IOC Athlete Career Programme hits the road with outreach sessions

A delegation representing the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Athlete Career Programme (ACP) is set to embark on a seven-day visit to six National Olympic Committees in southern Africa to hold workshops with local athletes and provide them with a range of job skills that can be applied during and after their sport careers.

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The outreach sessions will take place from 2 to 9 November in countries that currently do not have an ACP in place. They will be led by members of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, members of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) Athletes’ Commission, and country managers from the Adecco Group, one of the world’s leading providers of human resources solutions and co-partner of the ACP.

The delegation will travel to seven cities in six countries: Mazenod, Lesotho; Windhoek, Namibia; Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa; Manzini, Swaziland; Gabarone, Botswana; and Lusaka, Zambia. The workshop in Lusaka will take place at the Olympic Youth Development Centre, which opened in 2010.

IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair Claudia Bokel, former Commission Chairman Frank Fredericks and management staff from Adecco will lead the sessions, with fellow Athletes’ Commission members Kirsty Coventry and Amadou Dia Ba and former Olympians Sandrine Thiebauld and Kadidiatou Kanouté participating in their capacity as trainees, with the aim of learning how to conduct their own workshops in the future. This new ‘train the trainers’ method will allow the IOC ACP Outreach Programme to expand in frequency and geographic coverage.

“We have an excellent team in charge of the ACP, and their work helping athletes worldwide prepare for and move into their post-competition careers has been impressive so far,” said Bokel, a silver medallist in fencing at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. “But there are still countries without ACP programmes, and as Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, I feel we need to do more to reach as many athletes as possible. The upcoming outreach sessions in Africa are meant to address this issue and are the first step toward athletes in these countries receiving first-rate assistance as they look ahead to life after competition.”

The Outreach Programme will consist of one-day workshops in each city with a focus on providing athletes with:
• help identifying their passions
• tips on how to pursue them after their sports careers
• assistance recognising the many transferrable skills they gain during their sports careers
• advice on how to build support networks
• instruction on a range of skills, including CV creation and job-interview techniques.

Adecco worked with the IOC to establish the ACP in 2005 and since then the programme has provided career development and job placement services to more than 10,000 Olympic athletes from over 100 countries. The programme is based on providing athletes with three key tools: education, life skills and employment.
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