The Olympic Values Education Programme (OVEP) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was launched in Odisha by the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, in collaboration with the Abhinav Bindra Foundation Trust (ABFT) on Tuesday.
In a virtual launch, which also had the IOA president Narinder Batra, IOC member Nita Ambani, Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra, ministers and officials of Odisha, apart from officials of IOC, the Odisha Chief Minister stated that sports was an important part of the vision for education and personality development.
The OVEP is a practical set of resources aimed at introducing young people to the Olympic values of excellence, respect and friendship. It will be a values-based curriculum, to be implemented initially in 90 schools of Rourkela and Bhubaneswar, catering to about 32,000 children.
It is expected to reach around seven million children across Odisha at various levels.
‘’We have always strived to achieve excellence in education as well as sports’’, said the Odisha chief minister, happy to integrate both in the curriculum.
‘’The practical implementation of Olympic values is the way forward. In future, we will have better citizens than us’’, said Abhinav Bindra at the launch.
Some of the Olympians of Odisha, Dilip Tirkey, Sunita Lakra and Srabani Nanda shared their views on sports driving them to be better persons in their daily life.
The IOC Education Commission Chair, Mikaela Cojuangco Jaworski recalled that the OVEP was developed in 2006, and expressed happiness about it being introduced in India, as a ‘’further testament to the power of sport in the service of humankind’’.
The IOA president Narinder Batra congratulated Odisha for taking the lead in blending Olympic values into the school curriculum.
‘’Only a small number of children in the world may become Olympians. But every child can be touched by the power of the Olympic movement. That is the mission of OVEP, and makes it a huge opportunity for India’’, said Nita Ambani.
The OVEP aims to adddress the challenges of sedentary lifestyles, lack of concentration and adolescents dropping out of school. The resources and tools will help students of any skill level to enjoy and learn from physical activity, and gain social, cognitive and physical skills. The Abhinav Bindra Foundation will partner the IOC in implementation, training, delivery, monitoring and evaluation of the project.