Athletes’ Commissions in Oceania encouraged to participate in pandemic impact survey to improve support for athletes

The Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) Athletes’ Commission (ONOC AC) is conducting an online survey toward strengthening the welfare of athletes in Oceania.

Athletes are paramount in the Olympic Movement because they are the primary stakeholder in all things Olympic.

For this reason, the IOC’s Recommendation 18 of Olympic Agenda 2020 repositioned athletes centre stage and the current IOC strategic roadmap, Olympic Agenda 2020+5, as the result of a review and factoring of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, continues this recognition and the cluster of activities ensuring athlete needs are met and performances enhanced.

This survey aims to do the same alignment for all Oceania NOC Athletes’ Commissions.

The ONOC Athletes’ Commission Chair, Karo Lelai, is calling for Oceania NOCs to take time to participate in an online survey which solicits NOC issues and challenges in order to improve athlete welfare through revised actions and strategies for and by NOC Athlete Commissions.

Lelai said, “the purpose of the survey is to measure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Athlete Commissions within Oceania and to provide feedback to ONOC AC that will facilitate a review of our activity plans and support for our NOC ACs.”

She said, “it is for NOC ACs to complete and so far, we only have had seven out of 17 NOC ACs complete the survey. These include Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Kiribati, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Guam and the Solomon Islands.”

“We request all AC Chairs to ensure that the survey is completed. We have made it easy by issuing an online survey so they can do the survey from anywhere there is wifi.

‘The ONOC AC is here to assist and support all of the regional NOC member ACs. Australia and New Zealand continue to do a powerful job with their athletes and we would like to see other Pacific islands NOC ACs follow the likes of Australia, NZ, Fiji and PNG with ongoing activities.”

Speaking on behalf of the ONOC AC, Lelai reiterated that, “we must realise that the COVID-19 pandemic is here to stay and we must change and adapt to the new normal, including the use of information and communication technologies (ICT).”

“ONOC AC commits to working with ACs within the region to adapt and adjust. We need feedback from ACs in the region, to determine the most appropriate ways of doing so.

She said, ‘the ONOC AC will then review its activity plans and support mechanisms for NOC ACs and announce our revised plans during the upcoming Oceania Athlete Forum this year.”

Lelai said, “it will be a virtual forum and it is important that every NOC has at least two athlete reps – a male and a female – participating in the event.”

The dates will be announced shortly.

However, it remains critical that member NOC Athletes Commissions participate in the survey to ensure plans and activities may be realigned before the Forum based on information shared by NOC ACs.

This will ensure Oceania athletes can be better served in the new Olympic Quad 2021 – 2024 with the usual annual reviews and changes based on evolving circumstances and learnings.