Palau is a small island state in Micronesia. One of the first five countries to chosen to be involved in International Inspiration, the programme has been supporting children and young people since 2007.
'The athletics series inspired by International Inspiration has given me the opportunity to do what I love – to run. I have gained so much confidence through the competition. As a result, I ran in the 2009 Palau Games and won a bronze medal in the 100m.'Ruby, age 13
One of the aims of International Inspiration in Palau is to promote healthy lifestyles – obesity is an increasing health concern on the island. It is also working to improve physical education (PE) and sport provision for primary school pupils by training PE teachers and organising regular after-school sports competitions.
Reasons to celebrate
- Four featured sports – athletics, volleyball, basketball and softball – are now included in Palau’s PE curriculum.
- Palau National Olympic Committee (NOC) and the Ministry of Education signed a cooperation agreement to continue the provision of sport for children and young people beyond International Inspiration.
Working with National Olympic Committees
Palau is a fantastic example of International Inspiration working with NOCs and governments to produce outstanding results for young people. Coaching training and the organisation of regular after-school sports competitions are at the heart of this. One outcome is that Palau Community College is now an accredited training provider, so Palauans no longer need to travel for their professional development in sport.
On the right track
Prior to International Inspiration, there was no clear structure for bringing sport into schools, but now the Palau Track and Field Association has launched a community-based athletics series that targets outlying states. This has been acknowledged by the Secretary General of the Palau National Olympic Committee, Baklai Temengil, who said: “International Inspiration has provided the link between the Palau National Olympic Committee and the Ministry of Education.”
One huge success story from this new initiative is 13-year-old Ruby. Before the athletics series, there was no formal provision for athletes in Palau’s elementary schools so Ruby’s talent remained unnoticed. Today, Ruby has become a role model at her school and she has represented her country at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games.
'The athletics series has given me the opportunity to do what I love – to run. I have gained so much confidence through the competition. As a result, I ran in the 2009 Palau Games and won a bronze medal in the 100 metres.'