The 11th European Athletes’ Forum gathered together athlete representatives from Europe’s NOCs on 21 and 22 June 2022

Athlete representatives discussed the value and importance of the European Sport Model

Through presentations, panel discussions and breakouts, NOC ACs connected with each other to share their ideas and best practices

Each NOC had the chance to send two representatives (one female and one male) to the Forum organised by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) and funded by Olympic Solidarity. The purpose of the event was to connect various NOC Athletes’ Commissions, empower the European network of athlete representatives, and listen to the athlete voice on key topics, such as the European Sport Model.

One of the highlights of the Forum was a panel discussion on effective athletes’ commissions, during which various AC chairs shared insights into the running of their commissions, which triggered much engagement from participants. Presentations were also delivered on Athlete365, Olympic Agenda 2020+5 and Olympic Solidarity; and attendees were encouraged to apply for the Olympic Solidarity NOC Athletes’ Commission Activity Grant to help support the activities of their AC.

The protection and promotion of the European Sport Model was a central focus throughout the two days and was the key feature in a speech by EOC President Spyros Capralos, who welcomed the participants on the first day.

EOC Athletes’ Commission Chair Gerd Kanter said: “We have been delighted by the success of the 11th European Athletes’ Forum, which has once again put athletes at the front and centre of discussions on a number of key topics. It is essential that the athlete perspective plays a key role in guiding the future of sport in Europe.

“As the spokesman of the European athletes, I was very proud that we managed to present to European Commission Vice President Schinas our recommendations for the Conference on the Future of Europe last March. Let’s continue on this path and work together for the priorities of European sport in the years ahead.”

IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair Emma Terho commented: “I offer my congratulations and thanks to the EOC and IOC for delivering this important Forum. The athlete voice and perspective must be heard and supported and play a key role in the decision-making process within sport. Bringing European athletes and representatives together for this Forum not only facilitates knowledge exchange, but also helps to empower and strengthen athlete representation in Europe and beyond.”

Further presentations were delivered on the second day, including on the European Union Sports Policy and its impact on athletes. Following this, breakout sessions were organised to discuss mental health, gender equality, sustainability, safe sport, and EU funding.

For those NOCs that had still yet to adopt the Athletes’ Rights and Responsibilities Declaration, participants were given tips and advice on how to encourage their organisation to adopt the Declaration, and then on how to ensure its implementation benefited the athletes in their country.

For more information on how to apply to Olympic Solidarity for the annual grant worth up to USD 10,000, click here.