The programme, first launched in 2016, is aimed at promoting social entrepreneurship through sport by engaging and supporting the next generation of inspirational leaders. To date, IOC Young Leaders have delivered 116 sport-led projects in communities across the globe, promoting themes such as education, social inclusion, sustainability and well-being, and directly benefitting more than 30,000 people.
The latest edition of the programme has been revamped to ensure that each Young Leader is given the tools, resources and opportunities they need to truly reach their potential as a social entrepreneur.
While previously running on a one-year cycle, with participants nominated by their National Olympic Committees and other Olympic Movement stakeholders, the new edition will operate as a four-year programme, and is open to anyone aged between 18 and 30 on 1 October 2020.
The journey to becoming a Young Leader starts by registering for the six-week learning sprint. This online course will explore several key themes around Olympism, sport and social business. On completion of the course, 25 Young Leaders will then be selected to participate in the four-year programme, which will help them imagine, design and create their own sustainable social business that provides a localised sport-based solution to a pressing challenge in their local community.
#InternationalDayofGirlChild @iocmedia and @youtholympics have given Move To Improve a space in the @Olympics web page— Carolina Joly (@cjoly02) October 11, 2020
Thanks to everyone that helps this project be better and stronger at @COlimpicoPanama
I literally have tears in my eyes reading it https://t.co/lKpqshQ9tx
During the four-year programme, each participant will receive expert guidance on a wide range of topics focused on the development of themselves as individuals and their social business. A total of CHF 10,000 in seed funding will also be available for each Young Leader.
At the closing ceremony of the 2019-2020 project cycle last month, IOC President Thomas Bach said he was “optimistic about the role the Young Leaders continue to play as ambassadors of Olympism, worldwide,” and that he was “looking forward to meeting the new group of IOC Young Leaders in 2021”.
The Young Leaders programme is part of the IOC’s long-term commitment to support young people through sport by empowering them to become social change-makers. The programme also contributes to the Olympic Movement’s goal to build “a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport”.
Since 2017, the programme has been supported by Worldwide Olympic Partner Panasonic, which has provided additional funding to be used as project grants, plus audiovisual equipment to capture the progress of the diverse range of projects. Panasonic’s backing has also made it possible to develop and expand the programme, with the latest cycle seeing more than 50 new and ongoing initiatives receiving support. In addition, and for the first time, as part of its youth empowerment approach, Panasonic will offer one of the Young Leaders the opportunity to undertake an internship at the company later this year.