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Olympic Celebrations: Physical Activities to Promote Diversity in Your Classroom

Sport and physical activity can bring students of all cultures together. When students share an engaging sport or physical activity experience with classmates from the various cultures and countries represented in the B.C. school system, they have the unique opportunity to make friends with people from all sorts of backgrounds. The more diversity they encounter, the more they will learn to respect all of their peers equally. 

What does diversity look like in physical activity?

In practice, that means:

  • a school physical activity culture that values diversity and response to the diverse social and cultural needs of its community; 
  • a physical activity culture that promotes understanding and respect; 
  • a participation environment free from discrimination, harassment and violence;
  • equitable access and equal opportunities to participate in quality physical activity; and 
  • a recognition that adaptations may need to be made for activities and rules, and more! 


How can you promote diversity through activity? 

There are many ways to support diversity and inclusion of all of your students within physical activity. With the Beijing 2022 Winter Games coming up, here are a few Olympic-themed suggestions: 

Hold mini-Olympic celebrations 

Assign groups of students to represent different nations. Make national flags and learn about assigned countries and their sports and recreational activities in social studies.

March in an opening ceremony and compete in a range of diversity-themed events. Hold a closing ceremony with teams mingled.

Build on the Paralympic Games

Diversity includes celebrating the games and sports played by persons with disabilities. Demonstrate that sport is for all by profiling Paralympians on the class bulletin boards, inviting an athlete with disabilities to visit the class, or teaching a sport like wheelchair rugby or goalball.

For more ideas around promoting diversity through physical activity, and opportunities to learn more about the importance of diversity, download the following resource: Lasting Impact: The Importance of Diversity.

Are you interested in learning more about physical activity and physical literacy and their importance for your students? Check out our other classroom resources and the various professional development opportunities available through the School Physical Activity and Physical Literacy project.