WOA Service to Society and Service to Olympians Grant programmes aim to affect positive change in the world through the power of sport.

Projects include promoting sport as a tool of social cohesion in France, upskilling Olympians with modern agriculture practices in Sri Lanka, and more.

Find out how you can use your status as an Olympian for the benefit of your community by watching our webinar.

World Olympians Association (WOA) announced the awardees of its WOA 2021 Service to Society and Service to Olympians Grants, with ten Olympian-led initiatives receiving USD 5,000 each.

WOA’s grants support National Olympians Associations (NOAs) and Olympians spread the Olympic Values through inspiring projects that create new opportunities in local communities or offer support to Olympians at every stage of their careers.

2020 saw awardees adapt to the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and, overseen by their NOAs, Olympians have supported their communities by promoting sustainable environmental and healthy-living practices, launching cycling to school schemes for children and facilitating more opportunities for competitive sport in underprivileged areas.

World Olympians Association President and Chair of the Grants Panel, Joël Bouzou OLY, hailed the impact of the programmes: “Each year we see first-hand the direct, positive impact Olympians are able to make in their communities and for their fellow Olympians with this funding,” he said. “We are very pleased to be able to help Olympians and NOAs across the world bring these inspirational projects to life.”

Each year we see first-hand the direct, positive impact Olympians are able to make in their communities and for their fellow Olympians with this funding.

Joël Bouzou OLY, WOA President and Chair of the Grants Panel

The 2021 Service to Society Grant awardees:
  • Mali’s Support for refugee children through sports will use sport to facilitate the integration of child refugees into society in the refugee camps of Niamana and Faladjie in Bamako with the creation of sports activity centres.
  • Panama’s Sport as a tool for social change will use face-to-face classes with Olympians and elite athletes to inspire physical activity, promote sustainability and teach new skills to vulnerable children in Panama’s SOS Children’s Villages.
  • Hong Kong’s Series of short Olympism Education Videos will inspire school children and bring the values of the Olympic Movement to life with a series of engaging videos designed to be adopted as part of the school curriculum.
  • France’s For sport without violence project will promote the fight against violence in sport in all forms and use the Olympic values to demonstrate how sport can be an indisputable factor of social cohesion.
  • Papua New Guinea’s Obesity Prevention initiative aims to lead a society shift towards healthy eating, active lifestyles, good nutrition and regular physical activity to prevent obesity.
The 2021 Service to Olympians Grant awardees:
  • Uganda’s Against All Odds: Uganda’s Olympic Legends will raise awareness of Olympians’ achievements with a documentary, TV miniseries and book on Uganda’s Olympians and the struggles they endured to train, participate and, for some, win medals at the Olympic Games.
  • Colombia’s Olympic Warriors will organise an event incorporating sports, academic and cultural activities led by Colombian Olympians who will share their skills and knowledge to children, youths and adults.
  • Sri Lanka’s Livelihood enhancement of yester year needy Olympians will enhance the livelihood of Olympians and offer educational opportunities in modern agricultural methods resulting in sustainable incomes and increased capabilities.
  • Portugal’s Unleash the Olympic Potential GALA will increase the organisational structure of the Portuguese NOA, creating a detailed database of Olympians and supporting greater cohesion to deliver its social purpose of helping those in need.
  • Italy’s Passion and Victory will provide educational support and services to Olympians towards the end of their career to support them as they enter their new life and look to develop professionally.

Want to hear about how WOA encourages athletes to create a legacy? Watch our exclusive webinar.