The 56th International Session for Young Participants of the International Olympic Academy

The 56th International Session for Young Participants of the International Olympic Academy, that took place from the 11th to the 25th of June 2016, was concluded with great success.

155 participants from 86 countries and 22 coordinators, either past participants or current students of the Master’s degree programme organized by the University of Peloponnese in cooperation with the IOA, took part in the session.

The statement of the IOC Executive Board Member Mr Juan Antonio SAMARANCH indicates the level of the success: “I am really thrilled! So much that I’m going to ask from all IOC Members to come and visit the Academy”.

The session’s basic subject was: “Olympism as an effective tool for development and sustainability” and the special subject: “Olympic Values-based learning as an effective tool for environmental protection”, and the 155 representatives of the National Olympic Academies and Committees looked into issues relevant to the education of the Olympic Values on one side and the need to create a sustainable and protected environment through Olympism on the other.

Sixteen eminent personalities participated as lecturers. Among them two IOC Executive Board members, Mr Juan Antonio SAMARANCH (ESP) and Mr Ching-Kuo WU (TPE), who visited for the first time the IOA premises in Ancient Olympia. All of the lecturers contributed through their erudite speeches to the positive works of the session.

Indicatively, the following lecturers participated:

Mr Ching-Kuo WU (TPE), Member of the International Olympic Committee, President of the International Boxing Association, President of the Commission for Culture and Olympic Heritage of the International Olympic Committee, gave the main lecture on the subject: “Olympism as an effective tool for development and sustainability”.

Dr Francis GABET (SUI), Director of The Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage, on the subject: “Sustainability and cultural activities: The case of the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage”.

Prof. Dr Marion KEIM LEES (RSA), gave a lecture on the subject: “Values-based education as an effective tool to contribute to peaceful and non-violent societies” and made a joint presentation of the IOC collaboration in South Africa “Olympic Values Education as a tool to contribute to peaceful and non-violent societies” together with Ms Elizabeth SLUYTER-MATHEW (SUI), Project Manager of the Department of Public Affairs & Social Development through Sport, International Olympic Committee.

Mr Wilfried LEMKE (GER), Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary General on Sport for Development and Peace, gave a lecture on the subject: “Sport and physical activity as a meaningful tool for development”.

Mr Juan Antonio SAMARANCH (ESP), Member of the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee, on the subject: “How the Worldwide TOP Partners can contribute to a more sustainable and protected environment”.

Lectures on issues relevant to the education of Olympic Values and the sustainability were also given by: Dr Uri SCHAEFER (ISR), Prof. Dr Otávio TAVARES (BRA), Dr Ioannis KARAMICHAS (GRE), Prof. Hai REN (CHN), Prof. Jon Helge LESJØ (NOR), Mrs Eugenia CHIDHAKWA (ZIM), Dr Ian BRITTAIN (GBR), and Prof. Athanasios PAPAIOANNOU (GRE) in cooperation with Dr Erica GOBBI (ITA).

On June 21st, Mrs Dora PALLIS (GRE), Deputy Director of the International Olympic Truce Centre and Mr Cliff PARRY (GBR), Academic Manager of the British Council in Greece, presented a workshop, inducting the participants to the teaching of Olympic values to the younger ages.

The journey started in a festive atmosphere at the Opening Ceremony of the Session at the hill of the Pnyx that the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr Prokopios Pavlopoulos, honored with his presence together with members of the political and sports family of Greece and abroad and concluded in the IOA premises in Ancient Olympia.