On 22-24 July, the Georgian NOC AC held an Athlete365 seminar covering various topics including COVID-19 challenges, mental health support, and more.

Experts on each topic were invited to speak at the event, including a representative from the Georgian Anti-Doping Agency, and several medical professionals.

NOC Athletes’ Commissions can now apply to Olympic Solidarity for an annual grant worth up to USD 10,000.

Funded by Olympic Solidarity through the NOC Athletes’ Commission activity grant programme, the discussion topics included COVID-19’s impact on training and competition, tackling discrimination and inequality, ensuring good mental health and how to maintain strong communication between coaches and athletes.

As COVID-19 continues to affect communities around the world, it is more important than ever that athletes continue their education and get access to career opportunities. That education can come in several forms, and it was via a seminar in Borjomi, Georgia, that the Georgian National Olympic Committee (NOC) Athletes’ Commission (AC) decided to host a three-day programme touching on multiple topics.

Varlam Liparteliani, an Olympic medal-winning judoka and Chair of the Georgian NOC AC reminded his fellow athletes of the importance of education, saying: “On your way to success, you must learn all the time. Your future successful career lies in today’s education, so go for it!”

Communication with entourage

On the first day of the three-day seminar, the focus was on communication between athletes and coaches, with discussions taking place about the best ways to resolve problems and analyse performance. The group then moved on to address the issue of COVID-19. Elguja Berishvili, First Vice-President of the Georgian NOC, spoke to the participants about this, including adapted training and preparation ahead of Tokyo 2020 next summer.

Focus on mental health

On day two of the seminar, mental health was the main topic. Firstly, the group heard from Professor Zurab Kakhabrishvili, who gave a keynote speech on the psychology of physical activity, helping to identify the symptoms of psychological distress in student-athletes. Later that day, the Vice-President of the Georgian Anti-Doping Agency, Teimuraz Ukleba, talked about the importance of clean sport and understanding the outcomes of doping.

Career transition

The final day focused on life after sport and how to create a smooth transition from a current career as an athlete to a professional career. Several experts spoke about how to manage your online presence, how to build your own athlete brand and having a dual career, and pointed athletes towards Athlete365’s Career+ resources. Additionally, the prevention of harassment and abuse in sport was discussed, raising awareness among the participants of what can constitute abuse in sport.

NOC Athletes’ Commissions can now apply to Olympic Solidarity for an annual grant worth up to USD 10,000, which could fund the organisation of a seminar like this. To find out more, click here