In the third of a four-part series, IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair Angela Ruggiero outlines the third pillar of the commission’s new Strategy: to promote athlete involvement in decision-making across the Olympic Movement.
Having explained in my last two columns how our commission will empower and support you as part of our evolving responsibility to athletes around the world, I now want to focus on the third key pillar of our Strategy: to Promote athlete involvement in decision-making across the Olympic Movement.
Our commission campaigned for a long time to get seat at the table, and now we’re working out how to use that seat effectively – and what voice we should bring – so that all Olympic Movement stakeholders recognise the value of athlete involvement in the decisions that affect us all.
Advocating your involvement
Looking ahead, advocacy is going to be a key part of elevating the status not only of our commission, but of other athletes’ commissions around the world. We want to demonstrate the added value of athlete involvement in Olympic Movement decision-making, and the benefits it can give to the IOC, National Olympic Committees, International Federations and Olympic partners – and we will be developing case studies, engaging in speaking events and publishing research papers to achieve this priority.
Celebrating athlete contributions
Most athlete representatives are volunteers, and are doing it because they feel passionately about getting the best deal for their fellow competitors. But too often their hard work and achievements – whether across gender equality, athlete welfare, the fight against doping, or anything else – is not recognised, or even heard about. We’re now developing a mechanism to track the contributions of the global network of athletes’ commissions, so that we can improve monitoring and accountability, and most importantly, celebrate your successes.
One of the main goals of our Strategy is visibility, and as part of this we’re implementing a communication plan to ensure that athletes’ commissions worldwide get the media coverage they deserve. In addition to running interviews with commission chairs on our platforms, we’ve invited journalists to cover the International Athletes’ Forum on 11-13 November.
The Forum really is a fantastic opportunity for athlete representatives to network and discuss future cooperation, provide informed feedback on our Strategy, and put across the issues that resonate with them. But it’s also important for us to raise awareness of the risks of not having any athlete representation among stakeholders – and to show why they need the voice of the athletes to provide them with legitimacy. Athletes are the heart of the Olympic Movement, and therefore must be involved – and be more involved – in the decisions that shape it.
In the Olympic spirit,