in Beijing, the Forum addressed the critical role of education and culture in bringing a meaning to sport and therefore making an effective and positive contribution to promoting harmonised development of young people’s physical and psychological upbringing and well being. It brought into focus the role of sport in promoting world peace and its contribution to the international community’s struggle to build a harmonious world.
A Primary Place in Educational Systems
 The two-day Forum resulted in a unanimous will by the more than 700 participants to move forward in encouraging making universal ethical values education a preoccupation and promoting physical education and sport so that it assumes a primary place in educational systems. The Forum also agreed to encourage the members of the Olympic Movement to participate in educational and cultural activities including Olympic art, literature and photography contests and to promote Olympic youth camps and traditional games and to attach more attention to physical activity and to persons with disabilities and in disadvantaged communities.
Social Responsibility
Addressing the delegates at the close of the meetings, IOC President Jacques Rogge said, “The challenge of our Olympic Movement is to make the education of youth through sport as relevant today as it was when Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee on this principle over 100 years ago. All of us who work under the Olympic rings have the social responsibility to demonstrate by our example that sport teaches us how to respect ourselves and one another, how to strive for excellence in all that we do and, perhaps above all else, the importance of friendship and peace. The theme of this Forum – ‘Sport and a World of Harmony’ – articulates this perfectly, and your coming together to engage in debate and learning is in itself an example of how the Olympic Movement can pool the best resources and tackle important issues.”
400 Million Children
The power of Olympic Games organisers to use the platform of the Games to make the link between sport and culture, thereby bringing educational value to communities, was stressed. “I am particularly thrilled,” said Rogge, “that this Forum, the first to take place outside Europe, has come to China. The bringing of Olympic values to this, the most populous of nations, through the Beijing 2008 Games and its associated education projects, is unquestionably one of the most exciting things for the IOC today. It is nothing short of staggering to know that 400 million children in 500,000 elementary and secondary schools will learn from these projects. As we look to the future – Vancouver 2010, London 2012 and beyond, the IOC is excited by the cultural interchanges and learning that are to come.”
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