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, Bouzou urged all NOC’s present to consider ways in which to develop deeper, more meaningful relationships with their country’s National Olympians Associations (NOA’s) in order to enhance the legacy of Olympians in society.
Bermuda’s Patrick Singleton is the World Olympian Association WOA Treasurer and also sits as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes' Commission.
WOA is committed to the ongoing development of its 148 NOA’s 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 utilized 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 organizations 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.
Maximize 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.