The Olympic Values Education Programme (OVEP) is key to spreading Olympic values in the young population and Reliance Foundation’s tie-up will help increase the programme’s reach, Abhinav Bindra said here on Sunday.
The Olympic Gold medallist and member of the IOC Athletes’ Commission as well as the Olympic Education Commission was speaking at the Jio World Centre on the first day of 141st IOC Session. The IOC is being held in India after a gap of 40 years, the previous being in 1983 in New Delhi.
At the IOC Session in Mumbai, Bindra presented the Olympic Values Education Programme, which was rolled out in India in May 2022 with a significant impact on school attendance and girls’ participation in sport.
The Reliance Foundation recently tied up with the IOC to announce expansion of the programme.
“Next year promises to be exciting. we are working on digitising the resources, which will help OVEP across India. Reliance Foundation has also joined the efforts with the IOC. It will help advance OVEP in Mumbai. We are trying to integrate OVEP with other programs like reforestation,” he said.
Answering a question by News18 on growing support for OVEP, with the recent tie-up with Reliance Foundation, Bindra said: “The power of sport goes far beyond what we as athletes display. Sport has the power to shape society. India being the largest population in the world, the youngest population as well, there is no better way to shape this young population into sports. That is what OVEP tries to do — shape these young people, build characters through philosophy of Olympics, build Olympic values of friendship, excellence and respect. It has gone well and of course we all need to work collectively harder to take it further to different parts of the country.”
Bindra was accompanied by school children Somya, Bharati, Suchismita, Pratyasha, and Hammad, all aged between 12 and 16, who attend government schools in Odisha.
“Over the past year, these young individuals have been actively participating in the Olympic Values Education Programme (OVEP) in their respective schools. They have not only embraced OVEP but have also become advocates for it within their schools and communities, experiencing first-hand the positive impact of the program on their lives. They will share some of their personal experiences,” a press statement issued by IOC stated.
Asked about the inclusion of cricket in Olympics, Bindra said, “Who is not a cricket fan in India? I am also a cricket fan. We are eagerly waiting for a decision which will be expected tomorrow.”