For the eighth time, Lithuanian teachers, coaches, education and sports staff were brought together at the Olympic Education Forum organised by the National Olympic Committee of Lithuania (LNOC).
This year, the organisers welcomed more than 450 participants with the topic “Where Does Motivation Lie?” and invited Lithuanian athletes and Olympians, scientists and well-known public figures to analyse the topic through presentations and discussions.
“Every year, Olympic education initiatives bring together more and more educators, coaches and staff from educational institutions, who inspire hundreds of thousands of children and young people across Lithuania with their sincere work and commitment. The fact that you are here is a testament to the fact that you are constantly striving for more in your work and that you genuinely love what you do. We are grateful to each and every one of you, and today, as we approach the end of another school year, we invite you to rediscover your own formula for motivation, to learn from experts in your fields, and to rediscover your love for the work that is important to Lithuania. After all, only when we are motivated ourselves can we become an inspiration for others,” said Daina Gudzinevičiūtė, Olympic champion and LNOC President, who opened the event and welcomed the participants.
President of the Lithuanian Paralympic Committee Mindaugas Bilius, who came to congratulate the participants, expressed his delight about the close partnership with the LNOC and the sincere attention paid to Paralympic sport.
R. Micevičius, who recently lost his leg after a serious injury but has not given up extreme sports, is convinced that painful experiences are new opportunities. During his presentation, the athlete invited the audience to listen to his inspiring life story, which spread wide throughout Lithuania.
“I had to choose whether I wanted to keep my leg, which will prevent me from engaging in extreme sports, or have it amputated and live the life I want. I chose to live the way I want to live, but with an updated version of myself – with a prosthetic leg. When I had my leg amputated, I immediately saw myself snowboarding, kite surfing and I succeeded, that was one of the secrets of my motivation, I just wanted to live a life doing what I love. And now life has given me the opportunity to become a professional athlete and I am looking forward to competing in the Paralympic Games,” said Micevičius in his presentation.
Immediately afterwards, the host of the event Saulius Nalivaika invited the participants of the first discussion of the Forum – video blogger, social networking star Paul de Miko, sports journalist Asta Žukaitė and traveller Aurimas Valujavičius, who has crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a rowing boat. The debate “Why Is It Worth Starting?” was moderated by sports commentator Rytis Kazlauskas. The participants of the discussion agreed that even with many responsibilities, they simply cannot imagine their lives without physical activity.
Shortly after the debate, which was met with a round of applause, Vita Balsytė, Head of Development and Education at World Aquatics, took to the stage to give a presentation on “Why is Motivation Not Just One’s Own Business?” and shared the experience of one of the world’s largest sports organisations in motivating young people.
In the middle of the event, the participants got involved in the scientific discussion “Intrinsic or Extrinsic motivation?”, during which Arūnas Emeljanovas, PhD, a physical activity expert, Andrius Liachovičius, a sports psychologist of the Olympic Team, and Beatričė Viliušytė, a lifestyle medicine specialist from the Affidea Clinic, analysed the most effective ways to motivate young people.
Olympic athlete Agnė Šerkšnienė and the 15-year-old European adult break champion Dominika Banevič (BGirl Nicka) met in the Forum’s final panel discussion “When to Give Up?” to discuss the importance of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and their role in achieving peak performance in practice. Although one of them has an impressive career experience and the other one is just starting her career and is aiming to qualify for her first Olympic Games, both athletes unanimously agreed that there is no such thing as “giving up” for an athlete, neither at the beginning nor at the end of their professional career.
The Olympic Education Forum is a one-day event organised by the LNOC since 2015 to discuss new developments in Olympism. The aim of the Forum is to introduce educators, coaches, municipal and youth workers to different educational opportunities, to inspire, to help broaden horizons, to help rediscover their profession or activity.
The event is funded by Olympic Solidarity and the LNOC.