Young people throughout the United Kingdom will celebrate the 65th edition of Olympic Day on 23rd June through a series of organised events that highlight the benefits of participation in sport and the importance of the Olympic Values, it was announced today by the British Olympic Association (BOA).
The BOA was one of just nine National Olympic Committees (NOCs) to celebrate the inaugural Olympic Day in 1948 but it has now grown into a global celebration with millions coming together to share the Olympic spirit. In 2012 almost four million people in more than 150 nations took part in events promoting sport under the motto ‘Move, Learn, Discover’.
On 23rd June 1987 the Olympic Day Run was launched by the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Sport for All Commission to encourage NOCs to celebrate Olympic Day, and for more than a decade the University of Bath have organised the largest celebrations in the UK to mark the day.
At the nearby Sheldon School in Chippenham, their Olympic Run – the largest in the country – will act as the curtain-raiser to their annual Sheldon Olympic Week. Beginning with an Opening Ceremony and a 3km run, they even have their own Sheldon Olympic-type flame that will burn throughout the week’s festivities.
And around the country schools are joining in the fun, Mackie Hill J&I School in Yorkshire have already held a ‘Global Week’ for pupils to learn about the cultures and sports of other Olympic nations before their own sports day in which children will be rewarded for living the Olympic Values of Friendship, Excellence and Respect.
North of the border schools across Glasgow will celebrate Olympic Day, showing the city’s passion for the Games and demonstrating exactly why it is the ideal host for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, 10 days before the final vote takes place in Switzerland. St Pius X Primary School in Dundee will also celebrate with a gallery of Olympic and Paralympic inspired paintings before their sports day kicks off.
In Belfast, Dundonald Primary School will not only host their own sports day, but send a group of pupils to an inclusive sports day organised by Disability Sport NI.
Llanfechell Primary School in Anglesey will be promoting healthy living with their sports day and by rewarding those children who bring the healthiest food in their lunch box. And in the South East, Ulcombe CE Primary School will combine their sports day with a Summer Fair on 22nd June.
This year the University of Bath have incorporated their Olympic Day celebration – the longest standing in the UK – into a Family Fun Day on 22nd June, which also includes a mobile climbing wall, zip wire and free taster sessions in a variety of sports, even bobsleigh.
The university will host a 5km run with a 3km version for under 16s and children will be kept entertained as ‘Sportacus’, from television’s Lazytown, performs throughout the day.
Anyone taking part in this year’s Olympic Day festivities could win a trip to the newly refurbished Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, courtesy of the IOC. All you have to do is post a photo of what you got up to on the day to the Olympic Games’ Facebook page to be in with a chance of winning.
Regardless of age, gender or athletic ability, Olympic Day encourages people to get active and reflect on the meaning of the Olympic Games – that we must always try to give the best of ourselves, while the important thing is not winning or losing but knowing how to play the game well.
To find out more about these Olympic Day events, search for 'Olympic Day' here and to join in the fun in Bath, click here.