The Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee has held a record-breaking educational flash-mob today which turned out to be the most widespread of its kind in Russian history. The initiative was set up to include over 1,500 lessons dedicated to the “Legacy of the 2014 Sochi Games” for 50,000 school students from across 30 different Russian cities.
The main goal of the initiative was to inform schoolchildren about the importance of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, get them acquainted with the concept of a barrier-free environment and educate them to ensure that people living with disabilities are fully integrated into society.
In total, over 500 people are going to serve as “Olympic teachers.” These are members of the 26 “Sochi 2014” Volunteer Centres, Organizing Committee staff and partners of the Games - Atos Origin, Procter & Gamble, Megafon, Rostelekom, Russian Railways, Volkswagen Group Rus, PwC, EF English First, Kommersant and Microsoft Rus.
Partners of the Sochi 2014 Games played an active role in organizing the educational flash-mob: Rostelekom organized an Olympic Day for students at affiliated day schools, and both teachers and pupils from boarding schools from over 60 cities across Russia. Teachers introduced pupils to the history of the Olympic movement, taught them about Olympic values, organized trivia games and competitions on Olympic symbols, types of sports and athletes. During drawing lessons, primary school students were also given the opportunity to sketch the Sochi 2014 Mascots. School students of various ages took part in physical education classes which included relays and entertaining games and activities.
Staff members from Procter & Gamble, Worldwide Olympic Partner, are set to teach Olympic lessons in Moscow schools at the beginning of September 2011. PricewaterhouseCoopers Russia, a Sochi 2014 National Partner, is planning to hold a number of awareness-raising educational events dedicated to the ”Back- to-School” day, which start on 1st September 2011 and will take place during all the month. PwC Russia staff members will also help to host Olympic lessons in Moscow schools and universities, while an event on Sochi 2014 and sports events’ planning will be held for the students in the PwC Moscow office.
An English language “Map of Russia After the Games” was created by the young people at the EF English First Olympic lessons. Those taking part in the lessons familiarized themselves with the permanent Olympic venues under construction and marked them on the Map, whilst also plotting the removable venues on the map of Russia and studying their effective application after the Games. Sochi-2014 Ambassador and Beijing 2008 Paralympic Swimming Champion Olesya Vladikina also took part in the lesson.
Mr. Alexander Zhukov, President of the Olympic Committee of Russia and Mr. Dmitry Chernyshenko, President of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, took part in demonstration lessons in Moscow. Mr. Chernyshenko held a lesson at the Dr. Roshal’s clinic with an audience of young patients. Russian ice skater and Sochi 2014 Ambassador Oksana Domnina also joined Mr. Chernyshenko in the classroom.
Dmitry Chernyshenko, President of “Sochi 2014” Organizing Committee, said:
«The record-breaking educational flash-mob proves once again that the Games in Sochi represent a unique project that is uniting the whole country. Hundreds of people are taking part in organizing Olympic lessons because they genuinely want to. Most of all I am happy that our volunteers are the main driving force behind the Olympic lessons. It would be impossible to stage the successful 2014 Games without their help».
Olympic teachers attended special training seminars organized by the Sochi 2014 Education Department. The sessions took place in Moscow and Sochi with the support of the Russian International Olympic University and were undertaken via online education portals in cooperation with regional volunteer centres. Olympic lessons are unique and interactive and have been further developed using an “EDU–tainment” concept containing interactive presentations on the history of the Olympic Movement.
Students of the Sochi State University Volunteer Centre suggested the pupils find the elements of the 2014 Games legacy in everyday life. For example, a group of schoolchildren, accompanied by a volunteer walked alongside the guest route of their school to evaluate the accessibility level of their school for disabled visitors. Volunteers also prepared intellectual and sports relay races for small children, where they were given the chance not only to demonstrate their sports skills, but also some basic knowledge of the Olympic and Paralympic movements.
In order to mark «Back-to-School» Day, the first Sochi 2014 licensed products for school students were officially released today. These include Olympic branded exercise books.
During this year’s «Back-to-School» Day, the Sochi 2014 Ambassador team also gained a new educational member – Mr. Yuri Vyazemsky, presenter of a popular Russian TV quiz show, “Smarty Pants” and Professor of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. Mr. Vyazemsky is set to become an Olympic education leader as a result of his research and educational activities.
Note for the Editor
“Olympic Education Network “Sochi 2014” has been sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Its mission is to disseminate Olympic and Paralympic values in order to create a comfortable and friendly environment for organizing the XXII Olympic Winter Games and XI Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi in 2014. The “Network” is also aimed at integrating the Olympic knowledge into the education system of the Russian Federation to form a broader understanding of the Olympic movement and sports industry. One of the main stages of implementing the “Network” is undertaking Olympic lessons in all the educational institutions of the Russian Federation.