NOA Guide

Leadership & Governance

Have an active leadership with good governance

An effective structure is important for developing and maintaining a strong NOA. The best NOA structures need:

  1. Strong Leadership
  2. Good Governance
  3. Planning
  4. Relationship with WOA

1. Strong Leadership

Executive Committee

Is responsible for developing the strategic vision and direction of its NOA, in consultation with members, and for ensuring good governance. Effective NOA Executive Committees should be made up of two to eight Olympians with a mix of ages, genders and sports. NOA Executive Committees should have term limits of four years with a full-term limit of no more than eight years. There should be at least four Executive Committee meetings annually.

WOA Code of Conduct

The code outlines the expected behaviours of the WOA EXCO and NOA leadership.

Succession planning

Is an important consideration for all NOA leadership to ensure the NOA can continue to exist with a strong legacy. Therefore, it is important to think ahead by identifying and nurturing potential future leaders.

2. Good Governance


Is an essential tool for good governance. WOA has produced a template NOA Constitution as a guideline. Constitutions should be reviewed and updated at least once every four years.


Should be used to determine the NOA Executive Committee. Elections should be held fairly and should be overseen by an objective party. Elections should be held every four years in line with the WOA's recommended term limit (see Executive Committees above).

Annual General Meetings

Are the opportunity to stage elections, update constitutions, celebrate successful projects and discuss the future. These meetings should be made engaging and fun for your members. Host the meeting in an interesting location, arrange a reunion / networking party afterwards or arrange an OLY Presentation. Plan ahead and communicate the date well in advance.

3. Planning

Strategic plans

Should provide a 4-5 year high-level road map for your NOA which aligns with the WOA. A good starting point for NOAs is the WOA Strategic Plan. Keep plans simple and achievable, and keep in mind how you can measure your success against it. It is always better to over-deliver.

Operational plans

Should come from your strategic plan and should start out as your NOA's ‘to-do list’ for the year. Once you have agreed your to-do list you should assign names and deadlines. Again, keep it simple and achievable, and review it on a regular basis to help keep you on track. Here is an Operations Plan template to help you. Please refer to the Finance Management section for further guidance on budgeting.

Meetings and workshops

Are an important part of the running of your NOA by the leadership and any administration as meetings are where most of the operational planning and tracking of progress should take place. Keep meetings short, practical and prepare agendas in advance.

Workshops are for thinking and being creative, so this is best for strategic planning and developing project ideas. Set aside time, keep the atmosphere informal, and use breaks and team-building activities to keep minds fresh.

4. Relationship with WOA

Attend WOA events and meetings

In addition to building skills and knowledge, this is a great way to meet the WOA team and other NOAs who are your international support network.

Share your NOA plans and activities

The more you inform WOA of your plans and activities, the more the WOA team can help with suggestions of best practice or people to talk to for advice. WOA also enjoys sharing good ideas through the website, social media and in this NOA Guide.

NOA Development Officers

These staff within the WOA team are based at a continental level to provide support to NOAs both in person and by phone / email. This WOA resource only exists in Asia at the moment but will expand to the Americas and Africa later in 2019. To find out more or to access this support, please contact the WOA team via

Membership of WOA

Will be renewed for NOAs every four years at the WOA General Assembly. NOAs will be asked to update WOA with their paperwork and contact information in order to receive a certificate of recognition for the next four years. This process will start at the next WOA General Assembly after Tokyo 2020.

Updated on 15 April 2019