The second Panam Sports Athletes’ Forum in Miami brought together more than 70 athletes to collaborate and commit to make their voice louder throughout the Olympic Committees of the Americas.Athletes worked over three days to compile seven recommendations that will be sent to the Panam Sports Executive Committee for review, in order to ensure that the needs of athletes in ...
The second Panam Sports Athletes’ Forum in Miami brought together more than 70 athletes to collaborate and commit to make their voice louder throughout the Olympic Committees of the Americas.
Athletes worked over three days to compile seven recommendations that will be sent to the Panam Sports Executive Committee for review, in order to ensure that the needs of athletes in the Americas are the organization’s core priority.
MIAMI, USA. - The largest and most engaging Athletes Forum ever held by Panam Sports, with support and funding from Olympic Solidarity, gave representatives of all athletes in the Americas the opportunity to shape the future of the continental organization, the athletes and the biggest sporting event, the Pan American Games.
After three days of listening, sharing and discussing the most important issues for them, representatives of all athletes in the Americas have a renewed focus where to find and express themselves within their own National Olympic Committees.
In order to facilitate athletes in their quest for greater representation, Panam Sports is urging each of its 41 National Olympic Committee Members to create an Athletes’ Commission with a member who has voting rights on the Executive Board of that NOC. The deadline to create this commission is December 2020.
This is one of the most important recommendations established by the Panam Sports Athletes’ Commission with guidance from the Olympic Solidarity team of the IOC, created using the invaluable input and ideas from the athletes who attended the Forum.
The seven recommendations are:
1. As per the IOC Guidelines
a. All NOCs from the Americas must have an active Athletes’ Commission in place before the end of 2020 and ensure the representative of the Athletes’ Commission has a seat and full voting rights on the NOC Executive Board.
b. The Panam Sports Athletes’ Commission will hold its elections at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games. Only NOCs with an active Athletes’ Commission will be able to put a candidate forward.
c. Strengthen effective communication between the different Athletes’ Commissions and relevant stakeholders and directly with athletes.
2. NOCs should enhance their administrative and financial support to the activities and daily operation of their Athletes’ Commissions. The IOC Athletes’ and Olympic Solidarity Commissions, as well as the Panam Sports Athletes’ Commission, should also explore possibilities to provide further support in this area.
3. Panam Sports Athletes’ Commission and all Athletes’ Commissions should work with Panam Sports and their respective NOCs to encourage them to adopt the Athletes’ Rights and Responsibilities Declaration at both the continental and national levels.
4. All Athletes’ Commissions should proactively engage with their respective NOCs to benefit from all programs available to them by the IOC (including Olympic Solidarity and Athlete365) and Panam Sports.
5. In collaboration with their respective NOCs, all Athletes’ Commissions should lead the implementation of the Athletes Career Program (Career+) at local level.
6. Panam Sports should support the attendance and facilitate the activation program of the Panam Sports Athletes’ Commission at the Pan American Games and other regional Games in the Americas.
7. Panam Sports will evaluate the possibility of additional accreditations for athletes’ personal coaches at the training and competition venues at the Pan American Games.
“I’m really proud of the recommendations that came out from the Forum. We have seven really strong statements to our institutions that govern athletes here in the Americas. I’m proud that Panam Sports was here. Our President Neven Ilic and Secretary General Ivar Sisniega not only listened and spoke directly with the athletes, but also supported their recommendations and they’re excited about their implementation,” said the President of the Panam Sports Athletes’ Commission Alexandra Orlando.
These recommendations were made possible due to the unprecedented attendance of more than 70 athletes. Nearly all of athletes were active throughout each segment, raising thoughtful questions and filling the room with lively debate during the breakout group sessions. Great contributions were also made by Carlos Santiago, Aliann Pompey and Andrea Estrada, who led many of the sessions and discussions.
In fact, the level of participation was so high that nearly all of the planned sessions and topics went over the planned time. Panam Sports was more than happy to extend the program to ensure that as many athletes as possible could share their ideas, concerns or questions with other participants.
“The Forum was incredible. Spectacular! We talked about many important topics. Several topics were also discussed two years ago, but now we listened the conclusions and saw the fruits of that labor. Now Athletes’ Commissions are more structured, more countries have established their commissions and Panam Sports is very interested in creating more. Our President is committed to the relationship between the NOCs and their athletes, which I believe is vital in the Olympic Movement today,” said Paulo César Del Villar, an Olympic hurdler from Colombia.
But the athletes were not the only ones who helped to create an unforgettable forum. Panam Sports President Neven Ilic opened the Athletes Forum, expressing his commitment to the athletes of the Americas and explaining why they are the organization’s most important stakeholders.
Panam Sports Secretary General Ivar Sisniega presented the Strategic Plan, which emphasizes athletes as the core of the organization. He also listened to the needs of athletes and agreed to share the recommendations of the Forum with all NOCs throughout the continent. An Olympian himself, Sisniega also offered advice about the transition from athlete to workforce and the several opportunities that exist after a competitive career has ended.
Vice-president of the IOC Athletes’ Commission Danka Bartekova, IPC Athletes Council member Monica Bascio, World Olympians Association Secretary General Anthony Ledgard, WADA Athlete Committee member Lauryn Williams, Americas Paralympic Committee Athlete representative Ileana Rodriguez, President of the ANOCA Athletes’ Commission Amadou Dia Ba, and ONOC Athletes’ Commission representative Anolyn Lulu also shared valuable information and led discussions about some of the biggest challenges that athletes face today.
Detailed presentations from IOC representatives addressed issues such as the Athletes’ Rights and Responsibilities Declaration, which the Panam Sports Athletes’ Forum has unanimously supported; the Athlete 365 platform; the burgeoning Athletes Career Program; the Prevention of Competition Manipulation and Match Fixing; and the Prevention of Harassment and Abuse in Sport.
Sessions on anti-doping education by the World Anti-Doping Agency and information about the Independent Testing Agency were valuable to athletes in order to learn about the importance of clean sport.
Athletes also participated in a special presentation by Heidi Pellerano of the Wasserman Group to learn how to better market themselves as active athletes or legends, including best practices to build their own personal brand.
About Panam Sports
Panam Sports is the leader of sports and the Olympic Movement in the Americas. Panam Sports encourages the sports development and supports our 41 National Olympic Committees members of the organization in order to inspire more participation in international competitions as well as the presence of the youth to prepare the next generation of athletes across our region.
Panam Sports works closely with athletes, National Olympic Committees (NOC), Organizing Committees of all regional Games, Pan American Sports Confederations, International Federations (IFs) and the International Olympic Committee to ensure the success of their main event: The Pan American Games
Source: Panam Sports