1994 – Norwegian top athletes said YES
Important contributors and funding sources were among others the Norwegian Olympic Committee and the Customs. Atle Vårvik was in charge of the progress. Johann O. Koss was Atle's sparring partner. Sigrun Vårvik was his supporter and helper.
The response from schools, sports clubs and businesses all over Norway was overwhelming.
24 May 1994, the first information meeting took place. Eight top athletes were gathered at the Norwegian top-level athletics centre and all of them said yes to take part in the calendar project "Norwegian Top Athletes Against Drugs". They wanted to contribute to a better society and the fight against drug abuse.
The fact that these famous top athletes were so strongly involved in the calendar project has been of great importance for what we today know as MOT. Walt Disney once said; I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse. In MOT we must never forget that it was all started by top athletes. It laid the foundation for the brand MOT, youth’s associations to MOT and last but not least, the position MOT got in society from day one.
The first calendar was printed in October 1994. The response from schools, sports clubs and businesses was overwhelming and the whole edition of 45,000 copies was distributed in a short time. In 1995, the calendar was in every classroom in every secondary and upper secondary school in Norway.
Important contributors and funding sources were among others the Norwegian Olympic Committee and the Customs. Atle was in charge of the progress. Sigrun was his supporter and helper. Johann was his sparring partner. The calendar project's objective was to strengthen youth's awareness and self-esteem. The message from the top athletes was to take care of each other and to make conscious choices.
In the period 1994–1997, Atle enjoyed a lot of goodwill from the Customs who allowed him to use his working hours to develop MOT. The period was recognized by the many conversations and goodwill from lots of people, a lot of experimenting and testing, planning and surveys. Countless hours were spent to understand the youth and their situation and way of thinking, as well as what they want and need of attitude-building initiatives.
Extract from MOT’s comprehensive plan, December 1996:
The logo "MOT" shall be an important instrument. The MOT logo shall be a hallmark for attitude altering and preventative work material. MOT shall become cool. It’s going to be cool to make one’s own choices, cool to say no, cool to care and cool to wear a MOT t-shirt. Courage to care, courage to say no and courage to live is going to be "in".
It was decided that the MOT logo should be protected and treated very consciously – like a newborn baby. And role models should wear the MOT logo. When positive role models wear the MOT logo it works as a reminder and reinforcement of MOT's message.
When positive role models communicate MOT, it makes MOT cooler and it is easier for the MOT coach to have an impact on the youth.
– Atle Vårvik, Principal founder of MOT