Olympic Education leaps forward


From inception training has always been an integral component of what today constitutes the single largest international sports movement – the International Olympic Movement – led by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with support from the National Olympic Committees (NOC) around the world.
One of the founding fathers of the IOC, Pierre de Coubertin, insisted that his motivation to engage his life in such an undertaking came from his observation of the systematic destruction of society through the wastage of youth. His response was to use sport as a vehicle for social change, to save the future through offering youths the opportunity to become proficient in sport.
The Olympic Games is intended to be an important manifestation of the capacity of our youths to showcase their immense potential through a wholesome combination of body, spirit and mind propelling them to be stronger, faster and enabled to go higher.
Education was and remains a critical feature of the Olympic Movement.
The establishment of the International Olympic Academy (IOA) at Olympia, Greece, was an important step in the development of the Olympic Movement’s educational thrust. For the first time an international sports organisation showed the world that it was ready to institutionalise its commitment to education.
Today the IOA stands as a bastion of the IOC facilitating those interested in engaging in serious study about the Olympic Movement.
For several years the Olympic Movement then engaged itself in the education of coaches and later, administrators. The rationale has always been that the athletes are the central focus of the Movement but this necessarily means that those who are responsible for their athletic preparation must be adequately trained in their craft. The administrators of sport must also be exposed to new trends in sports administration if they are to enable their organisations to be appropriately at the service of the athletes.