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Where in the world?

Broadening our horizons

by Brian Radcliffe

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)


To explore students’ views of a wider world (SEAL theme: Empathy).

Preparation and materials

  • In 2014, the Winter Olympic Games will be held in Sochi, Russia (there is a useful 60-second tour of the Sochi venue that can be shown in Step 2 at: The idea is that, by discussing the Games, the students will be encouraged to be aware of and develop a greater sense of the world beyond the UK.

  • You will need three readers.

  • Also, have available the song ‘Reach for the top’ by Jeff Durand (the Sochi 2014 theme song) and the means to play it at the end of the assembly.


  1. Leader If I was to ask you any question about the Summer Olympics, London 2012, you’d probably be able to give me an answer. It has already become a special part of our history. Many of us actually witnessed parts of it, whether it was the torch relay, competitions or celebrations to mark the return home of medal winners to a town nearby or being lucky enough to attend one of the events. I wonder, though, how many of the following questions you could answer.

    – Where is the venue for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games?
    – What is unusual about this venue?
    – How will the venue be used after the Olympics have finished?


  2. Here are some people who can give us the right answers.

    Reader 1 The 2014 Winter Olympic Games are taking place between 7 and 23 February in the city of Sochi, on the Black Sea coast of Russia.

    Reader 2 Sochi is the warmest venue ever to host the Winter Olympic Games. Because it’s on the coast, the average February temperature is 8 degrees. Ice skating, ice hockey and curling will take place in specially built indoor arenas. Skiing and sled events will have to take place inland, away from the main venue, in the surrounding mountains.

    Reader 3 Once the Games are over, Sochi will develop a Formula 1 racing circuit through the city streets. The Russian Grand Prix will take place there for a number of years.

    You may wish to show the 60-second tour of the venue at this point.

  3. Leader We know so much about what’s going on near to home, yet so little about the wider world. Some say it’s a trait of the British character, yet there are young people like you, in Sochi and the rest of Russia who are very excited about the Winter Olympic Games. Right now, they’re looking up the competitors, particularly for sports such as ice hockey and downhill skiing, wondering who’s going to bring home the medals. Just as you got involved in London 2012, they are getting involved in the Winter Olympic Games preparations. 

    Speaking of competitors, what chance do we have of winning medals in Sochi? Can you name any British sportsmen and women who are going to take part?


    Here are some to look out for.

    Reader 1 There are Katie Summerhayes and James Woods entering the freestyle skiing – a  really exciting sport to watch. It is rather like skateboarding on snow.

    Reader 2 Speaking of boarding, Jenny Jones and Billy Morgan both stand a great chance in the snowboarding, as does Elise Christie in the short track speed skating events.

    Reader 3 We have some top teams as well. Our men and women both stand a chance in the curling events.

Time for reflection

Leader There are many others who are worth watching out for, too. The men’s bobsleigh teams are riding well and maybe our best chances come in the skeleton bob with world champion Shelley Rudman and ex-pentathlete Lizzy Yarnold.

Can you feel a little excitement building? I hope so, not simply because we might win something but also because it’s important to grow in our awareness of what excites people all over the world. When we share an interest, then we begin to grow together as people. We may live thousands of miles apart but the Winter Olympic Games can bring us together. 

Dear Lord,
Thank you for the excitement of sports competitions.
Thank you for the way sport draws together competitors and spectators from different countries.
May we share one another’s enthusiasms and broaden our view of the people of the world.


‘Reach for the top’ by Jeff Durand (the Sochi 2014 theme song)

Publication date: February 2014   (Vol.16 No.2)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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