IOC Young Leaders programme: Using the power of sport to bring people together - Apply Now!

The programme is designed to equip select young leaders with the tools to solve local problems through grassroots sports initiatives and sustainable business models. The project includes an online Learning Sprint and seed funding of CHF 10,000 for each of the participant over four years.

By Evelyn Watta | Created 15 September

Are you young and seeking to use sport to make a positive difference in your community?

The International Olympics Committee is looking for you!

You can now apply to be part of the sixth generation of the IOC Young Leaders programme, supported by Worldwide Olympic Partner Panasonic and beginning in November 2022.

If you are aged between 20-28 years old, you have until 22 October 2022, to apply for a chance to be trained to become a successful social entrepreneur and make a positive impact through sport.

READ MORE: IOC Young Leaders Programme

The four-year Young Leaders programme

The IOC Young Leaders Programme is part of the IOC’s long-term commitment to support young people and empower them to become social change makers through sport, reinforcing sport’s role as an enabler for the UN SDGs.

The programme is designed to best equip the selected young leaders and empower them to solve local problems through grassroots sports initiatives and sustainable business models.

The IOC Young Leaders Programme was launched in 2016 and has since produced 141 sport-led projects, directly benefiting over 35,000 people. Supported by Worldwide Olympic and Paralympic Partner Panasonic since 2017, so far the programme has empowered 90 Young Leaders from 66 countries.

18 IOC Young Leaders also serve as IOC commission members, reinforcing the position of young people in decision-making on the future of sport.

Pauline Msungu, IOC Young Leader from Kenya.

The programme offers a chance to ‘create unique projects all over the world’.

“Having the IOC supporting our projects through the Young Leaders programme is amazing,” said Sophia Papamichalopoulos, one of the current IOC Young Leader from Cyprus, whose project aims to create a more integrated Cypriot society.

“We’ve been given the resources needed to bring these projects to life and, in addition, a great platform for exposure and promotion. With this support we’re creating unique projects all over the world.”

"When I heard about the opportunity with the IOC Young Leaders, I was really excited by it," added Australian and Olympian Jemima Montag, one of the 25 Young Leaders selected in 2021.

Montag’s project Play On focuses on inclusivity in sport.

"Since joining the programme, there has been a lot of personal development for me as well as opportunities to really impact the lives of a number of young women and girls."

The IOC Young Leaders programme has been instrumental in empowering young people to put the mission of improving the world through sport in their local communities.

Layana de Souza, another IOC young leader from Brazil, whose project aims at fighting poverty and poor-quality education through basketball, is another beneficiary of the holistic gains from the current programme.

“Taking part in the IOC Young Leaders programme helped me realise that I am a little bit braver than I thought. And I have been learning to balance my heart and mind when it comes to making decisions related to the social project I am developing.”

READ MORE: IOC Young Leaders using the power of sport to bring people together

Layana de Souza, IOC young leader from Brazil.

The application process

Those wishing to be ambassadors of Olympism and are aged between 20-28 years can register their application here.

The completion of a four-Week Learning Sprint is the first pre-requisite for a candidate to apply for the IOC Young Leaders Programme.

The Learning Sprint that starts on November 8, 2022, will offer an engaging virtual learning experience introducing participants in more detail to the IOC Young Leaders programme and the Olympic Movement.

Those who successfully take part in all the learning sessions and have completed all weekly tasks will obtain a Certificate of Participation on behalf of the IOC Young Leaders Programme and will be eligible to apply for the IOC Young Leaders Programme.

The application process for the programme will open between December 2-31, 2022.

The final application process involves submitting a plan for a sport-based social business or project, which they will work on if selected as an IOC Young Leader.  The proposed plan will need to be based on an existing issue in their community through the lens of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and strongly linked to sport-based solutions and the Olympic values.

25 IOC Young Leaders will then be selected to benefit from a comprehensive four-year programme, providing them with funding, network support, tools and expertise to become successful social entrepreneurs and to make a positive impact through sport.

Find out more about the programme here.

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