Asian Olympians share insights in Korea

1 | 10 | 2014

Representatives from Asian National Olympians Associations met during the Asian Games in Incheon, Korea for a workshop jointly hosted by the Korean Olympians Association and the World Olympians Association in order to share knowledge and insights that will lead to them being better able to serve their members and society.

Following opening remarks from IOC member Adam Pengilly, KOA President Sun Chon Song and WOA President Joel Bouzou the KOA presented the work it had undertaken to bring Asian Olympians together and the WOA presented the work it had done in the past year to transform it into an organisation that could more efficiently and effectively serve its members.

Mark Chay of Singapore kicked off the workshop segment explaining how the Olympians of Singapore worked with the Singapore National Olympic Committee, its Athletes Commission, the government and other sporting bodies in order to provide benefits for Olympians and to run projects that helped benefit the local community including those aimed at getting children to become more active and lead a healthier lifestyle.

The full day workshop discussed many topics in an open and constructive way. There was general consensus on a number of issues including agreement with the WOA's proposed prioritisation of four service to Olympians Projects (Games Time Integration for Olympians; Life Transition; Post-Career Health and Fitness and Breaking the glass ceiling) and four service to society programs (Olympic Day, World Fit, White Cards for Peace and the Environment). The intention is that National Olympians Associations  will choose which projects their member Olympians will activate in their own countries at the national and local level.

The workshop also discussed the proposed new draft WOA Charter and agreed with the definition of Continental Groupings, as proposed in the draft, to ensure every Continent was represented on the WOA's Executive Committee. The workshop also approved of the plan to ensure equality of representation by enshrining in the Charter that each Continental Grouping would elect two members, one male and one female.

KOA President Sun Chon Song said: "It was a great honour and privilege to host the Asian Olympians workshop during the Asian Games in Incheon. It was another great opportunity for me to feel the great value of the WOA. We have been working for years to bring the National Associations of Asia closer together and this is an important step in our journey to ensure that the voice of the Olympians of Asia is properly heard and represented on the world stage and that Asian Olympians Associations benefit from each other’s experiences."

WOA President Joel Bouzou said: "We would like to thank the KOA for its hard work over the years and this initiative which was very valuable for both the WOA and the National Olympians Associations of Asia. We learned a lot. This will help us to ensure our plans are best tailored to the needs of our members. It was particularly pleasing to see countries from Asia in attendance who do not yet have Olympians Associations. We are looking forward to welcoming new members soon to join the 142 existing member National Associations of the WOA."