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Athletes Urged To Make Use Of Grants

Oceania athletes achieved significant milestones despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic that gripped the world over the last two years.
24 Sep 2022 12:45
Athletes Urged To Make Use Of Grants
Participants at the 5th Oceania Athletes Forum at Pacific Harbour, Suva, on September 23, 2022. Photo: ONOC

Oceania athletes achieved significant milestones despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic that gripped the world over the last two years.
Reporting to athletes during the 5th Oceania Athletes’ Forum (OAF) in Pacific Harbour, chair of the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) Karo Lelai of Papua New Guinea said, in the 2019 Forum athletes put forward a set of 15 recommendations to be pursued over the next four years.

‘Despite the coronavirus pandemic the following year and halting the world until about last year and in some places this year too, there is much that has been accomplished,” she said.

“All participating athletes at the 4th edition of the Forum were to have registered on Athlete365, which is the official community for elite athletes and Olympians providing support through relevant advice, tools, and services.
“It will be equally important for current athlete representatives from Oceania to also register if they have not already done so since the online platform offers learning opportunities aside from support in mental health and wellbeing.”

Business Accelerator e-programme for athletes
Lelai said: “Oceania also committed to fielding a minimum of 20 athletes to complete the Athlete365 Business

Accelerator online programme, but our region had 44 athletes complete the course for their personal capacity building.”
This was more than a two-fold increase from the initial projected target.

Advocacy and utilisation of funding for athletes
Lelai stated the previous Forum also recommended advocacy toward the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Olympic Solidarity Programme consider more financial resources for programming and administrative support to both continental level and national athletes’ commissions.

“The advocacy was completed and now all athletes’ commissions at national level have access to USD10,000 and five National Olympic Committees (NOCs) have successfully applied for this fund on behalf of their athletes and commissions.

“These are Australia, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea.

“Aside from this, the ONOC Athletes’ Commission also put out an annual grant of $2000 for all national level athletes’ commissions to apply for toward support for activities- since inception, only the Athletes’ Commissions of Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu have utilised this annual grant.”

Lelai emphasised the need for all NOC Athletes’ Commissions to make full use of the grants and opportunities offered by the IOC, Olympic Solidarity Programme, and ONOC Athletes’ Commission.

It was also reported that the ONOC Athletes’ Commission revise its Strategic Plan, and this had been completed, now covering the Commission’s role and mandate.

Nomination of elite athletes for consideration as IOC Sustainability Ambassadors to improve from Pacific Islands
Some recommendations to be carried forward by upcoming leadership of Oceania athletes will include the advancing of 20 athletes as IOC Sustainability Ambassadors and given the frontline position of the Pacific Islands in the climate crisis, this has significant importance.

Lelai said, “The IOC is working with Mike Dawson (NZL) on clean seas projects and Pita Taufatofua (TGA) on plastics projects.”

She is urging Oceania NOCs to nominate athletes and said athletes themselves may self-nominate as long as they are active in environment or sustainability projects in their countries or region.

Story By: ONOC

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