Friday, 27 April 2012

BBC Shakespeare Animated Tales - Romeo and Juliet - Part 1

These videos could be useful for supporting the students' reading of Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth,
The Taming of the Shrew.
You can watch Shakespear's most famous plays on YouTube Shakespeare Animated channel. Hope your students will enjoy it.

Technology for teachers recommended by Lilika Couri, co-director of Educational & Training Consultants

Friday, 20 April 2012

The cheapest way to go to the Olympics

Have you decided whether you are going to London? You might be nervous about the high prices, fees and fares everywhere during the Games. You have a good reason to hesitate, but there are solutions. Here's what I have selected for you.

London is the 18th most expensive city in the world. If you are planning to save as much as possible you'll find solutions for the cheapest way to go to the Olympics here:

There are big screens in Hyde Park, Victoria Park and Trafalgar Square
There are restrictions on how much food and drink you can take into the games venues.
A series of cultural events will take place alongside the Olympic Games. There will be about 500 events culminating in a Culture Festival. It's not a new idea; like the ancient Greeks, Pierre de Coubertin had in mind to bring sport and art together. Cultural events to complement the sporting games were for the first time performed in 1952. It was only in 1992 that the Cultural Olympiad was launched as a four-year event.

Find out more about opening and closing ceremonies, VIP packages, disabled access tickets etc.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

London 2012 countdown - 100 days to go

Modern Olympic Games
Pierre de Fredy, the Baron de Coubertin was only 17 when he started developing a strong belief that sport and athletic competition can benefit humankind and encourage peace among the nations of the world. In his opinion, participating in competitions can result in improving character in each individual and unite nations of the world in peaceful contests. Like the ancient Greeks before him, he was driven by his commitment in Olympism, by determination and lofty ideals: morality, mutual respect and respect for culture, education and ethical principles.

Thanks to the Baron Pierre de Coubertin we have the chance to experience once again one of the ideals of Olympism – peace in the world -, and re-create or strengthen a way of life based on balanced body, will and mind. In 1913, the Baron introduced the five Olympic Rings (Antarctica is excluded and the two Americas are considered as one). The International Olympic Committee introduced the Olympic flame in 1934 as a link between the ancient and modern games, a symbol for eternal youth, purity and unity.

There have been important changes in the evolution of the Games during the 20th and 21st centuries: the Winter, the Paralympic and the Youth Olympic Games. The developments of the economic, political and technological realities determined the Olympics to allow participation of professional athletes and also lead to sponsorship and commercialization. Neither theories, nor ideals could prevent the Olympics from cancellation; in 1916, 1940 and 1944 the World Wars proved stronger than ethics.

Later, these mistakes were rectified and the multi-sport events attracted more and more athletes: and volunteers:
• There were 15 sports in 1928 (Amsterdam) and 46 nations were represented
• 46,967 people helped at the Olympic venues in 2,000 in Sydney
• 10,625 athletes competed in Athens in 2004 accompanied by 5,501 team officials from 201 countries. The costs exceeded €10 billion for hosting not including construction. The budget for security was about €2 billion and more than 70,000 policemen patrolled Athens and other Olympic venues.
• 11,028 athletes from 204 countries competed in 28 sports and 302 events in Beijing, China (2008). The officials informed the Media the costs were as high as for Athens, but different sources reported that about $40 billion had been spent in China.

In the next posts:
What do you know, what do you want to find out about London 2012 Olympic Games, what are the future and the potential city candidates? 
Why are 22,000 schools and colleges participating in the Olympic Games? 
How will 12 million children aound the world be encouraged to become actively involved in sports? Your comments are highly appreciated. Share this post with the others!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Let the Games begin!

Ancient Olympic Games 

The first Olympic Games were held in the village of Olympia, Greece, in 776 BC and were religious festivals. The origin is unclear; however, there are several legends and a known fact that it takes its name from Olympia, a sanctuary site for the Greek gods.

Sport and athletics were of great importance in Ancient Greece when the citizens believed that a healthy body was essential and naturally accompanied a fit mind, preparing the soldiers to march and carry the heavy equipment. Another concept, agon (=competition) was in the centre of attention. It was an honour to win a contest. It is important to mention that the Greeks competed for honour, not for material goods, and the only prize they received was an olive wreath. 

For about three centuries, the games served to strengthen the religious beliefs and the sense of national unity. Little by little, fame and the exceptional abilities of the competitors aroused the imagination of artists, sculptors, poets and writers. The games became what they are today: a celebration of athleticism, respect, fair play, art, morality etc.

In 393 AD, the Olympic Games were abolished by the Christian Byzantine Emperor Theodosius I. It was only after about 1,500 years that the so-called Modern Olympic Games began.

More about: Olympia, Greece
                      The modern town of Olympia, Greece
                      Ancient Olympic Games

In the next post: What influenced Pierre de Fredy to found the modern Olympic movement?