Sub-Regional Athletes’ Forum highlights common issues faced by Micronesian countries

Twenty athlete representatives from six National Olympic Committee (NOC) Athletes’ Commissions (ACs) gathered in Guam for a pilot sub-regional athletes’ forum in the Oceania continent.

The Micronesian Sub-Regional Athletes’ Forum programme included sessions on athlete opportunities, roles and responsibilities of ACs, Olympic Solidarity, creating AC calendars and action plans, managing athlete brands, and programmes available through Athlete365.

Sled Dowabobo, Chairperson of the Nauru Athletes’ Commission, said, “I am happy to be here, and so far I am learning a lot.”

Dowabobo added that the Forum has been a platform for good information sharing, and added, “most of all, it is about helping an inactive Athletes’ Commission like ours.”

Common issues faced by Micronesian countries

Athlete representatives discussed a number of issues faced by their countries in breakout discussions and activities.

Common issues that resonate across the six countries included climate change, gender equality and substance abuse.

Mia-Lahnee Aquino, Chairperson of the Guam National Athletes’ Commission (GNAC), shared that, “even though Guam does not really experience climate change that much, I see from my neighboring islands – the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Palau, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia, what they are going through, and it really woke me up to try to be better about doing my part in mitigating climate change.”

Anthony Rudimch, Vice President (VP) of the Palau Olympians and Athletes Commission (POAC), shared his experience with females in male-dominated sports after attending a programme addressing women in sports.

“I was one of only two males in attendance during that training and I was privy to a whole lot of issues that females face in sports,” Rudimch said.

Forum Commitments

By the end of the Forum, Micronesian athlete representatives achieved the following outcomes:

  1. Identify the roles and responsibilities of the Athletes’ Commission.
  1. List the funding sources available to NOCs for their Athletes’ Commission.
  1. Design a 2023–2024 National Athletes’ Commission Calendar of Activities, with accompanying budgets and an Action Plan reflecting sustainability.
  1. Complete an IOC Athletes’ Commission Support Grant Application.
Video Highlights

Evelyn Otto | Palau


Hilda Kunau | Fiji


Anthony Rudimch | Palau

Article adapted from the ONOC website.