The Olympic Games and peace
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With much support from its community, a school in Kolkata is using artwork and the Olympic Games to create awareness of peace in children.

St. Lawrence High School, Kolkata, India, in association with their alumni St. Lawrence Old Boys’ Association (SLOBA) will be organising a drawing competition for their students on Friday, 23 June 2017. It also happens to be Olympic Day.

We have kept the theme for the competition as “Olympic Games and Peace”. We feel that children at a very young age need to be introduced to how sports can benefit our society and help peaceful coexistence, and we plan to introduce people from an early age to the value of fair competition in sports as a means to form responsible citizens.

The first idea is to know what kids think about when we say peace through sports. The best way to read their minds is through their own illustrations. Second, we want to take the output of this project to the institutions working for peace and development through sports, so that they can implement and improve their future projects from any ideas and solutions coming out of the artwork.

Our school has around 2,300 students and is one of many Jesuit institutions worldwide. If this competition is a success, then we plan to run a similar and a much bigger competition in December 2017/January 2018 in all schools (including children with intellectual and physical disabilities) in Kolkata and surrounding areas, and use our Jesuit alumni network to get a wider participation.

We have received support from the ambassador of Greece in India, Peace and Sport (Monaco), Olympic Museum (Lausanne), sportanddev.org, Truce Foundation of USA, Art of the Olympians and Dr. Shashi Tharoor (former under-secretary general for communications and public information at United Nations and current chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs, India).

"St. Lawrence High School and the St. Lawrence Old Boys' Association have this embassy's support for the initiatives they plan to take and the actions they envisage concerning the drawing competition for the school's students", said H.E. Mr Panos Kalogeropoulos, ambassador, Embassy of Greece in India.

As you know, the Olympic Movement is not about sport, rather it is about educating the youth of the world through sport and culture. Your project bringing sport and art together is in the true, authentic spirit of Olympism.  In fact, the very early [Olympic] Games and also the Games at the turn of the 20th Century incorporated competitions in the fine arts, such as poetry, visual art, and recitation”, said Mr Hugh T. Dugan, founder of the Truce Foundation in the USA.

Support for "Art of the Olympians" has come from their executive director, Mr Roald Bradstock, who is better known as the "Olympic Picasso".

The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, has confirmed tokens of encouragment for winners and participants.

Dr. Maylon Hanold, associate director of sport administration and leadership programme at Seattle University has agreed to conduct a talk on Sport, Peace and Olympic experience through a virtual interactive session with our senior students. Dr Maylon has represented the USA in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Committee, International Hockey Federation (FIH) and British Council, Kolkata, have shown interest in our project.

We will be shortly coming up with a name for this drawing competition. If you have any ideas and suggestions, please email us at [email protected].

[This article has been edited by the Operating Team.]



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