IOC International Athletes Forum Wrap-Up
RELEASE: November 1, 2007
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Malina Guoerguiev
The third International Olympic Committee (IOC) International Athletes Forum took place October 27-28, 2007, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The initiative for this biannual event was launched five years ago by the IOC Athletes Commission of which HRH Princess Haya, FEI President, IOC member in the UAE, is also a member. The Athletes Commission is the link between the IOC and the active athletes and ensures that their needs are met.
The Forum was attended by the IOC President Jacques Rogge. Addressing his fellow Olympians in his opening speech, he declared, “The success of Olympic Games depends on you, the athletes. You are the voice of the athletes and are responsible for expressing their concerns and providing recommendations for unsolved problems. Tell us what you think, what you want, what you feel, so that we can integrate your recommendations into our policies.”
Also attending the forum was para-equestrian athlete Lee Pearson, nominated chairman of the first FEI Athlete’s Committee at the 2007 FEI General Assmebly in Estoril, Portugal.
Three important topics were on the agenda of the forum: involvement of athletes in the preparation of the Games; athlete education and career management; and the athletes’ image and network.
During the first day of proceedings, October 27, the participants split in three working groups to reflect on the proposed subjects. On the second day, the conclusions were presented during a plenary session.
It was at the first IOC International Athletes’ Forum in October 2002 that the concerns and the difficulties of athletes as regards the transition from high-level sport to a normal life were at the center of the discussions. As a result, in 2005 the IOC in cooperation with Adecco, the world leader in human resources, launched the IOC/Adecco Athlete Career Programme. It is available in some 15 countries and is currently being expanded. The IOC Athletes Commission is involved in the follow up of the project.
Ideally, the athlete joins the programme as early as possible while still active. In a first, very important step, the programme assists athletes to define their professional goals. Once these are defined, athletes need to become aware that there may be some need for additional education and training, or just to develop and refine skills needed to enter the workforce more prepared. Adecco then assists the athlete in contacting potential employers.
Discover more about the Athlete’s Commission and Athlete Career Programme at www.olympic.org/uk/organisation/commissions/athletes/index_uk.asp