The Youth Camp is a non-residential daytime camp for young male and female athletes between the ages of twelve (12) and sixteen (16), and is usually for ten (10) days.  The Youth Campers are normally young persons who show an affinity towards sports, and are chosen from the various NSOs and clubs.  It is intended to be a forum for young people to learn to live together – to interact with persons from different economic, social, ethnic, religious and educational backgrounds.

The Camp is not necessarily sport specific, but adopts a more holistic approach.  Activities are included that encourage personal growth through learning using the Olympic values and ideals.

The goals of the Olympic Youth Camp are:

To encourage and motivate participants to become the next Olympians,

To foster the Olympic ideals of teamwork, respect, fair play, striving for excellence, joy found in effort,
To instil the values and ideals of Olympism to young people,
To provide a forum for exposure to Olympic education, art and culture,
To raise the level of awareness among campers of the role of sport in self development,
To strengthen leadership skills,
To provide an opportunity for fun and interaction through the Olympic Experience.

The Camp focuses on two main areas:

Physical Activities

This incorporates sports, but rather than focus on the competitive and performance-based nature of the sport, teaches the young people how to play the sport, its rules and regulations, and how to interact with one another.  Team sports are chosen because in game situations, players face conflicting dilemmas and are forced to use leadership skills, problem solving skills, moral and ethical skills to solve these dilemmas.

The children are taught that when a team utilises each other’s strengths, unity, harmony and performance are the outcomes.  The main message that the programme teaches is that if they can play together, they can live together.

Educational and Cultural Support Topics

The IOC in its focus on young people encourages learning through the combination of sport, education and culture.  The educational aspect of the Camp encourages young people to learn about Olympic values and the benefits of sport – to learn about the health benefits of physical activity, as well as the dangers of doping, to learn about their roles as ambassadors when they leave the Camp, and to consider other issues such as career management, careers in sport and social responsibility.

The cultural portion of the Camp incorporates dancing, music and arts and craft.  Dance and music have the potential to bring people together to have fun and develop relationships.  Arts are also being identified as a satellite subject to encourage participants to learn about how creativity, society and culture interact.  Young people have to understand the delicate balance between respecting and maintaining their own culture, and at the same time realising that culture has no restrictions.

TTOC’s first Olympic Youth Camp was held in July 2003 and has been held every year since then.  The focus is of course on the IOC ideal of building a better and peaceful world by educating youth through the spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.  It is expected that these young people can disseminate the knowledge gained during the Youth Camp to other young persons, whether in their clubs or schools, or by other methods of social networking available.  The TTOC also intends to develop a core group of young people who can remain a permanent part of the Olympic movement.

Topics/activities covered in past Camps:

Peer pressure and self development
Drug abuse and HIV/AIDS awareness
Leadership and goal setting
Sportsmanship and fair play
Olympism and the Fundamental Principles
Alliance between sport and culture
The art of dance
Design of art and craft items for display

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