TeamNL In de Klas
Edition of the Games: 1928 Olympic Summer Games
Description of the Project
Olympic Values Education
TeamNL In de Klas Olympic Values Education is an online learning initiative that educates Dutch youth on the value of sport and more specifically, on the Olympic Values of friendship, excellence and respect.
The programme is run by the Dutch NOC and targets primary and secondary school pupils across the Netherlands. It aims to inspire Dutch youth to get involved in sport by showcasing its social, physical and ethical benefits to all participants.
The NOC operates an online platform which contains a lot of fun and lively sport-related content. This includes videos, sound clips, interactive guides, fun stories and group activities, amongst many others. Using these tools, pupils can get introduced to new sports, learn about sport in different cultures and territories across the world, and learn about the history of sport and of the Olympic Games. All of this is continually linked back to the Olympic Values of friendship, excellence and respect.
Access to the platform is provided to teachers from partner schools around the country. Teachers can then use the content in the way that suits their current curriculum in the most effective way. There is different material for different age groups and this material can span a host of subject areas from geography and history to science and physical education. Teachers can use this to design their own bespoke classes, incorporate this new material into existing classes or even share access to the platform with pupils directly so they can learn according to their own speed and interests.
TeamNL In de Klas provides pupils with attractive and entertaining material that is carefully framed within the Olympic Values. This method of combining accessible educational material with relevant entertaining content has been highly successful in keeping participants interested and engaged. Organisers refer to this as the “Edutainment” approach and this has become a key part of the programmes strategy for success.
Celebrate Olympism and its values
The spirit of Olympism is brought to life through the initiative through case studies, group activities and welcoming Olympic athletes to the class to share their experiences and reflections on what Olympism means to them. This message carried by Olympism is very powerful and through these creative activities, it really resonates with all the participants. The organisers believe that this value-based approach at the centre of the Olympic Values Education platform will ultimately help inspire the youth towards a more rounded and fulfilling life.
Promote social and constructive behaviour
The programme aims to teach pupils that sport is about more than simply winning and losing. It is arguably more important than ever that the underlying values of sport are communicated to the youth, showing that sport is about constructive lifestyle choices and positive attitudes rather than about competition alone – something that is uniquely captured in the Olympic values of friendship, excellence and respect.
Reconciling sporting values with media
Recent developments in international sport have resulted in much negative media coverage questioning the positive and ethical nature of sport. The majority of students are used to watching elite sports and consuming sports media on a regular basis and this negative coverage has generated a scepticism amongst many students about the compatibility of the Olympic Values with sporting competition. This issue has been repeatedly raised by pupils in the classroom who struggle to reconcile the value of respect with the sporting images they are exposed to on a daily basis.
By removing the filter of media, eliminating the bias towards negative publicity and focusing on all levels of sporting competition from grassroots upwards, TeamNL In de Klas refocuses the minds of participants on the positive elements of sport.
Communicating across age groups
TeamNL In de Klas targets all primary and secondary school students between 4 and 15 years old. There are many differences between these ages in terms of how they learn, what material they find attractive and what learning tools they find engaging. To allow for these differences, TeamNL In de Klas has created 4 age segments among the target audience. Specific lessons and material have been developed and modified for each age segment.
Tailoring this content involves a significantly increased level of time, effort and expertise. This is compounded by the fact that these trends between ages are continually changing. This challenge is overcome by empowering the teachers to adapt the content housed on the platform to their own circumstances. Their understanding of how their group of students will interact with which material increases the chances of a positive and lasting engagement with the material among participants.
Key Learnings & Recommendations
Leverage the power of celebrity
Young people are consistently attracted to famous people and celebrated events. Sport has the unique advantage of having both and the TeamNL In de Klas programme has leveraged this asset. Famous Olympians past and present are invited to visit participant schools and speak to the young participants directly about their experiences with the Olympics and the values of friendship, excellence and respect. As the embodiment of the Olympic values they have a powerful impact on the students. The programme also targets specific events such as Olympic day around which to activate the programme. Events provide a focused energy for outreach and promotion of the programme, as well as a natural platform on which to organise programme activities.
Apply an ‘Edutainment’ approach
In order to be as impactful as possible, the material covered needs to be both interesting as well as informative. People are generally attracted to things that they find interesting and stimulating and young people are certainly no different. In short, to capture the attention of participants, the content needed to be entertaining and educational at the same time. This approach is known as “Edutainment” and this is at the core of the TeamNL In de Klas programme. Ensuring that participants are enjoying themselves and interested in what being taught is critical to ensuring that the messages transmitted are really being received and understood by participants.
Establish media partnerships
TeamNL In de Klas uses media partnerships as much as possible to promote the programme and spread the message of the Olympic values. Partnering with the right media in a smart way is the best method of cutting through the increasing levels of media noise in modern society. The programme is currently partnered with NOS, the Dutch national television broadcaster who helps to promote the Olympic values through specific programming. There is also coverage generated in the Olympic Section of the national newspaper every June in the lead up to Olympic day. Coordinating media efforts around specific events such as Olympic Day helps to further focus messaging and reach the intended target audience.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional resources can be found through the following links: