Youth programmes launched

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Preparations for the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) have gained momentum with the launch of the country's Olympic Education Programme (OEP) and Friends@YOG which aim to further lay the foundation for a successful and memorable event in 2010.

With the launch of the OEP, students will have more opportunities to experience and embrace the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect. Students will also get to better understand the diverse cultures of the world and forge international friendships with young people outside Singapore through Friends@YOG, a School and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) Twinning Programme. Starting in 2009, a variety of educational programmes that teach about the Olympic Movement will be conducted in conjunction with sports activities at all primary and secondary schools as well as pre–university colleges and institutions in Singapore. All schools will receive specially designed 'Living Olympism' Education Resource Packages as part of the associated teaching materials. Teachers can draw on various ideas to develop innovative learning activities for students to acquire knowledge about the Olympics and understand the Olympic spirit in a fun way. The resource packs highlight the history of the Olympic Games, Olympic sports and contribution of the Olympic Movement to international peace and friendship. Besides Physical Education (PE), the ideas and activities in the resource packs can also be incorporated into subject areas such as languages, humanities and the arts, sciences and mathematics and values education. Under 'Friends@YOG', each Singapore school will be 'twinned' with one of the 204 NOCs. The programme aims to be a fun and exciting learning journey for Singapore's students as they cultivate a global mindset through the forging of international friendships, learning about other countries' cultures and developing respect for cultural diversity. Come Games–time, they will also have the opportunity to participate in various activities with the YOG athletes from their twinned NOCs. The 360 schools in Singapore will form 148 clusters, with each group assigned to one or two NOC countries. Friends@YOG aims to achieve the objectives of:• building international friendship through collaboration and cultural exchanges among youths;• promulgating the Olympic Values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect; and• cultivating among youths a global outlook, a passion for sports and good habits that are part of a healthy lifestyle. On 4 January 2009, 50 young people dressed in lime green T–shirts took to the streets of Singapore to give out balloons promoting the 2010 YOG through an initiative called CAN!Or Create Action Now!

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