WOA Oceania Group calls for closer ties at ONOC Athletes’ Forum 

4 | 5 | 2017

The Oceania Grouping of the World Olympians Association (WOA) has further strengthened its relationships with the National Olympic Committees in its region through its appearance at the Oceania National Olympic Committee (ONOC) Athletes’ Forum, held in Fiji last week.

The forum, which brings together Athletes Commission representatives from all 17 Oceania NOCs and invites them to share their knowledge and experience on issues such as athlete welfare, anti-doping and career transition, took place between 28-30 April. Three WOA Executive Committee members from Oceania were in attendance and were invited to speak at the Forum: Chantal Brunner (NZL), Carl Probert (FJI) and James Tomkins (AUS), .

The key message of the WOA Executive Committee members was the promotion of closer collaboration between NOCs and their National Olympian Associations (NOA). WOA has been working with the support of the IOC to ensure that NOCs and NOAs are working closer than ever before to support Olympians, to promote the Olympic values in their communities and to use the power of Olympians to help the NOCs achieve their aims and objectives.

Examples from other continents cited included: the Slovenian Olympic Committee, who signed a partnership agreement with their NOA; the Olympians Associations of Ghana and Mali supporting the delivery of the Athlete Career Programme with their NOCs and the Moldovan Olympic Committee who delivered an Olympians recognition event in conjunction with their NOA. As always WOA and NOAs look forward to supporting NOCs with Olympic Day in 2017. The intention is to create many more positive examples of joint working for greater results in Oceania and all other regions.

Discussing the Forum, New Zealand long jumper Chantal Brunner, said:

“It is great for WOA to appear at an event like this to promote to NOCs the good work that is being done by NOAs in the community and the support they are offering Olympians at all stages of their careers. As Olympians, we have a duty to spread Olympism to the next generation of athletes, and we believe that it is important the NOCs get behind their NOAs and endorse the work they are doing. The Forum was also a good opportunity to raise awareness around the role NOAs can play as a pathway for Olympians to maintain their ongoing involvement in the Olympic Movement.

“Being here in Fiji is special for me, as it is where I first won silver in the Oceanic Championships in 1990, an event that catapulted me towards becoming an Olympian. I have been on an incredible journey, and I want to ensure that I pass my experiences on and help shape the world for the better.”
James Tomkins and Carl Probert echoed Brunner’s calls for more cooperation between NOCs and NOAs.

The WOA’s appearance at the Athletes’ Forum was fully supported by ONOC Athletes’ Commission Chair and five-time Olympian Barbara Kendall, who added:

“It is great to see WOA working so closely with Athletes’ Commissions and National Olympic Committees to further the cooperation between NOAs and NOCs. As organisations, we all share in Olympism and Olympic values, and by working together we can ensure that we spread our messages far and wide.”