Azerbaijan NOC twins Minsk/Baku schools in Olympic education drive

28 June 2019

As part of an educational drive tied to its Olympic Culture and Education Programme (OCEP), the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Azerbaijan has selected 49 schools in Baku to twin with counterparts across Europe.

On Friday, representatives from the Azerbaijan NOC, NOC of the Republic of Belarus, the European Olympic Committees (EOC), athletes and others held a twinning ceremony at the Francisk Skorina Gymnasium No 1 in Minsk, where the 2nd European Games are currently being held.

The Gymnasium has been twinned with school No 164 in Baku. Students will share aspects of their local culture, history, art, and sport, while also learning about Olympic values and principles with their peers from various countries.

The programme is part of a legacy initiative for the upcoming European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) Baku 2019, which will run from 21-27 July.

Deputy Secretary General of Azerbaijan NOC Azer Aliyev, Vice-President of the Belarus NOC Sergey Repkin, EOC representative Gianluca De Angelis, and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Azerbaijan to Belarus Latif Gandilov were among the guests visiting the school in Minsk.

Schoolchildren welcomed the delegation in the lobby with bread and salt according to Slavic tradition. Natalia Bushnaya, director of the Gymnasium, provided a quick tour of the school, which was followed by a meeting with the students in the library.

After a short welcoming speech, Bushnaya made a presentation about the activities delivered within the framework of the OCEP. She expressed her special gratitude to both NOCs of Belarus and Azerbaijan as well as the EOC for such a great opportunity for cultural and historical exchange and the teaching of Olympic values.

Aliyev thanked the Gymnasium for its active engagement in the implementation of the OCEP programme and for hosting the meeting at such short notice. He said he greatly appreciated the support from the Belarus NOC in identifying a school with such active and committed students and teachers. Aliyev briefed students and guests about activities related to Olympic education undertaken by the Azerbaijan NOC through the OCEP. He concluded by expressing his great satisfaction for the organisation of the European Games Minsk 2019.

About the OCEP:

  • The Olympic Culture and Education Programme (OCEP) is an initiative by the Azerbaijan NOC included in the framework of the EYOF Baku 2019. It is the first legacy programme of its type and scope for a summer EYOF
  • OCEP is fully funded and supported by the International Olympic Committee and the EOC through Olympic Solidarity
  • An Olympic Culture and Sport Pavilion will be established at the Athletes’ Village as a final event for the programme from 21 to 27 July in Baku. Tents/booths will be set up representing one European country and will be decorated with the support of students from the twinned schools in each respective country
  • In this way, young athletes, team members, and guests visiting the Olympic Village will be able to acquaint themselves with the culture, history, art, and sports of all participating European countries as well as engage with the Olympic spirit

About the EYOF:

  • The EYOF Baku 2019 will be held from 21 to 27 July 2019
  • About 3,900 young athletes, coaches and other officials from 48 countries are expected to take part in the EYOF
  • The event will feature 10 sports: gymnastics, athletics, basketball, cycling, handball, judo, swimming, tennis, volleyball, and wrestling
  • More than 2,500 volunteers have been recruited for the Games