A Games organised by the youth for the youth!

A Games organised by the youth for the youth!

The Youth Olympic Games (YOG) are more than just a competition for young athletes from all around the world. They go way beyond sporting performance alone, also prioritising the values of education and culture.

Today, we put the spotlight on this latter aspect of the YOG, the educational one. An effective YOG should be organised in a festive and sporting context that promotes a message and provides tools that will be useful for the future generations.

Lausanne 2020’s educational facet is built on two distinct pillars:

1: The ‘Culture and Education Programme’ which will take place during the Games. The activities that will be implemented as part of this programme will mostly target the young athletes and their coaches, with a potential extension to the public.

On top of the leading contribution from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Lausanne 2020 has, amongst others, partnered with the University of Lausanne (UNIL) and the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) to propose and develop innovative and educational content.

2: The engagement of the youth for which activities will take place before, during and after the Games. The main objective of this second pillar is to engage the youth in an active way in the organisation of the Youth Olympic Games.

On a local level, Lausanne 2020 is developing a number of activities targeting the youth where the various competition venues are located: in Lausanne, the Canton of Vaud, St. Moritz and neighbouring France.

On a national level, Swiss Olympic has also developed a plan that proposes many activities and initiatives that the National Olympic Committee wishes to implement to promote sport to the youth as well as its values and its practice.

On an international level, Lausanne 2020 will count on the support of the IOC which, through its various initiatives, will involve the youth of the world in our great project.

In anticipation of the 2020 Youth Olympic Games and its Culture & Education programme, let’s take a look at how the activities to engage the youth in the Canton de Vaud are currently progressing.

To engage the youth, Lausanne 2020 can count on many partners such as the Department for Education, Youth and Culture (DFJC) and all its services.

During the past few months, these partners have put their efforts into defining which types of activities they wish to put in place to engage the youth. The objective of this approach is to allow each of them to make the Lausanne 2020 project their own and to become a key instrument to achieve our collective objectives. Their role is very important as, without their will and efforts, these activities could not come to life. Each of them, in their own way, brings their contributions to the project. The programme will be finalised and approved by the authorities in the coming months.

The amount of young people that will be targeted by these initiatives will be extremely important. To give you an idea, the DFJC is responsible for the education of more than 130,000 children, teenagers and adults, consisting of those not only in mandatory education (90,000), but also in post-mandatory and superior levels, as well as those in specialised education.

The UNIL students, who are currently hard at work on the development of a digital strategy to promote Lausanne 2020 on social media, are a good example of one such initiative. Other students of the same University advise us on sustainability issues, developing our concrete actions and innovative initiatives throughout the entire event organisation process by raising awareness amongst athletes, coaches and the greater public on sustainable development.

The students from the Lausanne Hospitality Management School (EHL) will also get involved in the organisation of the YOG. Specifically, they will participate in the reflection on many concepts, such as the provision of accommodation during the YOG, health and well-being of athletes and their entourage, and even catering requirements.

Finally, with the support of the general director of Mandatory Education, young people will produce live radio shows before and during the YOG. This initiative already exists in some capacity with the “Radiobus” project, which offers young people the possibility to make reports, editorials or live shows on radio.

On top of allowing the youth to engage in the organisation of the Games, these projects are the perfect example of the smart use of existing resources for the benefit of a project for the youth by the youth.

To elaborate on Lausanne 2020’s intended engagement of the youth, we asked a few questions to Mr. Alain Bouquet, Vaud’s general director of Mandatory Education, one of the main partners of the organising committee.

Photo: Young Radiobus reporters (Copyright: Lausanne 2020)