Olympic Education Programme

Beijing Olympic Education Programme
  • Olympic City: Beijing
  • Country: China
  • Edition of the Games: 2008 Olympic Summer Games
Annual since 2010
300,000 Children

Description of the Project

Olympic Education Programme for Primary and Secondary Schools in Beijing

Adhering to the concept of People’s Olympics and aiming to spread the Olympic Spirit, to expand the achievements of the Olympic Games and to promote the sustainable development of the Olympic education, BODA (Beijing Olympic City Development Association), in collaboration with the Beijing Municipal Commission of Education, Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sports and Beijing Municipal Committee of Communist Youth League, has launched the Olympic Education Programme under the theme of “Sport, Happiness & Health” among primary and secondary schools in Beijing since 2010. Supported by Olympic Model Schools, schools serving as sports talent training bases for the Olympic Education Programme and schools practising conventional sports in Beijing, a series of activities took place in primary and secondary schools across Beijing in the forms of sports competitions and cultural exchange events. The primary goal of the series is to spread the Olympic ideals and promote the harmonious development of mind and body of young people.

The truly exceptional Beijing 2008 Games added tremendous charm to the City of Beijing with its new status of “Olympic City”.  Beijing has continued its Olympic education efforts in the post-Olympic years, including promoting healthy lifestyles and encouraging youth to take an active part in sports for the purpose of enhancing their physique and fitness, building up their will and character and fostering their Olympic spirit of mutual understanding, friendship, solidarity and fair play.

Since 2010, the Olympic Education Programme in Beijing has been successfully staged for six years, with about 300,000 children from over 1,000 primary and secondary schools participating in various activities. The number of participating schools and young people has seen an increase each year.


Promote a healthy and active lifestyle

One of the objectives of the programme is to promote sport and physical activity to the youth of Beijing. With inactivity and obesity becoming more widespread, it is important to teach youth the importance of physical activity and the best place to start is at school.

The programme aims at encouraging youth to practice sport in a fun environment. Practising sport impacts children as a whole and helps them grow. It forms their character and enables them to develop both intellectually and physically. Being taught the Olympic values of friendship, respect and excellence at the same time and participating in the programme provides youth with positive tools for their future.

Promote the City by leveraging its affiliation with the Olympic Movement

The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games have had a tremendous impact on the City and has been positive in terms of image and reputation for Beijing. Since the conclusion of the Games, the City and BODA have been continuously working to leverage the positive impacts of the Games. The Games are a part of the City’s history and through programmes continues to shape its future.



Focus on both quantitative and qualitative evaluation

To calculate the number of participants per year and evaluate the scale and coverage of the event, sampling and tests are conducted in a certain proportion to investigate the health and physical conditions of the youth and compared with the previous year.

Satisfaction surveys and periodical revisits for the key events in order to evaluate the benefits brought to the target groups.

Focus on specific case studies

With a history of 71 years, Yangfangdian Primary School in Haidian District of Beijing is a “Beijing 2008 Olympic Education Model School”. Since Beijing won the bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games in 2001, the school has formed a bond with the “Olympics” and started exploring the modes of “Olympic cultural education”. In its 16-year-long practice, the school started from simulating Olympic sports, raised the educational objective of “cultivating a generation of youths with international competences in the context of the Olympic Games”, published school-based Olympic text books, opened school-based Olympic courses, and held the annual Olympic cultural festival. Finally, the Olympic Spirit has been integrated into the conceptual system of Olympic cultural education with “Harmonious and Exceptional” at the core as well as the system of Olympic activities.


Key Challenges

Anticipation is key

As mentioned with the case described above, anticipation is key. Authorities have decided to launch education programmes far before the Olympic Games in order to optimise the positive effects and attain a critical mass of students aware and sensitive to the spirit of Olympism as well as the need for a harmonious body and mind development.

Establishing exchange partnerships

As part of the programme, the schools from Beijing paired with schools from other countries participating in the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The students from primary and secondary schools were encouraged in various ways to understand each other’s language, culture and history. Meanwhile, exchange activities were organised to enhance mutual understanding and friendship between Chinese communities and other communities worldwide. At times, it proved to be difficult to organise these partnerships and it took a vast investment of time to establish a strong connection and commitment from the different participating schools. However, the investment is deemed worthwhile it and very useful for the youth allowing them the opportunity to interact with different lifestyles.


Key Learnings & Recommendations

Full exploitation of the Olympic legacy

Prior to the staging of Beijing 2008, 200 Olympic Education Model Schools were set up to propel the launch of a city-wide Olympic education campaign.


Optimised organisational structure and a sound operational model

Beijing has continued the Olympic Education Programme in primary and secondary schools after Beijing 2008 and established an operational model, in which BODA takes the lead, related government authorities take the main responsibility and different social sectors participate in the organisation of the Olympic education activities.


Sound communication policy

The choice for a punchy slogan was key. The Olympic Education Programme adopted the slogan “Sport, Happiness & Health”, which has effectively promoted the programme and is well-remembered by all.

In addition, the organisers of the programme focused on establishing close connections with the communication platforms of Olympic cities. The communication and exchange among young people from different Olympic cities have been actively organised to facilitate the learning, communication and friendship between the Chinese and foreign youth.


More information

The full case is available in printable version on the members’ portal

In addition to the above description, the PDF version also gathers practical information including internal and external partners involved; finance and cost; use of the olympic brand; human resources and time; and contact details. 

The World Union of Olympic Cities’ team remains at your disposal for any further information and contact’s facilitation at info@olympiccities.org 

Additional resources can be found through the following links:


Beijing names 200 Olympic education model schools