Everyone knows about the Tokyo Olympics 2021. It was, and still is the talk of the town. This time, India won seven medals in the Olympics (1 gold medal, 2 silver medals and 4 bronze medals). Amazing, right? All the participants earned so much fame for themselves and our nation. But would all this be possible without their skills, and more importantly, without the values they developed?
Values play a vital role in our life. They are something that can’t be taught. Values need to be developed through experience. Experience is the best teacher, right? And the best way one can get value-based experience is through sports. And right now, the whole Olympics talk everywhere will definitely set the mood for it. All of those Olympic players did not win those games by just playing the game. Values like hard work, respect for their opponent, sportsmanship, effort and balance between body and mind helped them achieve success and become who they are right now. These values are useful not only in the games, but also in everyday life. So, it’s important for us to live the Olympic values.
OVEP (Olympic Value Education Programme) is a practical set of learning resources designed to inspire and allow young people to experience life values such as excellence, respect and friendship. This programme aims to realize the Olympic ideal of building a better world through sport, by means of a curriculum which uses sports-based lessons ideas for teaching.
More than 50% of the Indian population is below the age of twenty five, which is this programme’s target audience. OVEP is trying to build a better world through sports, and trying to teach the joy of effort, educational values of good examples and social responsibility and respect. They do so, by organizing sports youth camps and going to museums which display Olympic achievement (Olympic museum networks). OVEP is not static. It keeps changing with time, becoming richer. It builds unique expertise, which is not built through practice. Everyone works equally hard as a team.
On September 24th 2021, a webinar was conducted on the same topic, by Abhinav Bindra Foundation. Mr. Abhinav Bindra himself was present there, along with other dignitaries- Ms. Xenia Kourgouzova (Education manager senior of Olympic Foundation), Dr. Marion Keim (President of Pierre de Coubertin Committee, South Africa), Ms. Shaheen Mistri (CEO of teach for India) and Mr. Anil Sachdeva (founder and CEO of Grow talented company limited and School of Inspired Leadership- SOIL). They all shared their experience where they learnt or taught the importance of values.
Abhinav Bindra, who had been on the play grounds for twenty two years, told us about the values of friendship, respect for coaches and opponents and the feeling of both winning and losing and how it helped him as an Olympic player.
Xenia Kourgouzova told all of us about the OVEP and its aims and goals and briefly explained about its structure and curriculum. Then, Shaheen Mistri and Anil Sachdeva shared their experience and teaching about values. Finally, Dr. Marion Keim told us about the youth and development in South Africa. Overall, it was a very informative webinar.
The best way to develop these values is through experience, and this pandemic is proof. Because of lockdowns, physical activities have become a trend, and rightly so. Physical activities don’t mean big workout sessions, or games on big fields or all that. Anything that gets you involved with both your mind and body is a physical activity. We don’t need too many resources, too much place, or too many people to keep us fit. Along with fitness, a lot of value education takes place here. Small things like these games teach us values like hard work, respect, time management, fair play etc.
Through sports, we also learn that losing is a part of life. We can’t just give up when we lose once. Olympism is a way of life. If sport becomes a prominent part of our education system, value based learning will spread far and wide. All the academic learning is for our brain, while education of value is the education of the heart.