Olympic Schools ‘Dare to Believe’ program expands to high schools

At the launch of the OFI Dare to Believe high school curriculum, sponsored by the permanent TSB, are Dare to Believe ambassadors, from left, Sarah Lavin, Kellie Harrington and Nicole Turner with Jay Hayes and Sadhbh Murphy. An additional 15 Tokyo 2020 athletes have been added to the program today, bringing the total number of Olympic and Paralympic ambassadors to thirty-one. For more information visit www.daretobelieve.ie Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Permanent TSB named sponsor of ‘Dare to Believe’

31 Olympic and Paralympic stars to visit schools across Ireland

Highlighting a significant expansion of the Irish Olympic Federation’s Dare to Believe Olympic Schools programme, the permanent TSB has today been revealed as the sponsor of the programme. Dare to Believe was originally launched in 2019, bringing the Olympic Games and Olympic values ​​to Ireland’s primary schools. Today’s announcement also sees the launch of the Dare to Believe high school curriculum, as well as the addition of 15 Tokyo 2020 athletes to the programme, bringing the total number of Olympic and Paralympic ambassadors to 31.

Over the last twelve months, more than 77,000 primary school children have been involved in the program which has adapted to the globally changing environment. Since 2020, Dare to Believe has included hugely popular virtual challenges such as Road to Tokyo, as well as a successful collaboration with RTÉ’s Home School Hub. Dare to Believe is an interactive “Five Rings” curriculum that teaches students Olympic Games values ​​such as respect, friendship and the pursuit of excellence, and includes a visit to an ambassador’s classroom of Team Ireland.

The high school curriculum is based on the same principles and has been developed in conjunction with teachers and explores important themes through the lens of sport. Aimed primarily at Transition Year students, the topics covered range from the positive impact of sport on society as a whole and well-being, to important issues such as respect, equality and hate speech, through the module ‘ Don’t Scroll By’ . The curriculum encourages dialogue around key topics such as mental health and racism.

The program expansion includes 15 exciting new ambassadors who will tell their story in the classroom, impart insights on their sporting journey and share tips on how to meet challenges, demonstrating examples of their resilience. Ambassadors range from Olympic hopefuls to Olympic and Paralympic medalists, including Olympic champion Kellie Harrington, Olympic bronze medalists Aifric Keogh and Eimear Lambe, and Paralympic silver medalist Nicole Turner.

Harrington has been an ambassador for Dare to Believe since the program’s launch in 2019 and is passionate about inspiring communities and schoolchildren across the country. The Olympic gold medalist is also a permanent ambassador for TSB and speaking at the announcement he said:

“I want to give the children what I have had in my sports career and I want them to know that believing is achieving. That everything is possible once you believe. Through the Dare to Believe program, as ambassadors, we can show them the power of believing in their dreams, and that if they dare to believe they can achieve something positive in their lives, whether they are an actor, a singer or a sports star. I’m excited to see the program expand to transition year students and I think this can make a real difference to someone.”

Dare to Believe was founded by Roisin McGettigan, a 2008 Beijing Olympian,

We are excited to expand our Dare to Believe program to high schools. We all know that there is a high level of adolescents leaving the sport and this program aims to address this problem and promote the broader values ​​of the sport; physically, socially and mentally. Through Dare to Believe, sport is promoted as a self-development tool for building character, leadership, community connection, and wellness. We work with TY teachers and students at every stage of the TY program’s evolution to ensure the 6-unit curriculum is fit for purpose as an interdisciplinary wellness and life skills program. Our Olympic and Paralympic ambassador role models are eager to go into schools to work with this cohort and I am sure they will have an incredible impact on the students they interact with.”

speaking at launchEamonn Crowley, Permanent Executive Director of TSB, said:

“The Dare to Believe school program has made a significant impact in communities across the country over the past 12 months, reaching more than 77,000 elementary school children. We are proud to be able to support its expansion to high schools, to help further increase that impact.

“Our community spirit is a key differentiator for the permanent TSB, and like us, Dare to Believe draws from communities across the country.

“This is a natural sponsorship for the Bank as it goes hand in hand with the recent announcement of our historic partnership with the Irish Olympic and Paralympic teams for Paris 2024.

“Everyone at TSB Permanent is excited about Team Ireland. We want to share that excitement with the many thousands of schoolchildren who will benefit not only from the programme, but also from the opportunity to meet Ireland’s Olympians and Paralympians, who are a prime example of what can happen when you dare to believe.” .

Speaking today, OFI CEO Peter Sherrard said:

“We are delighted to have the ongoing support of the TSB to grow and develop our Dare to Believe school program. Since it started in 2019, it has gone from strength to strength. Athletes have shown how powerful and inspiring their stories can be for children across the country.

“Thanks to the permanent TSB, we have an exciting new high school curriculum that will see our ambassador athletes engage students through a variety of challenging and relevant topics that transcend sports, greatly helping teens in a critical moment in their development journeys.”

Registration for the Dare to Believe program is free and full details can be found at www.daretobelieve.ie for the Primary and Secondary curricula.

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