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Olympic Games as a driver for human development

Olympic Games as a driver for human development

Representatives from governments and Olympic Games Organising Committees shared their visions for the social legacies of future Games during the 2nd International Forum on Sport, Peace and Development, which is taking place at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in Geneva from 10 to 11 May 2011.

London 2012 reaching out to young people around the world Hugh Robertson, the UK’s Minister for Sport and the Olympic Games, presented “International Inspiration” as a key legacy initiative in the run-up to next year’s London Olympic Games.

The programme works with local communities and governments to use the power of sport to enrich the lives of millions of children and young people of all abilities around the world, particularly in developing countries.

Delivered through a partnership between UK Sport, UNICEF, the British Council and the London 2012 organisers (LOCOG), the programme aims to give these young people the skills they need to become positive role models and inspire their peers. By the beginning of April 2011, International Inspiration had reached 10.8 million young people in 15 countries around the world.

For example, 1.5 million young people and their families in Zambia are involved with awareness-raising projects that encourage children to discuss issues such as HIV and AIDS, while 80,000 children in Bangladesh have been taught survival swimming. The programme was developed as a result of the commitment made by the London bid team in Singapore in 2005 to “reach young people all around the world and connect them to the inspirational power of the Games so they are inspired to choose sport”.

A new spirit of volunteerism in Russia
Dmitry Chernyshenko, President of the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee, confirmed the importance of a Games legacy and stated: “We have several things we would not have without the Games.” He gave the examples of major improvements in a barrier-free environment all over Russia as well as the development of a new culture of volunteerism thanks to the Games.

Whilst the Organising Committee started with only 25 volunteers, there has been a snowball effect since, and an estimated 25,000 volunteers will work during the Games in Sochi in more than 20 areas. “Our programme to train volunteers will not only deliver skilled and enthusiastic volunteers to welcome the world to Sochi in 2014, but also leave the invaluable legacy of a volunteering culture in Russia which will benefit the nation for years into the future”, concluded Chernyshenko.

Activation across Brazil
The Olympic Games are also a driver for human development in Rio de Janeiro, host city of the Olympic Games in 2016, and beyond. In his keynote address, the President of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee, Carlos Nuzman, elaborated on the many opportunities of bringing the Games for the first time to the continent of South America. He shared details of social sport projects targeted at Brazil’s population.

The country’s largest sport and education outreach programme ever, which is taking place in the lead-up to 2016, reached one million people in 2010 alone. The initiative includes sport activation projects for children, the creation of fitness centres for senior citizens as well as school and university games.

Learn more about the 2nd International Forum on Sport, Peace and Development here.


Article type



International Olympic Committee


Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - 23:00

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