In 2022, Slovakia will be hosting the XVI European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Banska Bystrica.
On this occasion the Slovak Olympic and Sports Committee will implement the Olympic Culture and Education Programme (OCEP) 2022.
OCEP is intended to inspire youth to be champions, to adopt and live by Olympic values of friendship, excellence and respect and to play active roles in their communities. It focuses mostly on educating youth through sport, educational and cultural activities and sharing of knowledge through information exchange.
As from last February, Ħandaq Middle School was given the opportunity to twin and interact with two Slovak schools: the Primary School Teodora Jozefa Moussona, Michalvoce and the Elementary and lower Secondary School Skultetyho, located in Nitra.
The Schools interacted through online communication and information about our countries from areas such as geography, history, culture and sport were exchanged.
A group of 22 Year 8 students, together with three teachers and an Assistant Head were involved in this project. Online meetings were organized between the three schools between March and May. The meetings started off by introducing life at school, the school environment, classes, activities and other opportunities offered to students throughout the scholastic year. One group of students focused on the Geographical Review of Malta and Gozo, including a detailed presentation of our capital city of Valletta. Another group presented the Maltese Culture. The students focused on the Maltese lifestyle and on what makes Malta unique as an island, highlighting Maltese symbols, Maltese traditions and Maltese dishes. The third group focused on the most popular sports in Malta, referring to local traditional sports such as Regatta, Boċċi, Horse Racing and to our involvement in International Competitions.
The meeting held in May focused on the Special Olympics Invitational Games held in Malta between the 14th and 18th May, where delegations of athletes from different countries got together to participate in a variety of sports. The Games were a spectacular celebration of all the athletes’ achievements and a reaffirmation of our commitment to our shared values of diversity and inclusion. Our special guests during this meeting were 2 boys from our school who participated in these Games.
Malta’s partners from Slovakia exchanged interesting and creative presentations about their country, their schools and about sports events held in Slovakia. The students from the different schools recorded and exchanged traditional Slovak and Maltese songs. OCEP noticeboards were set up in schools and souvenirs and food items were exchanged between the schools too. Since OCEP aims to promote culture and sports through values of friendship, our participating students were encouraged to communicate amongst themselves via social networks too.
OCEP: definitely an enriching opportunity of communication and collaboration between European Schools.