WOA outlines commitment to the growth and development of National Olympians Associations at ANOC General Assembly

16 | 11 | 2016

World Olympians Association (WOA) President Joël Bouzou has called for greater collaboration between National Olympic Committees and National Olympians Associations, citing the strong relationship between the International Olympic committee (IOC) and WOA as an example of two organisations that are successfully working together in the best interests of Olympians.

Speaking at the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) General Assembly in Qatar on Wednesday, Mr Bouzou urged all NOCs present to consider ways in which to develop deeper, more meaningful relationships with their country’s National Olympians Associations (NOAs) in order to enhance the legacy of Olympians in society.

WOA is committed to the ongoing development of its 148 NOAs around the world, which provide vital support to Olympians at a national level as they transition to life after sport. Each NOA represents a great and often under utilised resource for NOCs, which could be better used to maintain the involvement of Olympians after they have finished competing.  By encouraging a more coordinated approach, WOA believes both organisations can benefit while also providing greater support to Olympians and establishing a longer-term connection to those who have represented their countries at an Olympic Games.

Among the suggestions made to NOCs were to:

  • Use NOAs to further enhance the impact of NOC activities and programmes such as the annual Olympic Day celebrations
  • Maximise the lifetime value of Olympians by creating a pathway for Olympians to maintain involvement with the NOC after they have finished competing
  • Involve NOAs in programmes supporting the development of sport in their country by using Olympians to help foster the next generation of athletes

WOA President Joël Bouzou said:

“The mission of the World Olympians Association is to be of service to Olympians on their journey through life, empowering them to serve society and help make the world a better place. This mission was developed in line with Olympic Agenda 2020 and signifies our close relationship with the IOC and the fundamental principles of the Olympic Charter.

“NOAs act as a crucial link between Olympians and their NOC, allowing NOCs to retain a meaningful connection with their Olympic alumni, while also empowering Olympians to remain involved with the Olympic Movement in the long term.

"We understand the investment that goes into training and supporting Olympic athletes at the elite level - it is this support that helps inspire the lasting loyalty of Olympians to their country. By working with their NOAs to build and strengthen a pathway for Olympians’ long-term involvement, NOCs can maximise that loyalty and gain a return on their investment, encouraging Olympians to give back to their community and fulfil their mission to serve society.

 “I urge NOCs to work with their country’s NOA to help foster the next generation of Olympians, promote the Olympic values and help build a better and more cohesive society by harnessing the experience, knowledge, hard work and passion of Olympians who have retired as athletes but remain vital members of the Olympic community.”

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