For The Record

Issue 7 2013



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The IOC Athlete Career Programme (ACP) brought a tour de force to southern Africa in early November, embarking on a seven-day trip visiting six National Olympic Committees.

This trip provided the opportunity to hold Outreach workshops with local athletes, providing them with a range of skills that can be applied during and after their sports careers. The Outreach Programme is one way in which the IOC ACP is delivered to athletes around the world through cooperation with Adecco, partners in the IOC ACP since its establishment in 2005.

The IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair, Claudia Bokel, former Commission Chairman Frank Fredericks and management staff from Adecco led the workshops, with fellow Athletes’ Commission members Kirsty Coventry and Amadou Dia Ba and former Olympians Sandrine Thiebauld and Kadidiatou Kanouté participating as trainees learning how to conduct their own workshops in the future. This training aspect of the trip will allow a greater number of athletes to be equipped to coordinate and lead sessions in 2014 and onwards, bringing the Outreach Programme to a greater number of NOCs around the world on a more frequent basis.


This group traveled to seven cities in six countries: Mazenod, Lesotho; Windhoek, Namibia; Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa; Manzini, Swaziland; Gabarone, Botswana; and Lusaka, Zambia. The workshop in Lusaka took place at the Olympic Youth Development Centre, which opened in 2010.

The Outreach Programme workshops focused on the three pillars of the ACP – education, life skills and employment – and consisted of one-day workshops that focused on providing athletes with:

Having local legend Frank Fredericks present in Namibia was inspiring for all the athletes in the room.

“ Each time an elite athlete steps onto the field of play they are prepared to deliver their best as a result of their dedication and preparation, ”

said Fredericks.

“At the same time, we recognise that elite athletes will retire from sport at an early age and most will need to engage in a career after sport.”

He continues:
“To achieve success after sport requires the same preparation and commitment. Education is a key area that athletes must focus on at some level while competing.”

Turnout for these workshops was impressive, with over 80 participants taking part in the workshop in Botswana, 60 in Namibia, and 50 in both Lesotho and Swaziland. Claudia Bokel said plans are already underway to expand the Programme to reach even more athletes in countries that do not currently have ACPs. “The workshops were well-attended by a very enthusiastic group of athletes in each city,” said Bokel, a silver medallist in fencing at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and Chair of the IOC ACP Steering Committee. “I think all of us – the instructors, trainees and athletes – learned a great deal during the sessions, and we can now use the feedback to improve the programme going forward. It was an excellent start and bodes well for the future of the Outreach sessions.”

If you’re interested in learning more about these programmes, or wish to get involved, please contact the IOC Athletes' Commission at:
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