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02 May 2015
IOC News

Oceania National Olympic Committees hear how Olympic Agenda 2020 can help the region

IOC President tells General Assembly of the vital role of sport in health and  education in Oceania - meets President and Prime Minister of Fiji.

IOC President Thomas Bach addressed the General Assembly of the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) today. He told them of the vital role sport can play in their countries in education, health, peace and development.

“Sport can contribute in many ways with regard to health, education, cohesion, social development, peace-building and nation-building, both internationally and nationally,” he said. He called again for the role of sport to be mentioned in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are to be approved in September. “We are working from our side to have sport included in the political declaration introducing these SDGs, and I would ask each of you to ask your governments to support this move,” he added.

Later, the IOC President met the Prime Minister of Fiji, who told him that sport was a key part of health and education policies in the country and vital to their implementation. He outlined his special programme to upgrade and build new sports facilities in Fiji. The Prime Minister also offered his support for the inclusion of sport in the UN SDGs.

President Bach talked about the importance of reaching young people through sport in the region. "Sport can also build bridges between communities, which is very important in some of the countries of Oceania," he said. The Prime Minister, who is also the President of the Fiji Rugby Union, added that he was hopeful the country would win a medal at next year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

During his two days in Fiji, the IOC President held meetings with representatives of all the 17 NOCs that make up ONOC. They discussed the preparation of the region’s athletes for the Olympic Games in Rio next year, the qualification criteria and the scholarship programmes being supported by Olympic Solidarity.  At the opening ceremony of the meeting, on Friday he praised the Oceania NOCs for their dedication to sport and the Olympic values. 

At the ceremony, four members of the Oceania Olympic family were presented with the Olympic Order:

  • Roseline Blake, who has been involved in sport at all levels for nearly 40 years and was the first woman to be elected as Secretary General of the Cook Islands NOC;
  • Lord Tevita Tupou,  a former Executive Board member of ONOC, a member of the Pacific Games Council and the Oceania Football Confederation (Disciplinary Committee);
  • Joe Bomal Carlo, who was Chef de Mission at the Olympic Summer Games from Barcelona 1992 to London 2012, CEO of the Vanuatu National Sports Council and President of the Vanuatu NOC; and
  • Helen Brownlee, a Board member of the International Canoe Federation, the first female President of the Australian Canoe Federation and the first woman elected to the Executive Board of the Australian Olympic Committee, of which she is currently Vice-President.

Earlier in the day, the IOC President met the President of the Republic of Fiji. They discussed the huge contribution that sport can make in society. President Bach also took part in a rugby training session in Suva. Fiji has high hopes of winning a medal at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next year, when rugby sevens will be on the programme for the first time.

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