First Annual Himalayan Olympics comes to a close!

High jump

The first annual Helambu Himalayan Olympics came to an end last week. Over 200 students from 12 different schools attended a three day sports and games tournament organized by our local partners Helambu Environment and Livelihood Project (HELP) and co-funded by Helambu Project.

Children in rural schools rarely get a chance to meet and compete with students from other schools and the event was a great opportunity for students from different communities to meet and form new friendships. We had near equal participation from boys and girls, and students had a chance to compete in over fifteen events: sack races, javelin, shot put, high jump, long jump, soccer, essay writing competitions, song competitions, speech and debate, chess, badminton, volleyball, tug of war, long and short distance running, and of course football. For many students it was their first chance to play some of the sports and HELP arranged to have some sports celebrities come from Kathmandu and teach the participants some pro-tips. One student after playing his first match of football (soccer) said, “I had only ever seen football in books and pictures, I had never a chance to play it before.”

Events like these are an important part of any child’s education. Not only do sports and games motivate and inspire students, but they also give students a chance to bond with other students across schools and create a sense of camaraderie and school spirit. Perhaps one of the most moving moments of the event was when a young girl who was initially too shy to compete in the sack race because she had never competed in front of so many people before, took home the gold medal in the event. Every school eventually took home a medal in at least one event and by the end students had renewed determination to do even better in next year’ s Olympic

s.

All participating schools also received a set of sports equipment donated by Helambu Project to take home and practice for this and next year’s Olympics, which will surely be an even bigger success.

Special thanks should be given to all of the sponsors and participants of the events. HELP did a wonderful job organization the event, and MondoChallenge Foundation also generously contributed to help cover food for the all of the participants and guests. International Teachers Foundation and Children of the Earth made contributions to the event, which was also covered by Kathmandu’s newspapers and media. 

Congratulations to all the participants and winners!!

High jump

Long jump

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