One of the great things about the Olympic Movement that is often not realised is the education arm provided through the money generated at Games times. Mainly through the broadcast rights, the IOC provides outreach programmes to be able to help athletes prepare for the battle of sport and life after sport. One of these is the IOC Athlete Career Programme (ACP) which provides key skills for athletes competing and preparing for life after sport. Sure Games times is a focus for the IOC but it’s worth knowing that the programmes around this two week window every four years of global attention provide so much more than the pinnacle competition for many.
In an organisation, which has been criticised at times for corruption, it’s a really strong stand to recognise that life in sport is short so you need a Game Plan for the day when retirement comes. I have been trained to deliver the ACP course in conjunction with the Oceania National Olympic Committee (ONOC) to run workshops throughout the Pacific. It’s a big privilege to be able to connect with my pacific heritage sharing a different side to the Olympic Movement through my own journey and to meet some talented super friendly sportsmen and women.
Over the weekend I attended the first ever Guam Athletes Forum. It was awesome to be amongst such warm beautiful people all united through sport. Helping the athletes realise that as athletes (whether they like it or not!) they are role models in their communities and their countries. Whilst some may see this as a responsibility there’s also a sense of privilege to be able to influence your communities in a positive way. As a role model within your community you have the potential to be able to empower others to go on to achieve success.
The eighty athletes that came to the Guam Athlete’s Forum were taken through some of the IOC ACP programme as well as the ONOC Excellence for Life Programme. After a full day of workshops and interactive talks the athletes were pretty fired up for not only the upcoming Pacific Games in PNG in July but for life in general. It was pretty cool to see a change in body language and a commitment to creating results on the sports field and life.
Coming from a developed country we are so lucky to have access to resources that these athletes have not heard of. Setting goals and figuring a game plan around how to achieve dreams to results is one example of the work that we did throughout the day that I remember learning at high school. These are all transferable skills from an athletes sporting careers to figuring out options for a possible career after sport. We facilitate sessions to really get to know what makes you tick and your personality type. This information is hugely helpful when you are looking at career options in the long term.
Sport is my passion and part of my love for sport is the opportunities it provides for people. For the athletes of Guam it was really cool to see such a positive and appreciative response to the work that we did together over the weekend. Regardless of your dream whether it’s the school sports, Pacific Games or the Olympics we all need help along the way. It has been such a blast to be hopefully of some assistance to the beautiful people of Guam.
Special thanks to Tasi, Peter, Jay and Kelly plus the whole team for their generous hospitality and creating a platform for Guam to go to greater heights in the future:)