The aim of Olympic Solidarity is to help NOCs support athletes and coaches, with a particular emphasis on those who are in greatest need of support.

The 2017-2020 report shows the impact Olympic Solidarity has had on coaches around the world, through programmes such as the Technical Courses for Coaches and the individual Olympic Scholarships for coaches.

Olympic Solidarity has also helped countries with fewer resources improve their sporting and coaching structures through the Development of National Sports System programme.

What is Olympic Solidarity?

The first form of Olympic Solidarity began to take shape in 1960 as an assistance programme for countries, and particularly newly independent countries, to create and develop their own National Olympic Committees (NOCs), with the objective of developing sport and promoting the Olympic values globally.

In addition to the athlete scholarships, Olympic Solidarity provides a number of programmes which aid with the training of coaches and sports administrators and give NOCs the support they need to improve their sports and administrative structure in the long-term.

In the most recent four-year period (2017-2020), thousands of coaches attended Technical Courses and received Olympic Scholarships through Olympic Solidarity, while over 100 NOCs benefited from Development of National Sports Systems programmes.

Here are the ways in which Olympic Solidarity has supported coaches and sporting technical development in recent years, as detailed in the 2017-2020 report:

Check out the report here.


Without the scholarship, I would not have been able to afford the UCI Coaching Diploma course held at the World Cycling Centre in Aigle (Switzerland), which has been a pivotal moment in my personal development and the development of cycling in Lesotho.

Mark West


Our goals were to deliver improvements in club organisation and trainers’ education. The Development of National Sports System programme has helped us to achieve those aims.

Teodor Sheytanov

Educating coaches

The Technical Courses for Coaches have proved a huge success for a very long time. For example, in the four-year period between 2017 and 2020, 175 NOCs applyied for at least one course. These courses provide training at various levels for officially recognised and active coaches with the support of experts nominated or endorsed by the relevant International Federation (IF).

In addition to the technical training, these courses also increase coaches’ knowledge of important topics such as anti-doping, gender equality, athlete safeguarding and more. Over 17,000 coaches benefited globally, with Africa receiving the highest number of courses among the five continents during the most recent plan.

Training for judges and referees is also available on a modular basis, linked to a Technical Course for coaches, as this type of specific training remains the prerogative of the IFs.

Olympic Scholarships for Coaches

This programme is designed to help nationally recognised and active coaches benefit from continuous high-level training in a particular sport or other areas of expertise through different types of training: sports science training at high-level sports centres or universities, either in person or online; and sport-specific training where coaches update their learning on a single sport.

Mark West is team manager of mountain bike collective ACE-The Sufferfest, based in Lesotho, and was supported by an Olympic scholarship: “Without the scholarship, I would not have been able to afford the UCI Coaching Diploma course held at the World Cycling Centre in Aigle (Switzerland), which has been a pivotal moment in my personal development and the development of cycling in Lesotho.”

Developing sporting structures

The Development of National Sports System programme is aimed primarily at NOCs across the Olympic Movement that lack sports and coaching structures. This programme sees an international expert support the implementation of a medium- or long-term action plan that focuses on training local coaches, other entourage members or administrators who will help improve the NOC’s structures over time.

During the 2017-2020 cycle, 111 NOCs implemented 217 projects, reaching over 8,500 (tbc) coaches across all five continents. Teodor Sheytanov, Secretary General of the Bulgarian Equestrian Federation, saw first-hand how this programme can help improve a sporting structure: “Our goals were to deliver improvements in club organisation and trainers’ education. The Development of National Sports System programme has helped us to achieve those aims.”

The Athlete365 Olympic Solidarity page has details on the various programmes available to you and your NOC.