Bhalukhola celebrates International Youth Day with their own Olympics

18th August 2016

Our enquiries to the local Shree Sharda Higher Secondary School in the neighbouring village, Dhading, to ask for the use of the school courtyard as the preferred venue for our Olympic event, were met with great enthusiasm. The school management were keen to be involved in the organisation and running of the ‘International Youth Day Olympics’, and provided us with great support. The school informed all the students in grades 8 – 10 about the event, and rearranged the academic timetable in order to prioritise the programme. This reputable support drastically increased the impact of the event.

Despite the 7am start, a staggering 200 students attended our World Youth Olympics which began with an active Zumba dance energiser led by volunteers, ahead of the main event schedule. The day was formally opened by Kabiraj Humagain, co-ordinator for our project partner Rural Awareness Development Organisation (RADO), and Nir Khadka, the school principle who provided an introductory speech about the Olympic Games. They emphasised the significance of the games in uniting the world, the ability of sport to bring young people together and the importance of physical activity for health. These messages were later reinforced by an energetic and inspiring speech written by Elise and presented by Sam.

Sam delivering his inspirational speech
Sam delivering his inspirational speech

The volunteers provided an insight into the origins of the Olympic Games, and the importance of its international message – uniting the world through sport – despite the global presence of racial, gender, religious and political barriers, the latter highlighted by this year’s Olympics being the first to incorporate a refugee team! In addition to that, the volunteers emphasised the presence of the seven-strong Olympic participants representing Nepal in Rio. The young people were delighted to learn about Gaurika Singh, a 13 year old Nepali Olympian swimmer who was the youngest participant in this edition.

The day’s competitive sporting event timetable started with a bang as one of the most eagerly anticipated Olympic events got underway, the 100m sprint. With the start line drawn, officials at the ready and competitors raring to go, boys and girls battled it out in their respective heats and finals to be awarded an ‘Olympic medal’ in the final closing ceremony. Following this, students arranged themselves into age appropriate teams for a tug-of-war competition.

Blazing speed! Our 100m sprint athelete approching the finish line
Blazing speed! Our 100m sprint athlete approaching the finish line

Despite no longer being an Olympic event, the all-girl tug-of-war competitions proved to be a real highlight. The effort, determination and comradery demonstrated by participants and the immense spectator support resulted in an electric atmosphere, celebrating physical exertion. And amongst all else, a real display of female strength and true girl power!

Blog_NepalICS_ Real display of female strength and true girl power
Real display of female strength and true girl power!

Great team spirit and spectator enthusiasm continued into the fun team races which followed with another volleyball tournament. The students, local youth club members, volunteers and teachers battled it out to be crowned ‘International Youth Day Olympic’ volleyball champions.

Blog_NepalICS_Great team spirit and spectator enthusiasm continues with another volleyball tourn
Great team spirit and spectator enthusiasm continues with another volleyball tournament

To conclude our programme, a closing ceremony consisting of singing, dancing medal and prize distribution and formal conclusive remarks rounded off the day perfectly with smiles all round.

Many volunteers, young people and school staff members felt passionate about the role of the Olympic Games and the importance of sport which can positively influence the lives of young people. We conveyed the message that sport unites youth around the world in a really exciting way. It was truly wonderful to observe so many youths working together and engaging with sport with such enjoyment on International Youth Day in celebration of the Olympic Games.

Sending a big wave and cheer to all athletes in Rio, from Bhalukhola, Makwanpur, Nepal!

Sam, Elise and Tsering
Sam, Elise and Tsering
The team that made it possible
The team that made it possible…

Youth In Civil Society Nepal