RTÉ Brings Olympics Into the Playground

Olympic athletes will be helping children across the country get into the spirit of sports day next week as they switch their focus to the playground in the RTÉ Home School Hub Olympics.

The focus of the popular home school programme from the 25-29 May will be on the Olympics and will feature Dare to Believe, the Olympic Federation of Ireland’s schools activation programme.

It will include interviews and activity with five of the athlete ambassadors, as well as Olympic Silver Medallist, Kenneth Egan.

This month has been a busy one for the programme, with over 200 schools taking part in the recently launched online sessions, which include virtual ambassador visits via Facebook Live every Thursday at 12 noon.

This week also saw the launch of the Dare to Design Competition which is a challenge where children are invited to design a medal, poster or Olympic stadium for Dublin 2040, imagining Ireland were to host the Games in the future.

This engages a broad range of children, including those who may not be involved in sport.

Dare to Believe is a five-ring programme which focuses on the Olympic values, and has a wide-ranging appeal to school children, whether they are interested in sport or not.

Normally the ambassador visit to the classroom is the highlight of the programme for the students, and in light of the recent pandemic, these visits are being done online.

Team Ireland Hockey Olympian Shane O’Donoghue was the first of the ambassadors to present his story as part of the Facebook Live Ambassador Series, where he fielded questions from school children who dialled in from around the country.

Olympians Thomas Barr, Shane O’Donoghue and Claire Lambe, World Champion Boxer Kellie Harrington, and Paralympian Greta Streimikyte will be involved in activities next week.

Athletes’ Commission Member and Olympic Silver Medallist in boxing Kenneth Egan will present some of his memorabilia and step in as referee for the big event.

Speaking about the recent activations, Peter Sherrard, CEO of the Olympic Federation of Ireland said,

“Our elite athletes have been a real credit to Team Ireland during the lockdown, helping the country through a very difficult period. The Dare to Believe programme is based on athletes going into schools to inspire the next generation so teaming up with RTÉ to reach a greater number of children has been invaluable,” said Olympic Federation of Ireland CEO Peter Sherrard.

“Across Europe, Olympic athletes have been able to return to training, so we understand the frustration that our athletes must be feeling at this time. We are working hard for a prioritised return for this small group who represent us so well internationally so that they can keep their Olympic hopes on track.”

It’s a great initiative making Olympic sport real for young kids at a time when sport needs to work ever harder to retain its sense of importance in all of our lives.

 

 

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