Launch of Secondary School Programme

Olympic Schools Programme Dare to Believe Expands to Secondary Schools

Permanent TSB Named as Dare to Believe Sponsor

L-R Sarah Lavin Olympian, Jay Hayes, Kellie Harrington Olympian, Sadhbh Murphy, Nicole Turner Paralympian

Highlighting a significant expansion to the Olympic Federation of Ireland Olympic schools programme, Dare to Believe, Permanent TSB has today been revealed as the programme sponsor. Dare to Believe was originally launched in 2019, bringing the Olympic Games, and the Olympic values to primary schools around Ireland. Today’s announcement also sees the launch of the Dare to Believe Secondary School curriculum as well as the addition of 15 Tokyo 2020 athletes to the programme, bringing the total of Olympic and Paralympic ambassadors to thirty-one.

Over the past twelve months over 77,000 primary school children have engaged with the programme which has adapted to the globally changing environment. Since 2020 Dare to Believe has included hugely popular virtual challenges such as the Road to Tokyo, as well as a successful collaboration with RTÉ’s Home School Hub. Dare to Believe is an interactive ‘Five Ring’ curriculum teaching students about Olympics values such as respect, friendship and striving for excellence, and includes a classroom visit from an Olympic ambassador.

The secondary school curriculum is based on the same principles and has been developed in conjunction with teachers and explores important topics through the lens of sport. Aimed primarily at Transition Year students, topics that are addressed range from the positive impact of sport on society as a whole and well-being, to important topics such as respect, equality and hate speech, through the Don’t Scroll By module. The curriculum encourages dialogue around key subjects such as mental health and racism.

The expansion of the programme includes fourteen exciting new ambassadors who will deliver their story to classrooms, imparting insights on their sporting journey and sharing tips on how to deal with challenges, demonstrating examples of their resilience. The ambassadors range from Olympic hopefuls to Olympic and Paralympic medallists, including Olympic Champion Kellie Harrington, Olympic bronze medallists Aifric Keogh and Eimear Lambe and Paralympic silver medallist Nicole Turner.

Harrington has been a Dare to Believe ambassador since the launch of the programme in 2019 and is passionate about inspiring communities and schoolchildren around the country. The Olympic gold medallist is also a Permanent TSB ambassador and speaking at the announcement said,

“I want to give kids what I have had in my sporting career, and I want to let them know that believing is achieving. That anything is possible once they believe. Through the Dare to Believe programme, as ambassadors, we can show them the power of believing in their dreams, and that if they dare to believe they can achieve something positive in their lives, be it an actor, a singer or a sports star.

Kellie Harrington, Olympic Champion & Dare to Believe Ambassador