Brazil’s 2008 School Olympics, now in its fourth year, begins on September 18 and will bring together 2,800 school children between the ages of 12 and 14 to Pocos de Caldas in Minas Gerais State, Brazil.
The event is organized by the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) and, according to a press release, reflects the ideals of Rio de Janeiro’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
The School Olympics promotes sporting exchange among children from 800 private and public sector schools in 21 Brazilian states. It covers nine sports – athletics, basketball, futsal, handball, judo, swimming, table tennis, volleyball and chess. There’s also a cultural program to “reinforce the idea of fostering athletes and citizens”, involving talks about sport and the Olympic Movement, as well as a photo exhibition of the Brazilian delegation at the Beijing Games.
Olympic themes will be promoted using educational visits, a puppet theatre and musical events. The role of physical education teachers will be highlighted, showing the union between sport and education in schools throughout the country, said the press release.
During the event the children will receive visits from various Olympic and Pan American medallists.
Carlos Arthur Nuzman, president of Rio 2016 and COB said, “for the school children who are now participating in the School Olympics, competing in the 2016 Games in their country would be a dream come true. Brazil has a lot to gain from this engagement with youth”.