Sport is the best tool for children!
Here is a little story that I learned from one of my trainees while imparting the Olympic Values Education Program (OVEP) in Bhubaneswar, India as a Master Trainer. The story truly sums up the need for OVEP in society.
Once upon a time, there was an artist who used to create beautiful paintings for a living. One day, he saw a handsome little boy who looked very obedient, innocent, and full of joy, eating an apple. The painter instantly got a very positive vibe and painted a picture of the boy eating an apple. The painting was incredible, a true masterpiece!
After painting this picture, the artist got recognition from around the globe and became very famous. He kept making magic with his paintings for many, many years and became a legend in the world of fine art.
All his paintings were very colorful, positive, and happy. So he decided to paint something monochromatic, negative, and scary. He was not sure what to paint. So a friend of his suggested that he visit the central jail, where he would get to see the deadliest prisoners. He decided to take his friend's idea.
He visited the central jail, and after taking a few rounds of the prison, he found one inmate to be horrifying with a blood-curdling expression. The painter decided to paint this prisoner. The new scary painting turned out to be a masterpiece as well.
After the painter finished the painting, the prisoner wanted to talk with him, and the painter agreed to a small chat as he too was grateful to the prisoner for being the subject of his painting.
The prisoner asked the painter if he still had that painting of the little boy eating an apple. The painter replied that he did have that painting and would never give it away since the painting was very precious and too close to his heart.
The painter then asked him how he knew about the painting. The painter got a shocking surprise when the prisoner said that the little boy with the apple was no one but him. That handsome, obedient, innocent, and joyful little boy turned out to be a dangerous criminal.
Something went missing in those years when the little boy was growing up. He missed out on the right values. These values could have made him a law-abiding good citizen of this world.
This is where the value education is so very important. OVEP uses the universality of sport in the Olympic context to support the delivery of curriculum in and outside of the classroom.
The three core values of Olympism are excellence, respect, and friendship. They constitute the foundation on which the Olympic Movement builds its activities to promote sport, culture, and education with a view to building a better world.
In the current geopolitical and socio-cultural landscape with so much violence, hate, and intolerance, the world is finding it hard to be peaceful. The fundamental principles of Olympism and the importance of learning and reflecting Olympic values are required more than ever before.
Sport is the best tool for children to learn!
Rahul is an Olympic Values Education Programme (OVEP), Master Trainer and believes in Olympic values and thinks sport is a vital tool for peacebuilding and betterment of society. He has designed initiatives for children promoting peace through art, Olympic values, and sport, which had worldwide participation, and gained support from many national and international sports organizations including IOC.