Yoi Don! Tokyo 2020 Education Programme Kicks Off

Tokyo 2020 launches its Education Programme across the whole of Japan! Designed to stimulate interest in the Olympics and Paralympics amongst Japanese schoolchildren, the Programme covers topics including how the Games originated, what they stand for and their impact on Japan.

Tokyo 2020's Education Programme is called the “Yoi Don! Programme” in Japanese. Yoi Don! means “Get Set” in English and depicts the readiness of the young people of Japan to embrace the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Under this Programme, Tokyo 2020 will be producing and supplying educational materials to participating schools, and making available a web portal offering a range of resource materials for teachers to use, including ideas for activities and projects, and films focusing on Olympic and Paralympic values. Teachers will also be able to share their work and ideas and collaborate with each other through the site.

Education was an underlying premise of the modern Olympic Games. Did you know that the French pedagogue and historian Pierre de Coubertin founded the modern Games with the aim of enhancing his country's education system? This was because he believed that physical education was a key factor in overall human development. Inspired by his philosophy, Tokyo 2020 is aiming to engage all young people across Japan.

Tokyo 2020 aims to certify schools in every prefecture of Japan by 2020 as participants in its Education Programme. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government kicked off its own Olympics and Paralympics education drive last year at schools in Tokyo.

One of these schools, Ochanomizu Elementary School, has already started to give its students a chance to broaden their perspective of different cultures. Prompted by its location in an area of the city with a significant Russian population and a 19th century Russian Orthodox Church, the school reached out to the local Russian community. The students met with Russian children there and both groups of students demonstrated different aspects of their respective cultures.

Education programmes conducted by universities are going to commence in July 2017.

Olympic and Paralympic classes commence with a launch event at Utase Junior High School in Chiba City Students proudly display their certificates of involvement in the Olympic & Paralympic programme launch event Russian and Japanese children learn about each other's' cultures; photo courtesy of Ochanomizu Elementary School