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International Seminar On Olympic Values Opens

Nov 3, 2009, 4:10 PM | Article By: Sainabou Kujabi

The first international seminar to be staged in an English-speaking West African country on the Olympic Values and Education yesterday opened at the Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi.

The five-day seminar attracted participants from Sierra Leone, Egypt, Libya and The Gambia as Liberia Cape Verde and Ghana failed to make it to the Banjul seminar.

Dr. Pap Sey, the Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education in declaring the seminar open, pointed out that "while national values, ethical values, cultural or social values are peculiar to given communities,  there always exists a common ground that makes it possible to identify, subscribe to and uphold universal values."

"The Olympic values that will be discussed here are undoubtedly universal values that should be upheld globally in the interest of humanity," he stated.

Sey also stressed that in formulating strategies to incorporate the Olympic values or promote them, it must be acknowledged that a formidable challenge, which confronts the Olympic Movement, is making education of the youth through sport as relevant today as it was when Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee on this principle over 100 years ago.

He said "The focus of the education policy is providing quality education, which connotes creating equal opportunities for all and helping all learners to realise their full potential."

"Each of the Olympic values can be linked to one or more of the basic aims of education and the guiding principles for the provision of education in the country," he added.

Beatrice Allen, IOC member for The Gambia, speaking on behalf of the President of the Gambia National Olympic Committee stated that the Olympic Values and Education Programme is an initiative that gives valuable support to the educational programme of the International Olympic Committee.

She said IOC uses National Olympic Committees, schools, educational institutions and other partners and recognised institutions to launch the Olympic Values and Education Programme (OVEP) using various methods like training of trainers, sports clinics and sports camps, as well as fun games and traditional games.

"Thus OVEP has become a very important educational tool with great potential to instil in people what the IOC really stands for. Through OVEP the people of the world have been empowered to understand and appreciate the Olympic Movement not only as a sports organisation, but also an organisation of values that impact on the livelihoods of people," the IOC member highlighted.

Mansour Sambe, Seminar Director who is also responsible for Olympic Values and Education in West Africa stated that at the end of the seminar participants will be able to take leadership role and help disseminate the values.

The five-day seminar will wrap-up on November 6th 2009.