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IOC Forum on Sport, Education and Culture Kicks Off

Sep 29, 2008, 6:37 AM | Article By: Sainabou Kujabi Reporting From South Korea

The sixth world forum on sports education and culture aimed at educating the current generation on the positive Olympic values kicked off on Thursday September 2008 in Busan, South Korea.

The forum functions as a stage for the whole world to share the IOC vision of exchange  of cultures, mutual understanding  and education in the spirit of Olympism.

Hosted by the international Olympic and co-organized by the BusanMetropolitanCity and the Koran Olympic, the event has attracted about 800 international sports representatives from approximately 110 countries.

The sixth IOC forum  held in the city of international sports convention consist of four plenary sessions and eight parallel sessions with exciting debates during the three days under the theme ofsports and education for the now generation.

In his opening address, IOC first Vice President Mr Lambis V Nikolaou said the success and maintaining the values of the Olympic movement lies on the future generation.

According to him, this is in line with the Olympic charter, established by Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the Olympic Movement whose goal is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.

"With the support of the global community, the forum will bring into focus the potential of sports as a tool to promote peace and human understanding. I hope that valuable recommendations will resolve in this forum," he pointed out.

He commended Busan for being the first city that hosts the event and sponsors the trip of some of the delegates to the forum.

 The Chairman of IOC commission for Culture and Olympic Education  Mr Zhenliang  said this year, the IOC Commission for Culture and Olympic Education celebrated its tenth anniversary under his chairmanship.

He said, "There has been much to celebrate, not least the integration of education and culture as an integral part of the Olympic Games to a process of developing Olympism within the member countries."

"The Youth Olympic games and the wider interpretation of education in the Olympic movement to encompass educating athletes for life post high level competition has created even greater interest among the general public," he lamented, pointing out that the commission can take pride in having played a major role, continues to do so, in popularizing culture and Olympic education in the world.

"The event will also provide a chance to experience Busan's progressive and open-minded attitude towards the world,"   said Mr   Nam-Sik Hur , Mayor of Busan Metropolitan city.

He said the city, which has played hosts to the  2002  FIFA  World Cup Korea/Japan, the 24 Asian Games and APEC 2005, which  he described as great successes,  has help to bring a wave of changes to Korea and the world.

The ceremony, chaired by  TA Ganda Sithole, IOC Director of International Cooperation and Development, was a well planned one and had also portrayed a culture emboldened with richness of the people of Korea.

A tribute was also paid to the Chairman of IOC commission for Culture and Olympic Education, Mr Zhenliang He, who will be retiring next year from IOC and a presentation of the 2008 Olympic Sport and Art Awards also took place during the  opening ceremony.

Other speakers who spoke at the occasion included;  Mr yeon-Taek Lee, President  of the Korean Olympic Committee, Mr Wararu Iwamoto, Director, Division of social Sciences, Researche and Policy of UNESCO and Mr In-Chon Yu Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Korea.

The opening ceremony was wrapped up by cocktail and welcome dinner was also held in honour of the event.