As part of its continued efforts to promote noble sports and Olympic principles, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) started a project in collaboration with Olympic Solidarity and Daimler Chrysler at the beginning of 2001, called "Olympasia".
This creates the opportunity for all to participate in sports as the project provides funding for the building and development of sporting facilities.
More than 28 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) have completed 46 projects, with many more planned over the coming months and years.
It has been particularly effective with NOCs less able to support necessary but expensive projects themselves, or acquire the corporate or Government support to do so.
For instance, in 2002, the project was used to assist the Mongolian National Olympic Committee in constructing their new headquarters, something subsequently seen as a key reason for the NOC’s growth in both an administrative and a sporting sense.
In 2008, a financial subsidy was awarded through the project to the Jordan Olympic Committee in order to construct a new swimming pool in Amman.
In 2011, a subsidy of $50,000 (£40,000/€44,000) was awarded to the Bhutan Olympic Committee to put towards a first multi-purpose sports hall in Trashigang, envisaged as a key means by which to give the local population an opportunity to get active.
A head office was also built for the Nepal Olympic Committee through the project in 2012, while this and other "Olympasia" support was seen as crucial in encouraging the Nepalese Government to better finance the NOC thereafter.
The NOC of Timor Leste benefited from the project in 2015, receiving $100,000 (£79,000/€88,000) for the renovation of its headquarters and construction of a new well-equipped meeting room.
Examples of other projects
In October 2018, the OCA and Olympic Solidarity signed agreements with the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) to conduct "joint programmes" to boost anti-doping efforts.
It is claimed the agreements help provide education activities to ensure an anti-doping culture among athletes, coaches and specialists in Russia.
This applies in the Commonwealth of Independent States, which consists of 10 post-Soviet nations.
This group consists of Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Moldova, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Russia.
Georgia and the Baltic States are also benefiting from the joint programmes.
Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, President of the OCA and Olympic Solidarity, was present at a meeting to sign the agreements.
He was joined by OCA director general Hussein Al Musallam and Pere Miro, the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) deputy director general and then the head of National Olympic Committee relations.
As part of the agreement between the ROC and the OCA, teams and athletes participate in competitions and training camps that are held in Russia and countries which are part of the OCA.
Exchanges of coaches, experts and students are also taking place, along with the participation of officials in various Congresses, conferences and seminars and courses, as well as joint sporting events and projects.
In July 2018, Umid Ahmadjonov, the President of the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan, met with Thomas Bach, the head of the International Olympic Committee, in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Within the framework of the visit to Lausanne, Ahmadjonov met with Olympic Solidarity director Miro and heads of several departments of the IOC to discuss issues of implementation of new projects.
Ahmadjonov also raised the issue of election of the representative of Uzbekistan to the membership of the IOC.
The OCA has 16 Standing Committees.
The chair and members are appointed by OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah for a four-year period on the recommendation of the NOCs.
Sheikh Ahmad retains the right to establish other permanent or Ad Hoc Commissions and working groups as he sees fit.
The terms of these Commissions are at the President's sole discretion.
OCA Standing Committees are created for the purpose of advising the OCA General Assembly, OCA Executive Board or Sheikh Ahmad as the case may be.
The chairmen or chairpersons are elected by the General Assembly and the Executive Board appoints the members of the Standing Committees, which are as follows:
The Athletes' Committee is responsible for:
• Furthering the interests of athletes in Asia, upgrading their performance standards and creating competition opportunities for them
• Strengthening the relations between athletes and the OCA and making proposals for their betterment
Its chairperson and members attend Chef de Mission meetings during Games on a daily basis and report findings to the OCA President and Working Committee.
The meetings of the Athletes' Committee are held as decided by the chairperson with the prior approval of the OCA President.
The Athletes' Committee is currently chaired by Japan's Koji Murofushi.
The Culture Committee is responsible for:
• Assisting in the development of relevant cultural activities at the Asian Games and at such other opportunities as might be supported by the OCA
• Cooperating with existing National Olympic Academies and to help form others in Asia
• Fostering the development of art and sports in line with International Olympic Committee programmes
• Promoting interest among members in protecting the environment in the continent
The meetings of the Culture Committee are held as decided by the chairperson with the prior approval of the OCA President.
The Culture Committee is currently chaired by the United Arab Emirates' Mohammad A. Alkamali.
The Finance Committee is responsible for:
• Consideration of financial planning and projections, budget estimates and statements of accounts prepared by the technical director for submission to the Executive Board and General Assembly
• Checking all major expenditure incurred by the OCA and all other financial matters, as may be required
• The raising of funds so that the working of the OCA may be independent
• The approval of Audited Statement of Accounts
The meetings of the Finance Committee are held as decided by the chairperson with the prior approval of the OCA President.
The Finance Committee is currently chaired by Chinese Taipei's Kevin Kuo-I Chen.
