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Photo call at the end of the OCA Athletes’ Forum on Sunday.

Council News

Two-year target for full house of Athletes’ Commissions in Asian NOCs

Date : 25 Nov 2018

Tokyo, Japan, November 25, 2018: The third Olympic Council of Asia Athletes’ Forum came to a close in Tokyo on Sunday afternoon with a series of recommendations aimed at strengthening the role of athletes in the decision-making process of the Olympic movement.

The two-day forum, which attracted 79 delegates from 44 National Olympic Committees in Asia, was aimed at assisting athletes in establishing their own Athletes’ Commission as part of their NOC and providing the necessary tools for the commissions to play an effective role in the every-day workings of the Olympic administration.

“We have tried to provide you with as much information and knowledge as possible over these last two days by sharing our experiences and encouraging inter-action and exchange to achieve our goals as athletes in the Olympic movement. We have had some great discussion,” said the Chairman of the OCA Athletes’ Commission, Koji Murofushi.

“What is important now is tomorrow – and to act on the recommendations we have made here. We plan to hold our next Asian Athletes’ Forum at the end of 2020, and we hope by then we will see active and effective Athletes’ Commissions in all 45 of our NOCs.”

At present, some 36 of the 45 NOCs in the OCA have an Athletes' Commission.

The Tokyo 2018 recommendations included each Athletes’ Commission to be represented on the Executive Board of an NOC, with full voting rights; the OCA Athletes’ Commission to review the election process and seek elections by the end of 2020, with only NOC Athletes’ Commissions allowed to put forward candidates; to promote communication between Athletes’ Commissions at all levels; to seek financial and administrative support from NOCs to run events of the Athletes’ Commission; and to work with the OCA and Asian Athletes’ Commissions to adopt the Athletes’ Delegation regarding rights and responsibilities.

The seminar combined presentations with workshops to produce the views of athletes and was attended by a host of influential guests and speakers.

These included Japan’s Sydney 2000 women’s marathon champion Naoko Takahashi - Chair of the Tokyo 2020 Athletes’ Commission, which was established in October 2014 and has 21 members; IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair Kirsty Coventry from Zimbabwe; and ANOC Athletes’ Commission Chair Barbara Kendall of New Zealand.

Asian IOC Athletes’ Commission members also attended, with China’s Olympic speed skating champion from Sochi 2014, Zhang Hong, giving her first presentation in English.

The forum was opened on Saturday morning by the OCA President, HE Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, and was attended on Sunday morning by the IOC President, Thomas Bach, who gave a short address before answering questions from the athletes. It was held at the National Training Centre in Tokyo.

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