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Chinese number 5.

Olympic Youth Games focus: ‘What do youth want?’

Level 5 Achievement objective, B4

Students will investigate and experience ways in which people’s physical competence and participation are influenced by social and cultural factors.

Learning objectives

Students will:

  • select and facilitate a sports activity which appropriately represents youth culture
  • identify examples of Olympism in action evident during game play
  • discuss the need to consider global youth culture when identifying appropriate sports for the Youth Olympic Games.

Notes: The Youth Olympic Games are a multi-sport, cultural, and educational event for young people and driven by young people. The Youth Olympic Games will offer young people another forum to learn about Olympism and provide a platform to tackle societal issues of high importance for young people and society in general. The purpose of the Youth Olympic Programme is to:

  • prepare a generation of young elite athletes to have an ethical approach to sport, with strong values (such as the desire to excel, friendship, respect for others) and principles (such as universality, sustainability, no discrimination)
  • educate young people on the importance of sport for their health, for learning life principles and their social integration
  • inform young people about the dangers linked to sport, such as doping, training to excess, and inactivity
  • propose to the youth of the world, present in the host city and brought together through modern communication tools, to share in an intense moment of solidarity and humanism, highlighting in particular the strong Olympic Games symbols (torch relay, flag, and anthem).

(IOC, 2007)

Note: Remind students of the characteristics of each mascot outlined in lesson 3 – Olympic Games focus.

Activity 1 – What youth want

Work in original groups to make a list of all of the games and sports that you think the youth of today would want to see in the Youth Olympic Games of the future.

Note: Remind students about the characteristics of sport:

  • rule-governed and practised with traditions and customs
  • each sport pursues its own intrinsic goals
  • social interaction
  • rivalry, contest, and competition
  • physical exertion
  • practised with moral and ethical sense

(Arnold, 1997)

Activity 2 – Rationale and game play

Each group will select an activity from their list to run for the rest of the class. If the activity selected is difficult to replicate in any way (that is, requires specialised equipment and/or space), they must creatively modify the sport so as to provide a sense of their chosen context. For example, ice skating can be conducted indoors wearing socks so as to provide a sense of the skating context (Cowan, 2006).

Before starting game play, students are to provide a rationale for the selection of their chosen game. The rationale should include:

  • justification for their selection
  • how inclusion of this activity would ensure sustained interest in the Olympic Games for youth of today.

Each of the five groups must facilitate the running of their game/sport for the whole class. Both students and teacher can look for examples of mascot characteristics during game play.

Key questions

  • What are some of the differences between the games we’ve suggested as New Zealand youth, compared with games chosen by youth in other parts of the world?

Notes: Criticism of the Games is that they are Euro-centric, advantaging those nations who favour these kinds of sports/games. Given that the International Olympic Committee is receiving submissions regarding selection of events for the Youth Games, it is important that events at these games are representative of global youth culture. In related class discussions, ensure connections/comparisons are made to the learning related to Olympism.

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