Schools nationwide are invited to join the Irish Olympic team on an interactive journey to the Olympic Games in Paris.

The challenge is part of the OFI’s ‘Dare to Believe’ programme supported by PTSB

Today the Olympic Federation of Ireland, together with PTSB, officially launched the ‘Road to Paris’, an interactive schools challenge that is part of the Dare to Believe Olympic Schools Programme. With Paris 2024 being almost a ‘home Games’ which is also the 100 year anniversary of Team Ireland competing in the Olympics, this challenge is aimed at getting primary school children more active, whilst learning more about Irish participation at the Games ahead of the summer’s Olympic fever.

Rolling out from 15 April to 10 May, the Dare to Believe ‘Road to Paris’ is a free 4-week challenge which encourages schools to get more active, whilst learning fun and engaging facts about the Olympics, French culture, and Team Ireland.

Over the four weeks schools log their activities which in turn convert to distances on a map that brings them around Ireland and across the sea to Paris. The journey includes five stops where videos and classroom challenges are unlocked, revealing messages and insights from some of Ireland’s top athletes like Olympic Champion boxer Kellie Harrington, Olympic medallist in rowing Aifric Keogh, and World Champion gymnast Rhys McClenaghan.

Hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren around the country are anticipated to participate in the programme, and registration is now open for the free, inclusive, and easy-to-follow programme.

Schools are encouraged to head to  to register their teams, the first 2000 teachers to register will receive an exclusive and unique Team Ireland Olympic Challenge map, by illustrator Fatti Burke.

Founders of the programme are Beijing Olympian Roisin McGettigan and Róisín Jones, Dare to Believe Programme Manager. Speaking ahead of the launch, McGettigan said,

With the building excitement of the Paris Olympics this Summer, we are delighted to announce the Road to Paris Olympic School Challenge. We want every school kid in Ireland to get to know and love our Olympic Stars, feel connected to the biggest sporting event on the planet and increase their motivation to be physically active.

Leontia Fannin, Head of Corporate Affairs at PTSB, said,

“As proud title sponsor of both the Dare to Believe Schools programme and Team Ireland for Paris 2024, PTSB is delighted to support the ‘Road to Paris’ schools challenge.

“In such an exciting year for Team Ireland as it celebrates 100 years of participating in the Olympics, the ‘Road to Paris’ challenge offers school children across the country a really unique and interactive way to participate in sport and physical activity while getting involved in the Olympics excitement in the run up to the Games this summer.”

Annie Colquhoun, Teacher at Christchurch National School Waterford stated,

“Being able to bring the Olympics into the classroom in such a fun and interactive way will enrich the learning in any classroom and act as a huge inspiration to the children taking part. The current, up-to-date interviews with Ireland’s elite athletes are engaging and they allow schools to share in the excitement in the build-up to the Olympics in July.”

Olympian and Irish record holder and PTSB ambassador, Sarah Lavin has been contributing to the Road to Paris challenge, and is looking forward to inspiring school children around Ireland,

“Being a Dare to Believe ambassador is important to me, and thanks to the support of PTSB it is wonderful for us to be able to share our Olympic journey with hundreds of thousands of students around the country. I was obsessed with all sports as a kid, and I would have loved to have a challenge like Road to Paris to feel involved in the Olympic Games as a student.”

Sign up to get involved in the Olympic Schools Challenge – Road to Paris  HERE

The OFI Dare to Believe programme is now in its fifth year and it teaches primary school students about Olympic Values and Olympism through a curriculum that includes over 40 of the approved education methodologies. The new Olympic Schools Challenge – Road to Paris will focus on exploring the joy of effort and the wider benefits of sport and staying active, with topics like teamwork, visualisation, motivation and goal setting discussed on the way. Find out more here.

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