At the end of last week, IOC President Jacques Rogge was in Durban (South Africa) for the opening ceremony of the 7th World Conference on Sport, Education & Culture, organised by the IOC in partnership with UNESCO, on the theme “Giving a Voice to Youth”. This Conference was chaired by Lambis V. Nikolaou, IOC member and Chairman of its Commission for Culture and Olympic education.
On Sunday evening, he attended a reception hosted in his honour by Obed Mlaba, Mayor of Durban. On Monday, he spoke during the plenary session and met Getachew Engida, Deputy Director General of UNESCO. Later, he took the floor at the signing ceremony of the partnership agreement with Raymond Goldsmith of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) to extend the Olympic Values Education Programme (OVEP). He also had the opportunity to meet Fikile Mbalula, the new South African Sports Minister, accompanied by IOC Executive Board member Sam Ramsamy, as well as Gideon Sam and Tubby Reddy, the President and Secretary General of the South African NOC respectively.
On Tuesday, the President flew to Muscat (Oman). During his stay, he was welcomed by Ali Masoud Al Sunaidy, Minister of Sport and President of the Oman NOC; and Habib Macki, IOC member and Vice-President of the NOC. He also attended the opening of the 2nd Asian Beach Games, and met Sheik Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, President of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA). HM Sultan bin Said bestowed the Order of Sultan Qaboos (first class) on President Rogge, which was presented to him by HE Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said, the Deputy Prime Minister. The IOC President then took part in the ceremony organised by the OCA to donate a mini-van to the Oman NOC.
Today, he took a flight to Cairo (Egypt) and tomorrow (Saturday), he will attend the 100th anniversary celebrations of the Egyptian NOC. There, he will meet Egyptian NOC President General Mahmoud Ahmed Ali and Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif.
In the framework of the World Conference on Sport, Education & Culture in Durban, the Olympic Movement has donated sports equipment, including from the International Boxing Federation (AIBA), to 11 mayoral districts in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal. IOC members Sam Ramsamy Lambis V. Nikolaou and Ching-Kuo Wu, who is also the President of AIBA, presented the equipment to Weziwe Thusi, an Executive Council Member for Sport and Recreation, and the 11 mayors concerned during the ceremony organised approximately 70km from Durban.
As part of its initiatives to promote sport as an agent for social change, the IOC has teamed up with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to launch an ambitious three-year Sport and Education programme for young people in the Osire refugee camp in Namibia. Namibian athletics star and IOC member Frankie Fredericks attended the programme launch ceremony. More news at www.olympic.org.
INTERNATIONAL SPORTS FEDERATIONS
At its meeting in Munich (Germany), the Board of International Basketball Federation Europe (FIB Europe) awarded Eurobasket 2013 to Slovenia. The tournament will be staged in five different venues in summer 2013. The dates have not yet been finalised. France was given the green light to organise Eurobasket Women 2013 after a unanimous decision was taken to support the country’s candidature. Venues and dates for the championship will be confirmed in early 2011. More info at www.fiba.com.
The International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) has announced the death of Lednev Pavel (RUS), a true modern pentathlon legend, on 23 November in Moscow (Russian Federation). Lednev was one of the most successful pentathletes of all time, holding the record for Olympic medals (two gold, two silver and three bronze). He was also world champion six times. More info at www.pentathlon.org.
We have just learned that the 2nd International Forum on Sport, Peace and Development, organised jointly by the IOC and the Office of the Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary General on Sport for Development and Peace, will be held on 10 and 11 May 2011 at the UN headquarters in Geneva (Switzerland).
The International Archery Federation (FITA) has informed us that 10 archers from three continents have obtained a 24-month scholarship from Olympic Solidarity. These are delivered two years before the Olympic Games in London to allow the archers to fine-tune their preparation. The scholarships contribute to paying for travel to competitions and training camps. All the recipients have chosen to prepare for the 2012 Olympic Games in their own country (except for some tournaments). More details at www.archery.org.
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has announced that the 41st Youth Sailing World Championship in 2011 will be held in Zadar (Croatia) from 7 to 16 July. Three hundred of the top sailors from over 60 countries will thus meet next summer at the Uksok Sailing Club for youth sailing’s blue ribbon event. More at www.sailing.org.
NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES
The Canadian NOC (COC) has awarded this year’s prestigious IOC Sport Inspiring Young People Trophy to Martha Deacon, a COC Board member and long-time Olympic leader. Deacon, an executive officer with the Waterloo Region District School Board, has long recognised the power of sport to inspire, working tirelessly with educational leaders and government officials.
To remind the country that there is a holiday gift to directly support Canadian athletes, COC President Marcel Aubut, accompanied by six Olympic athletes, presented Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper with a pair of the famous red mittens as worn by the Olympic team during the Vancouver Games last February. More info at www.olympic.ca.
The British NOC has announced that 47 athletes from the 2012 delegation, representing each Paralympic sport and discipline, came together last week in London to hear the advice of sporting legends such as Clive Woodward (rugby) and Tanni Grey-Thompson (wheelchair racing). The aim of this Athlete Summit event, organised by Team 2012 and presented by Visa, was to provide aspiring young athletes from across the country with vital skills to prepare for their first Olympic Games, which will take place in under two years.
Secondly, four athletes have received an Olympic Solidarity scholarship to help in their ambition to compete in the 2012 Games. Practising boxing, artistic gymnastics, archery and weightlifting, these young athletes will receive financial support of GBP 1,000 each towards their training and preparation. Info at www.olympics.org.uk.
ORGANISING COMMITTEES FOR THE OLYMPIC GAMES
5 December saw the close of the period for submitting entries for the national competition to design a mascot for the 2014 Games. The total number of drawings published on the official competition site now exceeds 18,000 and over 1.2 million visitors have been to the site since 1 September. Entries have arrived from the whole of Russia and also from Russians living overseas. Participants’ ages range from 3 to 77! More news on www.sochi2014.com.
The 39th General Assembly of the European Olympic Committees (COE), whose President is IOC member Patrick Hickey, decided that the next Assembly will be held in Sochi on 25 and 26 November 2011. The fourth meeting of the Executive Committee will be held on 24 November 2011.
The Assembly also elected Vlade Divac (Serbia) and Roger Talermo (Finland) as European representatives for four years on the Executive Board of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) alongside the EOC President, Vice-President and Secretary General.
For the first time in the history of the European multisport event, the 2015 Winter EOYF will be organised jointly by the NOCs of Austria and Liechtenstein. More info at www.acnolympic.org.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) have just signed a Memorandum of Understanding to further develop Paralympic sport in the years ahead. The MoU covers various areas such as management, promotion of competitions and events, knowledge exchange and general development of Paralympic sport and its athletes.
On 3 December, to mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the IPC announced that,in 2011, it will start a partnership with Peace & Sport in Côte d’Ivoire to allow some 150 young athletes with a disability to practise a sport at least twice a week in a structured environment. More info at www.paralympic.org.
On 9 December in Durban, as part of the 7th World Conference on Sport, Education & Culture, Franco Ascani, President of the International Sports Movies & TV Federation (FICTS), took part in a meeting of the IOC Commission for Culture and Olympic Education, chaired by Lambis V. Nikolaou, on the theme Youth and Olympic Images. Also attending this meeting were Hicham El Guerrouj, IOC member and double Olympic champion (1500 and 5000m) in Athens in 2004; Valery Borzov, IOC member and double Olympic champion (100 and 200m) in Munich in 1972; and Princess Haya Al Hussein, IOC member and “United Nations Messenger of Peace”. Details at www.sportmoviestv.com.