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As part of the European Year 2012, the Netherlands participated in the generations@school initiative during the first edition of the Generations Games, which took place in Rotterdam on June 23.
In this occasion, instead of inviting seniors to visit a school, students of De Catemaran elementary school met with old citizens in the city centre. The children, together with their parents and grandparents had an inspiring dialogue with athlete Olga Commandeur (Olympic Games Los Angeles 1984), who is well known for her daily fitness program on national television. Olga explained why a relay baton is an important symbol of cooperation and passing on experiences between people of all ages.
Through interesting anecdotes and interaction with the generations who were present, ideas were exchanged on how generations can work together and inspire each other. Also the importance of sports participation by people of all ages was stressed. After this dialogue, Olga Commandeur gave a dynamic fitness clinic.
Elementary School De Catemaran has been selected as most sportive elementary school of the Netherlands in 2009 and 2010. The school actively promotes a healthy lifestyle with the vision “jong geleerd is oud gedaan”: learning a healthy lifestyle at a young age will help growing into active adults and eventually into active agers.
Interested schools will find ideas and supporting documents on how to organize the generations@school day on the project website. The Internat site also allows schools to upload images (photos and drawings) about their experiences on a map of Europe.
Over 170 schools have already shared their intergenerational experiences and photos. By doing so, schools will participate in a European competition. In each country, one outstanding generations@school project will be awarded a prize.