Monday , 23 May 2022

EcOlympics Serbia – Where Olympic and Sustainable Development Values Meet! by Natasa Jankovic

Raising awareness of the importance of environmental protection is one of the fundamental principles of Olympism and therefore one of the general objectives of the National Olympic Committee of Serbia. Since 2010, the NOC of Serbia together with Foundation of Sports and Olympism successfully has run project “EcOlympics Serbia” which is supported by the Olympic Solidarity and NOC of Serbia sponsors: Vojvodjanska Banka and Coca Cola.

“EcOlympics Serbia” is a socially responsible project of environmental protection, promotion of Olympic values, and inclusion of youth by using sport as a main tool. It has been designed to raise awareness, improve the behavior of young people towards the environment and enhance the activities that contribute to the conservation of nature. The programme consists of three activities. Through “EcOlympic Playground” and “Eco Football” children age 8 to 14 learn about environmental protection and recycling by and through active participation while celebrating fair play and diversity.

Special activity “Olympic Alley” provides legacy to the community by opening a healthy area for doing sports and reminding people how important is to preserve and take care of nature. The five planted trees symbolically represent five Olympic values which children should be incorporated in their daily life: joy of game, respect for others, fair play, pursuit of excellence and balance between body, will and mind.

All these activities are supported by Olympic athletes as special guests during the program, being the best possible role models for children.

Due to “EcOlympics Serbia” project we have managed by using non-formal education to bring closer the field of environmental protection to children. In addition we promoted sport and healthy lifestyles since most of the workshops required physical activity.

With purpose to raise awareness of environmental protection through sport, “Ecolympics Serbia” program represents unique and innovative project method made by the team of NOC of Serbia. It is preformed to improve knowledge about environmental protection and preservation and enhance understandings of the personal roles and responsibilities. Following the fundamental principles of Olympism and global environmental strategy the NOC of Serbia tend to educate young people how to reduce the pollution within their communities and how to contribute to the preservation of the green areas.

During five years of project implementation, over 10000 children from 32 different towns across Serbia were educated to respect environment, promote olympic values and incorporate them into their everyday life. Since Serbia is multiethnic country where inclusion of all minority groups is imposed by itself, through „EcOlympics Serbia“ they play mixed, they play all together.

About Natasa Jankovic

Natasa Jankovic is Director of the Foundation of Olympism and Sports of the Serbian Olympic Committee.

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