Crowd of young students cheering

About the programme

International Inspiration is the official legacy programme of the London 2012 Olympics.  The programme is a result of a global partnership between British Council, UNICEF and UK Sport.  It is endorsed by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOGOC).

International Inspiration was implemented in Ethiopia from October 2011 to March 2014.

International Inspiration in Ethiopia

The aim of the programme was to help more children and young people in Ethiopia take part in high quality and inclusive PE, sport and play activities to equip them with leadership and life skills to address key social issues, including harmful traditional practices.  The programme had a particular focus on girls and those with disabilities.

What the programme achieved in Ethiopia

Together with our strategic partners, we were able to achieve high level results in Ethiopia:

National PE curriculum revision

As a result of International Inspiration intervention, the national Ethiopian school PE curriculum and teacher education curriculum was revised to improve quality and address issues of inclusivity.  

Currently 21 million children are in schools in Ethiopia.  Of this number, 3 million have some form of disability.  Therefore, this was a policy level intervention, positioning International Inspiration to have an impact on all children and young people currently in schools and teacher education colleges.

National community sport framework

Through the support of International Inspiration, the national community sport framework was formulated in partnership with the Federal Sport Commission.  The objective of the sport framework was to map out possible strategies to support and strengthen poor community sport practices in Ethiopia.  

According to data from the Federal Sport Commission, currently only 0.4% of the total population in Ethiopia is participating in sport.  There is also a consensus that these limited sporting opportunities in Ethiopia are highly concentrated in urban areas and exclude people with disabilities.  

To alter this situation and increase community sport participation in Ethiopia, British Council, together with UK Sport, and the Federal Sport Commission, developed the national community sport framework through a symposium which brought all stakeholders together for three days.  

In-service professional development training

To date, International Inspiration has provided in-service professional development training for 152 PE teachers and community coaches in Ethiopia.  

The training was designed and delivered around crucially important areas such as:

  • how to involve children with disabilities in sport activities
  • how to develop PE teaching aids from locally available resources
  • how to increase student participation in PE lessons
  • how to deliver high quality sports in schools 
  • how to work with young people in schools.  

Following the training, International Inspiration schools are taking the lead in challenging the limiting belief that disability can mean exclusion from sporting activities. 

School partnership programme

The school partnership programme was established to give a platform for secondary schools in Ethiopia and the UK to share best practice and to network teachers and students to appreciate their cultural identities.  Thirty secondary schools in total are linked both from Ethiopia and the UK.  

Following the partnership, reciprocal visits were conducted by staff from both sides.  These links gave opportunities for the schools to share experiences in subjects beyond physical education, including school leadership, English language and science subjects.  Moreover, students in some schools are networked with their UK counterparts to share local and international issues.  

To use the partnership opportunity optimally, the UK teachers are being engaged in organising training sessions during their visit to Ethiopia around teaching methodology for the entire staff in their respective partner schools. 

Youth leadership and life skills training

To date nearly 12,472 children and young people in Ethiopia have been involved in various International Inspiration programmes.  Of this number, 1,912 young leaders have been involved in leadership and life skill training such as YSL and TOPS training.  

One of the objectives of the training was to empower children and young people in Ethiopia to play active roles in combating societal problems, such as harmful traditional practices.  As a result of the training, reports from schools and districts are verifying that children and young people are able to play active roles in promoting local and international issues such as quality education, family-planning, environmental protection and co-existence.  

Following the young leaders’ strong showcases, the federal Ministry of Education and the Federal Sport Commission requested that this training be cascaded to a further 23,400 children and young people in Ethiopia.  Currently, British Council has provided the ToT training for cascade trainers.  This will have a lasting impact in shaping the future in Ethiopia through children and young people who are British Council trained.    

Girls-club training

The International Inspiration programme has provided training opportunities for girls' clubs in Ethiopian schools.  

Nearly 360 girls in secondary schools are benefitting from this training opportunity and are able to run their clubs effectively. Moreover, the clubs are contributing to addressing girl-focused issues such as school drop-out, early-marriage and family planning.

Secondary-primary school partnerships

One of the areas where International Inspiration is working in Ethiopia is in strengthening partnerships among secondary schools and primary schools locally.  

To meet this objective, PE teachers in secondary schools are offering professional development training for PE teachers in primary schools.  This introduced a sustainable and cost-effective way of providing professional development among local schools. 

College-school partnerships

International Inspiration Ethiopia is working closely with Kotebe University College (the pioneer of sport education programmes in Ethiopia) to strengthen the partnership opportunity between the University College and schools in the cluster area.  

Following various training sessions by International Inspiration, the physical education department in the University is working as a centre of excellence to offer continuous professional development training.  So far, female physical education teachers have been involved in a variety of professional development training sessions. 

Netball training

One of the problems identified during the International Inspiration scoping was poor female participation in sport in schools. One of the reasons identified for this was an insufficient number of games in schools.  

To increase sport opportunities in schools, netball training and sport kits were offered to 15 secondary schools in Ethiopia. Moreover, to scale up this opportunity, a joint programme has been designed, together with the International Netball Association, to offer netball training to 150 PE teachers and 200 girls from more than 75 schools in Ethiopia.   

Supporting social change

Through its high level achievements, International Inspiration continues to have the following impact on Ethiopian society: 

  • Improved quality of education in general and physical education in particular.
  • Increased community sport participation in Ethiopia including the participation of girls and people with disabilities.