The 8th World Conference on Sport, Culture and Education came to a successful conclusion in Amsterdam (Netherlands) today, with more than 500 participants from 110 countries issuing a call to action in a unanimously approved final Declaration.
The Amsterdam Declaration was tabled by International Olympic Committee (IOC) Commission for Culture and Olympic Education Chairman Lambis V. Nikolaou at the closing ceremony. It contains a set of recommendations that refer to a range of topics including the important role of the athletes’ entourage, next year’s fifth UNESCO World Sport Ministers Conference (MINEPS V), social media and educational programmes for athletes.
Among the action points contained in the Declaration, the participants called for making it an obligation for authorities to include values-based education and physical education in school curricula; for using of all types of media to send messages on sport, the Olympic values, education and healthy lifestyles as enshrined in the IOC’s Youth Strategy; for supporting the introduction and enhancement of educational programmes for athletes which equip them with employability skills necessary for their post-high performance careers; and for working with public authorities to protect sportspersons.
In line with the Conference motto “Olympism powered by Youth”, the debate featured numerous young speakers and Olympians. During a dedicated youth session, participants of the Youth Olympic Games and other young leaders presented action and ideas in regard to the empowerment of young people in various fields. The focus of the Conference this year was on the policies, practice and potential of sport and Olympism as they relate to culture and education.
With that in mind, representatives from the sporting community, the United Nations system, civil society organisations, special interest groups, academia, governments, non-governmental organisations, the corporate sector and the media were invited to attend and share their experiences in interactive plenary and dialogue sessions designed to encourage fruitful discussions.
“We have had a really excellent World Conference, and I would like to thank the organisers for their work,” said IOC President Jacques Rogge. “Our task at this Conference was to seek new and better ways to share the Olympic values and the benefits of sport with young people around the world. We need to speak to young people in their language and we need to go where they are, physically, but also in the virtual world on social media platforms. We have accomplished a lot this week in a very interactive and stimulating environment, and the Amsterdam Declaration will guide us in our way forward.”
Lambis V. Nikolaou, Chairman of the IOC’s Commission for Culture and Olympic Education Commission, said:
“I think we can all agree it was a highly productive Conference. Once again, the inclusion of young people in the programme proved to be a huge success. It is now up to us all to work together to bring to fruition the action plan adopted today, by showing young people that sport can help them to give the best of themselves.”
The Conference was organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and in collaboration with the National Olympic Committee of the Netherlands (NOC*NSF) and the city of Amsterdam.