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Athletes making the most of their skills at the YOG

IOC/Ubald Rutar
With many competitions having finished at the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Buenos Aires 2018, athletes have been using their free time to access a range of educational activities available to them at the Youth Olympic Village. At the Athlete365 Space, the Olympic Solidarity and Career+ teams have been providing expert advice on the support services that athletes can access to use to further their careers on and off the field of play.

As part of the Athlete Education Programme, the Olympic Solidarity zone is giving YOG athletes a chance to discover what extra support may be available to them from Olympic Solidarity and how to go about receiving it. Athletes are being shown exactly what steps they need to take to access funding and make the most of the programmes, with a number of those currently competing in Buenos Aires already recipients of an Olympic Solidarity scholarship – including Jordan’s Zaid Kareem Mustafa and Niger’s Mahamadou Amadou, both of whom won bronze medals here in taekwondo.

In a marker of the innovative and engaging way in which athletes are being engaged with the educational aspects of the Games, visitors are learning about the steps to follow when applying for Solidarity funding by playing snookball: a super-sized version of snooker played with your feet. They can also listen to testimonies from Olympians who have fulfilled their dreams thanks to Olympic Solidarity funding, while athletes’ entourages are also encouraged to visit the booth as well, with coaching scholarships available as well.

I’m a futsal player, so [snookball] was quite helpful to me! I really liked the activities – there was a lot of entertainment, and it’s nice to share the experience with friends. Muriel Jardua Chile

While many of the athletes at the YOG will only be at the start of what could go on to be long and successful sporting careers, it’s never too early so start thinking about life after sport. This is why athletes are being given the chance to learn how best to utilise their skills and boost their career options off the field of play at the Journey Beyond Sport booth, which, like the Olympic Solidarity area, is open for the second week of the Games.

IOC/Ubald Rutar

Members of the Athlete365 Career+ team have been guiding athletes through a series of interactive tablet apps, including: Balance Your Act, a game focused on successfully building up a trusted support network; Act On Your Time, which helps athletes hone their time management skills; and Sport Up Your Life, in which participants answer a series of questions and are then recommended three jobs in the sports world that may appeal to them. There is also a giant Jenga set focused on finding a balance between sport, education and work.

I did the schedule planner task, which was pretty interesting to learn about. It helps you make a daily schedule, which I’ve actually emailed to myself. Spencer Wilcox Canada

“I’m a boxer, so the last thing I want to be doing is to be sat in my room thinking about my next fight, because I’ll get too anxious. It’s nice to get your head out of the sports; to come here, meet new people and learn.”

Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018

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