The International Olympic Committee (IOC) developed the Olympic Values Education Programme (OVEP) in order to inspire young people to strive for an active and healthy lifestyle built on values of friendship, excellence, and respect.
There is plenty of evidence that sport and physical activity are very powerful tools of education. Sport helps to engage and inspire young people and can be used to develop self-confidence, acquire social skills and encourage to appreciate their own bodies.
By recognizing the unique potential of sport and physical activity, the IOC updated the OVEP programme and developed the version OVEP 2.0 which blends sport with education and cultural expression so as to make learning fun and dynamic and to form well-rounded individuals.
OVEP in Lithuania
The Lithuanian National Olympic Committee (LNOC) was among the first in the world to translate this programme into our country’s language and, with the approval from the IOC, to offer training to Lithuanian educators.
In four years 37 training courses aimed at educators of Lithuanian schools took place. They were attended by over 1300 educators. Some of those were held under the guidance of Educational Manager of the International Olympic Committee Ana De Azevedo and the Senior Education Manager at the Olympic Foundation of the International Olympic Committee Xenia Kourgouzova.
During these training courses educators learn about the Olympic Values Education Programme. It centers on innovative work with children of various age groups based on Olympic philosophy, values, symbols, and physical activities.
All the programme’s tasks and activities are centered around five Olympic education themes: respect for others, fair play, joy of effort in sport and physical activity, balance between body, will and mind, and pursuit of excellence. These are the universal human values and it is every educator’s, every citizen’s and every family’s obligation to help children discover and embrace them.
All the training courses are experiential, based on activities, involvement, and application. During the training course educators work in groups, try to complete the tasks provided in the Olympic Values Education Programme, try out new sports (including para-sports), deal with various pre-defined situations, discuss educational topics, develop tasks by themselves and later try them out in other groups, discuss their personal experiences, their benefits and applicability in everyday work.
Encouraging youth through playing games
OVEP 2.0 publications feature three books:
The publications of the OVEP 2.0 programme that was updated in 2016 were supplemented by ideas, stories, tasks and activities, thus creating new materials, Educator’s Book, and activity sheets, that come with educational videos and case analyses. These publications are aimed at inspiring educators and encouraging young people to move and to develop values through various games.
The programme is aimed at pupils from primary ages 5–8 to senior ages 15–18. OVEP employs the versatility of sport and the context of Olympic ideas in order to help teachers and educators deliver value-based education (both formal and non-formal).
Based on the Olympic philosophy, the balance between body and mind is necessary in order to ensure the success of education processes. The programme gives children and youth an opportunity to discover such values as friendship, respect, and excellence through sport.