Lithuanian Olympic Academy Session "Sport and Peace: Overcoming Challenges"

Lithuanian Olympic Academy Session "Sport and Peace: Overcoming Challenges"

On November 13th, the Lithuanian Sports University (LSU) hosted the Lithuanian Olympic Academy's session for students and the youth "Sport and Peace: Overcoming Challenges". The session’s participants included students from LSU, Vilnius University (VU) and Vilnius Business College, participants of the 2019 LOA Youth Camp. LSU Vice-Dean for Sport and Partnership Vidas Bružas greeted the attendants. The session was chaired by LOA Vice-President prof. Algirdas Raslanas.
Arminas Vareika, Coordinator of the Kazickas Family Foundation, explained the foundation's purpose in Lithuania and the world, presented the examples of sport programs Youth Can and Hoops4hope, talked about small towns and how sport can be revived in them. Through the example of his hometown Pumpėnai Vareika addressed the questions of how one can start creating and whether one would benefit from the foundation.
LOA Council member Ramūnė Motiejūnaitė read the report "Sport and Peace: From Antiquity to the Present". Motiejūnaitė discussed the change in sport and peace from the ancient Olympic Games to the present day, talked about the change of situation in sport, whether sport always contributed to peace, gave some examples of how athletes have spread their ideological beliefs, and discussed how difficult it is to reach a dialogue between different states, but how sport can help over time, albeit in small steps. The goals of fairness, the Olympic movement, and Olympism were briefly discussed.
2018 and 2019 LOA Youth Camp participant Karolis Būdava shared his impressions and experiences from the 2019 International Olympic Academy Youth Session in Greece and invited students to join LOA activities.
The impact of doping on gender identity was discussed by Rima Valentienė, a representative of the Lithuanian Anti-Doping Agency. She talked about problems related to doping, gave specific examples of the effects of prohibited substances on sexual characteristics. Valentienė introduced some recent changes in the World Anti-Doping Code and the criteria for including substances in the Prohibited List.
Discussions took place in two working groups, moderated by 2018 and 2019 LOA student camp participants: Karolis Būdava (Vilnius Business College, 2016 International Olympic Academy Youth Session participant), Ernestas Rutkauskas (LSU), Dominyka Rizgelytė (VU) and Domantas Bazys (Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences graduate).
After a presentation of the material prepared by the discussion groups, the session was summed up by prof. Raslanas. This LOA session is the second stage of selection for the 2020 International Olympic Academy Youth Session in Greece. LOA Director Enriketa Prunskienė thanked LOA Council member, LSU lecturer prof. Daiva Majauskienė for her help in organising the LOA Youth Session.
Moments from the event can be seen in a gallery here.

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