Exchanging tools and knowledge on the best ways to support athletes balancing dual careers and preparing for post-sport careers formed a key pillar of this year’s Forum, held from 26 to 28 May. The event brought together athletes, members of the IOC’s Athletes’ Commission and numerous NOC athletes’ commissions, and Adecco representatives. The Forum featured numerous panel discussions, break-out sessions and impromptu experience-sharing among participants.
Growing numbers for a global vision
The IOC ACP was created in 2005 by the IOC and Adecco in collaboration with the IOC Athletes’ Commission. With initially just over 1,000 athletes participating in the programme from a handful of countries in 2006, there are today more than 22,000 athletes benefitting from this programme in more than 180 countries worldwide.
The IOC ACP provides resources and training for athletes in the areas of education, life skills and employment based on advice from elite athletes and experts from around the world. While many athletes may feel that the end of their sporting career is a long way off, Olympic hurdles champion Felix Sanchez reminded all athletes that “sport is a small window, so you always have to be looking forward and looking to when it’s over.”
During the three-day Forum, the IOC and Adecco outlined the ACP’s mission for the next five years to make the programme available to all athletes from all countries around the globe through a local ACP Programme, an Outreach Programme or ACP online services. This goal gained the support and commitment of all participants in attendance.
Global, mobile, educational and free
The Forum also formed the ideal backdrop for the official live launch of the Athlete Learning Gateway, one of the first tangible projects to come out of Olympic Agenda 2020 (Recommendation 18), the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement. The interactive platform received the seal of approval from IOC President Thomas Bach earlier this month.
Last week, it was officially launched by Claudia Bokel, Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, and a group of over 20 Olympians from all over the world in a special ceremony on the final day of the ACP Forum. Immediately following the launch, Olympic swimming champion Dan Ketchum and American sprinter and Rio 2016 hopeful Keith Ricks conducted a global “Live Event” from Lima using the “Gateway” to share their experiences with athletes and entourage members around the world.
Strengthening support to athletes on and off the field of play is central to the IOC’s objectives. The Athlete Learning Gateway provides elite athletes with courses and live online seminars aimed at helping them boost their performances and shape their future careers anytime, anywhere, free of charge. Many Olympians and coaches as well as sports institutes, sports leaders and leading academics have contributed content for this programme, which offers modules on a wide range of topics such as nutrition, psychology, leadership, sports technology and injury prevention.
Olympian Jazmine Fenlator, who has already had the opportunity to acquaint herself with this online educational service, said: “The IOC’s Athlete Learning Gateway provides the ability for people to have access to lessons and tools that will not only make them better athletes, but will make them better people for life after sport.”
She added: “The future is unpredictable. I strongly believe that education is a tool that no one can take away from you. This enables you to define your future when the road is uncertain.”
Click here to discover or sign-up now to the IOC Athlete Learning Gateway