Rogge highlights educational fuction of sports

15:23, August 14, 2010      

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With the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) to officially open here on Saturday night, IOC president Jacques Rogge believes young athletes will learn skills from the quadrennial sport gala in both sports and social life.

"The Olympic Movement should not restrict itself to just organizing sports events. We believe that sport is education," said Rogge, who was described as father of the YOG during a news conference in the main press media on Saturday.

"How do I feel? Well I feel like a father waiting in the delivery room. I am optimistic but I still want to see the baby been born," said Rogge.

"You call me the father of the Youth Olympics. I hope the education part of these Games will be easier than educating my own kids."

The YOG is expected to be an international multi-sport events, consistent with the current Olympic Games format but balancing culture and education and also featuring athletes between ages of 14 to 18. ' The Culture and Education Programme (CEP) is hence an integral part of the YOG. In line with the YOG's mission to educate and engage young athletes, inspiring them to play an active role in their communities, the CEP aims for the athletes to embrace, embody and express the Olympic values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect.

"There is a need to provide education to young people at an age when they are receptive. If you start to educate people in their 20s, you may not receive big results. This is part of the population that is very receptive to new concepts," said Rogge, referring to the young athletes to compete in the forthcoming 12 days of events.

"And that is why we are going to introduce the education part, which is something new in the Olympic Movement. And the education part will teach them all kinds of attitudes that are all very important."

"We want to have a very strong prevention of doping which I believe is very very important. We want to help them know the importance of forming a healthy lifestyle, prevention of injuries and infection diseases, and also the importance of social responsibilities like caring for the environment as well as Olympic Values of respecting fair play and abiding by rules," he added.

The YOG will gave the young athletes their first taste of the Olympic experience and provide valuable lessons that the athletes can leverage in their future careers, be it in sports or other vocations.

Singapore 2010 will feature some of the world's most talented young athletes from 205 countries and regions who will take part in 26 sports currently on the Summer Olympic Programme, as well as some exciting new events, including 3-on-3 basketball, head-to-head canoe and kayak, and cycling combined.

The length and rules of the competition in many events have been adapted to the potential of the young athletes, which according to Rogge will make sure that there will not be overload for their physical, psychological and mental health.

Source: Xinhua


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