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IOC Young Leaders contribute to discussions around youth, sport and governance in Europe

International Olympic Committee

14 Jun 2023 – Four IOC Young Leaders represented the IOC Young Leaders Programme at the ENGSO Youth European Youth and Sport Platform 2023 in Stockholm (Sweden), where they delivered a workshop and helped produce the Conclusions paper on youth representation in sport governance.

The European Youth & Sport Platform is a new event organised by the independent youth body of the European Sports NGO (ENGSO), ENGSO Youth, in cooperation with ENGSO and the Swedish Sports Confederation, and under the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The three-day forum, from 1 to 4 June, gathered together more than 100 sports and community leaders between the ages of 18 and 35 from all over Europe for discussions around the themes of good governance, digitalisation and sustainability, and to join forces to develop a Conclusions paper with recommendations aimed at European policy- and decision-makers.

The resulting conclusions were published on 12 June, with the key recommendations focused on how to actively encourage participation and then include the voice of youth in decision-making bodies across Europe. You can read the recommendations in full here.

The IOC Young Leaders who attended the event in Stockholm and contributed to the conclusion paper were:

They were joined by Isaiah Kioiloglou from Greece, one of the newest IOC Young Leaders, having joined the programme earlier this year as part of the 2023-26 cohort. In May, Kioiloglou was also elected to the ENGSO Youth Committee 2023-25, during which period she will also represent the voice of the IOC Young Leaders.

Delivering a workshop on building local communities

On 2 June, the second day of the event, the focus was on governance, which had been identified as one of three priority topics – along with digitisation and sustainability – for the youth and sport sectors. The IOC Young Leaders Programme was one of five that were presented as examples of youth participating in decision-making, with Papamichalopoulos, who is also a member of the IOC Olympic Programme Commission and the Medical and Scientific Commission, featuring on the “Good governance: Youth in Action” panel to present their work.

The four IOC Young Leaders then delivered an interactive workshop on the “Role of Youth: Building up local communities” theme, which addressed the importance of youth participation in local communities and how it can be achieved. The workshop kicked off with a discussion around youth, sport and governance at the local grassroots level, followed by a group activity where participants were split up and received a specific challenge to address collaboratively on the theme of governance.

The challenges were imagined and designed by the IOC Young Leaders and included how to address bi-communal tensions and promote peace through governance; sparking change within a federation that is not being proactive or introducing new projects; and taking action around safeguarding in sport, beyond just policies and paperwork. Each topic related to the IOC Young Leader’s own project and experiences, and sparked productive and passionate discussions among the participants. The feedback was then collected and finalised before being included in the overall recommendations featured in the event’s Conclusions paper.

IOC walks the talk on youth inclusion in governance

The IOC recognises the valuable contribution that young people can make to decision-making in sport and is committed to providing opportunities for young people to participate in discussions and help shape policies at the international level.

The extent to which the IOC listens to and amplifies the voices of young people is illustrated by the fact that 18 current and past IOC Young Leaders are serving on various IOC commissions, which reflects the overall evolution of IOC governance in the direction of youth, diversity, athlete representation and gender equality. In 2022, for example, IOC President Thomas Bach appointed an equal number of women and men to the IOC commissions for the first time in history, a milestone in the IOC’s efforts to increase gender balance at its governance level.

IOC Young Leaders Programme contributing to Olympism 365 days a year

Launched in 2016, the IOC Young Leaders Programme empowers young people to leverage the power of sport to make a positive difference in their communities, and therefore contributes to the Olympism365 strategy aimed at strengthening the role of sport as an important enabler of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in direct response to the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020+5.

So far, with the support of the IOC, these inspiring young people have delivered over 140 sport-led projects in communities across the globe, promoting education and livelihoods, equality and inclusion, health, peace building and sustainability, directly benefitting more than 30,000 people. Learn more about the IOC Young Leaders Programme and the Olympism365 strategy.

Worldwide Olympic Partner Panasonic’s continued support

The IOC Young Leaders Programme has been supported by Worldwide Olympic and Paralympic Partner Panasonic since 2017, and this will continue through to 2024. Panasonic, as the programme’s founding partner, is committed to supporting the IOC Young Leaders through various initiatives, for example providing its creative and technological expertise, along with its network of influencers and ambassadors, to inspire the Young Leaders and equip them with the skills and tools they need to enhance their projects.

Find out more about Panasonic’s support for the programme.

Find out more about the IOC Young Leaders Programme and sign up for the “IOC Young Leaders in Action” newsletter to hear the latest updates.


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