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St. Lawrence High School, in association with its alumni SLOBA, celebrated Olympic Day on Thursday, June 20th  , 2019 by participating in Category 1 – All Schools in Kolkata of the Drawing and Painting Competition “Expression 2019”. To participate in Category 2 – All Schools Worldwide go here Invitation to Participate in “Expression 2019”

Olympic Day that is observed on June 23rd, celebrates three pillars – “move”, “learn” and “discover”- through various sporting, cultural and educational activities.

Although the Tokyo Olympic Games are still a year away, hundreds of students of St. Lawrence High School received a taste of the Olympics quite early with the grand celebration of Olympic Day. Ms. Diane de Navacelle, the great great grand niece of the Father of Modern Olympics- Pierre de Fredy, Baron de Coubertin, graciously accepted to be the Chief Guest on this occasion. She represents Association Familiale Pierre De Coubertin (AFPC). It is also noteworthy to mention that this year marks the 125th anniversary of Pierre De Coubertin’s famous speech at the Sorbonne and the opening of the new International Olympic Committee headquarters in Lausanne. Ms. Diane is also an artist and a member of Mr. Roald Bradstock’s Art of the Olympians Committee.

Olympian and artist Mr. Roald Bradstock who is better known as the “Olympic Picasso” is the brand ambassador for Expression 2019 also graced the occasion by his presence. Mr. Roald Bradstock is a two-time Olympic javelin thrower from Britain who competed in the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984 and in the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988. He is also a trained artist and sculptor and works to promote the blending of sports and arts in the Olympics.

The day began with welcoming the Chief Guests with traditional Indian custom of Aarti and Tika, followed by the elaborate display of a giant poster on the school ground. Around 400 students of the school, each holding a placard, stood in a formation to create a giant poster of the Father of Modern Olympics- Pierre de Fredy, Baron de Coubertin, founder of the International Olympic Committee.

They also made a formation to show the Olympic rings and the torch. There was a cultural programme with traditional Indian Kathak Dance and Rabindrasangeet, traditional Bengali song, performed by students. A few students also recited a Poem written by the great Bengali poet, Rabindranath Tagore. There was also a short quiz conducted by a staff member on Olympic values and games in the presence of the dignitaries.

Interestingly enough, Mr. Bradstock created a new World Record by clicking 192 selfies in three minutes with the students and Ms. Diane in the school ground.

Later in the day, around 1,700 students, including 200 from other Kolkata schools, took part in the Drawing and Painting Competition for students of schools worldwide by the title “Expression 2019”. The theme for the competition “Sports-Environment-Peace” (emphasis on Olympics Values and the Characteristics of Environment).

A sound body in sound mind, involved in any sports, always depends on environment. Therefore, promoting environment through sports makes it easier to educate children on the importance of environmental sustainability. Even in Olympic Charter it is mentioned to organize green Olympic games to promote environmental sustainability. It is of primary importance that children at school level be made aware of Achieving Peace and Environmental Sustainability through Sports, that syncs perfectly with the theme for this year’s  Expression  2019. And what a better way to encourage a child’s self expression if not through art! After all the essence of Art is expressing oneself! And the best way to understand their mind is through their own illustrations.

Mr. Bradstock along with Ms. Diane, students, staff, teaching and non-teaching, planted a sapling in the school premises to show support for the environment. The theme for this year’s Expression is Achieving Peace and Environmental Sustainability through Sports. Therefore, it stands as a reminder that as much as we love sports and supporting our favourite athletes, we must also spare a thought for the environment. After all, Nature is as much a part of us as we are a part of Nature! And we must learn to conserve what seeks to sustain us.

The modern Olympic games, in their earliest decades, relied on creative competition. Between 1912 and 1948, the International Olympic Committee awarded gold, silver and bronze medals to artists in five categories- painting, sculpture, architecture, literature and music.

It was Coubertin’s dream to marry the aesthetic with the athletic. We are celebrating that dream,” remarked Mr. Bradstock, highlighting the importance of the day.