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The Virtual Olympic Education Forum: Distinguished Speakers and a Record Number of Participants

The National Olympic Committee of Lithuania (LNOC) The topic of the online event which will be held on 14 April 2021 is “Physical Literacy: a Different Point of View” the sixth annual Olympic Education Forum; it is particularly relevant during the pandemic, when everyone moves less and spends even more time at home.

“When we speak about literacy, we usually think about reading and writing. However, physical literacy plays an equally important role in an individual’s life. These are the movement skills, knowledge and motivation to be physically active throughout one’s life, which have to be developed. Physical literacy is the key to creating a healthier society, therefore we have to include it in our lives from an early age,” said LNOC President Daina Gudzinevičiūtė.

The participants of the event will be greeted by the First Lady of Lithuania Diana Nausėdienė and Minister of Education, Science and Sport Jurgita Šiugždinienė.  

The discussions will cover a wide variety of topics. In Lithuania, the concept of physical literacy is hardly familiar. It is widely developed  in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom. Physical literacy includes not only the development of physical abilities but also the knowledge and understanding of why it is necessary to be physically active for life, and how to ensure that. Physical literacy is the development, through physical activity, of cognitive, psychomotor as well as emotional and values-based skills of each individual.

An exclusive team of guest speakers will share their ideas and expertise.  Dr. Kremlin Wickramasinghe, Programme Manager Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity at the World Health Organisation (WHO), will speak about how the organisation he represents encourages health enhancing physical activity. Scientific Advisor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Sport Rose-Marie Repond will speak about the role of physical literacy in ensuring quality life for every person; Youth Sport Trust International Trainer Kevin Barton from the UK will present the ways to develop a physically literate society. The keynote speech “Making Every Movement Count in The Early Years” by the Brit Philippa Youlden, representing the Youth Sports Trust, will be particularly important for those working in kindergartens and other pre-school education institutions. Irma Liubertienė, Head of the Institute of Positive Education will share her expertise in the field of emotional intelligence.

Previously, the Olympic Education Forum used to be held in Kaunas, in the premises of the Žalgiris Arena, hosting 500 participants from all over Lithuania. The number of participants registered for this year’s first-ever online forum has already exceeded 1800. Educators working with both the early years, primary and secondary school children and youth, coaches, municipality representatives and everyone interested in Olympic Education will be joining the Forum this year.   

The aim of the Olympic Education Forum is to spread Olympic values, inspire, motivate and empower participants with to make changes in their work environment and their daily lives. This community of likeminded aducators is growing every year.

“Oftentimes, people have not yet discovered the power of sport and physical activity. Everyone speaks about the necessity to move, about its health benefits, but how can we walk the talk? Perhaps we should find a new point of view towards sport and physical activity? One should feel a natural need for moving regularly, and we should start creating the opportunities to meet that need from an early age. This will consequently help develop an individual holistically, develop one’s social skills, emotional intelligence, disseminate values and knowledge. Physical activity, sport and various games create unlimited opportunities to develop individuals and our society. Such values as tolerance, respect, excellence, teamwork and leadership skills are crucial,” says Vita Balsytė, Director of Olympic Education at LNOC.

 

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