WOA awards more grants than ever in 2019

5 | 8 | 2019

WOA has awarded funding to ten more inspiring Olympian-led projects from around the world as part of the 2019 WOA Grants Programme, adding to the two awarded at the World Olympians Forum in April.

The successful recipients will each receive US five thousand dollars ($5,000) to help them deliver projects that serve the needs of Olympians and help them to spread the spirit of Olympism in their countries, in line with WOA’s core mission.

The 2019 Service to Society grant recipients are:

  • Nigeria: The SubUrb – engaging children in quality education, which support learning schemes through sport
  • Egypt: Olympic Pharaohs – re-energising the National Olympian Association and building programmes to benefit society
  • Mexico: Olympic Sports Traffic Light – using sport to prevent addiction, inactivity and obesity and to promote peace by collaboration
  • Malaysia: Back to School sending Olympians to their home town school to share their inspirational stories with the next generation
  • Moldova: Olympians Go Eco – supporting Olympians in environmental events like the Olympic EcoFest

The 2019 Service to Olympians grant recipients are:

  • Rwanda: Sustainability of Rwandese Olympian’s Capacity – supporting Olympian survivors of genocide by building capacity and developing skill
  • Guyana: Olympians Reunion and Honouring  – delivering a weekend reunion for Guyana Olympians
  • Philippines: SEA Games NOA Workshop – building networks and cohesion amongst the SEA NOAs and Asian Olympians
  • Denmark:  Match Race with Olympians – hosting an event for Olympians’ children to compete in a sailing competition
  • Papua New Guinea: Reunion of PNG Olympians – uniting Olympians from across the country for the first time to knowledge share and develop a strategic plan

This year’s Grants Programme was launched at the World Olympians Forum in Lausanne and saw a record number of entries, thanks in part to the innovative and interactive format of the launch. National Olympians Associations were invited to enter a competitive pitch process involving a live Grants Challenge at the Forum, aimed at helping NOAs practice the skills needed to compete in business and present ideas clearly.

In addition to the two winners of the Grants Challenge – Lithuania and Colombia – a further eight of the National Olympians Associations who took part in the pitch competition - Nigeria, Egypt, Mexico, Malaysia, Moldova, Rwanda, Philippines and Papua New Guinea - have now also been awarded funding alongside the projects from Guyana and Denmark, taking the total number of projects funded in 2019 to 12.

WOA Treasurer and Grants Panel Chair Patrick Singleton OLY said:

“The WOA Grants Programme continues to grow and innovate every year, and 2019 is no different. The grants panel was encouraged by the strong geographic spread of submissions and the quality of the proposals. We are looking forward to seeing the inspirational work that Olympians around the world will be undertaking. We at the WOA are honoured to assist such worthy Olympian-led projects as our mission is to be to be of service to Olympians, empowering them to help make the world a better place.

WOA President Joël Bouzou OLY said:

“I was impressed with the quality of proposed programmes and presentation at the WOA Grants Challenge which took place during World Olympians Forum 2019, and to see how professional the pitches were. We firmly believe that Olympians have the ability to make a genuine difference, spreading the spirit and practice of Olympism to drive positive social change. The WOA Grants Programme is one of the ways we can help them achieve this and we look forward to following this year’s grant recipients with interest as the projects come to fruition in the coming months.”

Since 2016, WOA has given more than 120 grants to support NOAs worldwide. Projects have ranged from drowning prevention programmes in India and Lithuania, an Olympian-run community chicken farm in Zimbabwe, bringing sport to orphaned children in Malaysia and those affected by conflict in Colombia.