Olympic Education

The WGI’s many years of work on projects, exhibitions, articles and lectures on the topic of Olympic education were also much in evidence during the period of this report (2007-2009). The various historical, educational-didactic and empirical articles were used to compile two German text and work books for students. In January 2008, the book Olympische Erziehung [Olympic Education], published by Meyer & Meyer in the summer of 2007 as volume 7 of the School Sport edition, was introduced to a wider public at the German Sport and Olympia Museum and was the topic of a panel discussion at the launch of the Peking Olympic Year. Two further monographs came out in July 2008, around four weeks before the beginning of the Summer Olympic Games: the English version of Olympic Education from the same publisher and Olympische Erziehung in Schule and Verein – Grundlagen and Materialien [Olympic education in schools and clubs – basics and materials] published by Hofmann Verlag, Schorndorf.

Only two fifths of the contents of the English book are the same as in the German version. Three entirely new sections were written for international readers, dealing inter alia with the many promotions of Olympic education in a number of national school sport curricula (e.g. in New Zealand, Russia and Czechia). It also introduced a number of institutions and various special measures carried out by them: the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Olympic Academy (IOA) in Greece, whose numerous documents are so hard to come by, and the worldwide network of National Olympic Academies (NOA), of which 20 examples were depicted in detail together with descriptions of their various activities. In addition there was an entirely new section devoted to the question of Evaluation. At the beginning of July 2008 this book was introduced on the occasion of the Sixth Olympic Forum at Renmin University in Peking.

The third book on the topic of Olympic education was written by a team of authors (Roland Naul, Rolf Geßmann and Uwe Wick) and published by the German Olympic Academy (DOA) Willi Daume. It provides basic text intended for university students and training courses for sport teachers at high schools, coaches and trainers in the DOSB. Three major content modules on almost 300 pages deal with the history of Olympic ideas, the pedagogy and didactics of Olympic education, and ends with numerous hints and practical examples for implementation in school sports lessons and for youth work at sports clubs. This volume was also introduced to the public in the course of a ceremony at the DOA Willi Daume and a copy was presented to the president of the German Olympic Sport Confederation (DOSB), Dr. Thomas Bach.

In 2007, 2008 and 2009, at symposia, conferences and workshops in Germany and elsewhere, there were a number of opportunities for introducing and commending the breadth of the WGI’s work on Olympic education to the numerous participants. These included the opening speech of the Ninth IOA Session for Directors of National Olympic Academies in June 2007, which was also streamed live over the internet. Representatives from almost 80 countries had made their way to Olympia for this session.

In the summer of 2008, in the run up to the Olympic Games, there were two trips to world congresses in China to present “Continuity and change in Olympic education in China”, which was compiled on the basis of Peking’s two bid books for the 2000 and 2008 Games. Subsequently, the topic “Physical education – Sport education – Olympic education: from historical deconstruction to future reconstruction” was presented at the FIEP world congress in Finland.

One of our main activities in 2009 was a cluster of five events in Germany. These included lectures at an international seminar at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz in May, and on the occasion of the International Congress of Sport Sciences held during the International German Gymnastics Festival of the German Gymnastics Federation in Frankfurt/M in June. Three events took place during September 2009: “Olympic education at Elite Sports Schools” was the lead topic at the Education and Training event of the DOA Willi Daume in Inzell, the DOA Willi Daume held a workshop at the 19th dvs University Congress in Münster to investigate possible practical implementations of Olympic education in schools and clubs, and the Third Olympic Study Course at the German Sport University in Cologne considered the significance of the new Olympic Youth Games from the point of view of Olympic education.

One particular high spot of 2009 was participating as teacher for the first module of Olympic education in the IOC’s newly launched Olympic Master Programme in cooperation with the IOA and the University of Peloponnese in Greece. The more than 30 selected students from Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia not only paid close attention, their varied knowledge and perception of Olympic education coupled with their wide experience of very disparate national contexts also greatly enriched their German lecturer’s horizon of experience. Finally, it is particularly gratifying to be able to report that Olympic education in Germany is now receiving more official recognition as a component of school sport: in the new Memorandum zum Schulsport [memorandum on school sport], agreed upon in September 2009 by the DOSB, the German Sport Teachers’ Association (DSLV) and the German Association of Sport Science (dvs), Olympic education is explicitly stated to be one of the tasks of school sports.