The growing impact of NOAs in Asia

11 | 12 | 2018

Jovina Choo OLY has been busy supporting National Olympians Associations in her new role as the WOA Asia Development Officer.

Jovina joined WOA in September. Here are her initial impressions.

How are you settling into your new position?

It’s been quite an adventure. I’m constantly learning something new and meeting new people. There is so much potential for the NOAs but it’s about working within the resources available. That’s the challenge, which also makes it a lot of fun.

Which NOAs have you visited?

I hit the ground running with a visit to the Philippine Olympians Association in September, Chinese Taipei Olympians Association at the end of September and most recently, I was in Kuala Lumpur in November with the Malaysian Olympians Association. I also attended the Olympic Council of Asia Athletes’ Forum in Tokyo a couple of weeks ago. Next up is Singapore, my home country, which I am really looking forward to. It would be exciting to get some Olympian activities going in Singapore.

What have you learned from your experience so far?

That the learning never ends. Each NOA has their unique set of opportunities and challenges, so it is about adapting the solutions to fit the needs of each. Proper planning is also key to maximising resources and getting the right results.

Tell us about an interesting NOA project?

The Chinese Taipei NOA is currently putting together plans for a café run by Olympians. The business will provide job opportunities to Olympians as well as raise funds for the association for their Service to Society projects. It is a big project that will take a while to get off the ground but also one which will make a great impact when it does.

What has been the best thing you’ve been involved with?

There have been so many inspiring moments. One project that really moved me is the Malaysian Olympians Association’s collaboration with the Lighthouse Children’s Home, for which they were awarded a 2017 WOA Service to Society grant. I had the opportunity to visit the Children’s Home when I was there. It was heartening to hear about the impact the Olympians’ involvement had on the children, and I look forward to working with the MOA on a similar programme in the future.

Have you received a warm welcome from the NOAs you have visited?

Absolutely. They have all been great hosts and are amazing people to work and share ideas with. It has been useful for them to gain a global perspective and get first-hand news from WOA, while also connecting with other NOAs in the region.

The New Year is almost upon us, what are your plans for 2019?

Our aim is to continue to grow and strengthen the NOA network in each country. We want to see more Olympians engaged with the Olympic movement and actively promoting Olympism within their communities.  

I am excited to see the many programmes, currently under development, being rolled out in 2019 and beyond. Olympic Day in June will also be a major highlight.

Sum up in three words the Olympians you have met on your travels?

Passionate, generous, achievers.