Rogge Calls for a Greater Focus on Youth

IOC Press Release- 22 October 2006 

“The Olympic Movement is above all an educational movement” stated International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge at the opening ceremony of the 5th World Forum on Sport, Education and Culture today in Beijing. He added “Sports events such as the upcoming Games of the XXIX Olympiad are ideal platforms for information and education. They will also have a general educational impact on the world’s population, as we can all use them to learn and know each other better, in accordance with the motto for Beijing 2008 “One world, One dream”.
The President addressed the different activities undertaken in the field of education by the IOC, Olympic Museum, Olympic academies and universities. The Organising Committee for Olympic Games play a key role in Olympic Education, he explained. Since Calgary in 1988, each Organising Committee has created an educational tool enabling it to reach schools in the host country. “I am particularly proud that this effort is continuing today in China, and that millions of young Chinese children and adolescents are being acquainted with the power of the Olympic values, such as friendship, excellence and respect,” he underlined.
These are educational and cultural activities particularly aimed at young people, who represent, without a doubt, the future of the Olympic Movement. “…we must concentrate on this age group, which is attracted these days by other leisure activities, such as music, video games, the Internet and films. We must make a serious effort to maintain their interest in sport and physical activity.”
The President explained how that the IOC and the Olympic Movement have integrated educational and cultural elements into numerous other activities, such as the transfer of knowledge in the framework of the organisation of the Olympic Games; projects for environmental protection, including the new “Guide to Sport, the Environment and Sustainable Development”; and developing, in the medical field, consensus documents with high educational value, for example on training of young athletes, or sexual harassment.
He continued by mentioning that the IOC’s educational mission also included all the efforts made to inform both elite and amateur athletes of the disastrous health consequences of doping. “Scientists and doctors who, through their anti-ethical behaviour, contribute to medicinal substance abuse must be stigmatised – which can be considered as another form of education,” he concluded.