The Medical Committee is responsible for:
• Preparing OCA medical guidelines outlining all requirements of sports medicine for each Asian Games as approved by the OCA
• Carrying out research and outlining physical research training programmes for each approved Games
• Determining the dietary requirements, on a calorie-needs basis, for each approved Games
• Doing all other things which are necessary to improve the physical and medical conditioning of Asian athletes, keeping in view the diversity of countries and communities involved
• Carrying out research on the type of injuries that normally affect each Games, and the remedy thereof
• Any other activity which would help raise the standard of sports
• Supervising medical control and sanitary services
• Supervising doping control and conducting gender verification test during each Asian Games
The chairperson of the Medical Committee heads a panel of not more than 15 persons, set-up with the approval of the Executive Board, for the preparation of relevant medical facilities and anti-doping control measures by the Organising Committees of the Asian Games, Asian Winter Games, Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games and Asian Beach Games.
He/she also ensures that such medical arrangements and anti-doping control measures comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency and OCA Anti-Doping Rules requirements.
The meetings of the Medical Committee are held as decided by the chairperson with the prior approval of the OCA President.
The Medical Committee is currently chaired by Malaysia's Mani Jegathesan.
The Sports Committee is responsible for:
• Undertaking studies and research, drawing up special plans to raise the sports standards in Asia and preparing sports programmes and courses for the development of coaches, referees, umpires, judges etc. in Asia - these plans and programmes are submitted to the Executive Board for consideration and decision
• Coordinating and cooperating, in consultation with the OCA President, with international and continental sports bodies with the purpose of raising the sports standards in Asia
• Following-up innovation in international sports programmes and courses with the purpose of benefiting by coordinating them and participating in them
• Reviewing the working programme for the Asian Games
The meetings of the Sports Committee are held as decided by the chairperson with the prior approval of the OCA President.
The Sports Committee is currently chaired by China's Song Luzeng.
Information and Statistics Committee
The Information and Statistics Committee is responsible for:
• The statistical information system of the OCA
• Preparing the OCA plan of action for the dissemination of sports information
• Informing OCA members of activities and future plans, preparing studies and carrying out research to assist the sports media in Asian countries
• Undertaking publication of sports teaching materials
• Undertaking documentation and records of results, and compiling statistics and other relevant data which help establish, to begin with, a nucleus for an Asian sports library - the material collected is also circulated to all members
• Establishing a separate statistics cell, where all types of statistics for every Games relevant to all international competitions are available
• The meetings of the Information and Statistics Committee are held as decided by the chairperson with the prior approval of the OCA President.
The Information and Statistics Committee is currently chaired by Mongolia's Demchigjav Zagdsuren.
The Media Committee is responsible for:
• The written, spoken and electronic media, public relations and films of the OCA
• Projecting the image of the OCA in the media
• Looking after the interests of journalists covering the Asian Games
• Guiding the Organising Committees of the Asian Games and regional Games on the working of the media
• The meetings of the Media Committee are held as decided by the chairperson with the prior approval of the OCA President.
The Media Committee is currently chaired by Macau’s Charles King Chiu Lo.
The Rules Committee is responsible for:
• Carrying out the directions of the General Assembly and the Executive Board in so far as the amendments of the OCA Constitution Rules and by-laws are concerned
• Taking steps to examine the rules and by-laws from time to time, and to submit its proposals for amendments through the Executive Board to the General Assembly
• Receiving and considering proposals on matters relating to the amendments of the rules and thereafter submit its recommendations to the General Assembly through the Executive Board
The meetings of the Rules Committee are held as decided by the chairperson with the prior approval of the OCA President.
The Rules Committee is currently chaired by Kuwait’s Sheikh Talal Al-Fahad Ahmad J Al-Sabah.
Sports For All Committee
The Sports For All Committee is responsible for:
• Encouraging and supporting the development of the sport activities through all generations
• Disseminating "sport for all" as a global human right for everyone in all societies around the world
The meetings of the Sports For All Committee are held as decided by the chairperson with the prior approval of the OCA President.
The Sports For All Committee is currently chaired by Syria's Brig Gen Mowaffak Joumaa.
The Environment Committee is responsible for:
• Advising the OCA Executive Board on what policy the OCA should adopt in terms of environmental protection
• Propagating the awareness of the environment in the field of sports
• Monitoring the various events and Games held under the patronage of the OCA from an environmental prospective
• Cooperating with existing sports organisations to promote and develop environmental activities
The meetings of the Environment Committee are held as decided by the chairperson with the prior approval of the OCA President.
The Environment Committee is currently chaired by South Korea’s Kyung-Sun Yu.
Women and Sports Committee
The Women and Sports Committee is responsible for:
• Assisting in the development of female activities at the Asian Games and at such other opportunities, as might be supported by the OCA
• Emphasising the importance of women in sports and to assist in its promotion among NOCs in Asia
• Cooperating with existing sports organisations and helping to form others in Asia
• Fostering and promoting the values of sport among women
The meetings of the Women and Sports Committee are held as decided by the chairperson with the prior approval of the OCA President.
The Women and Sports Committee is currently chaired by Kazakhstan’s Natalya Sipovich.
The Advisory Committee is responsible for:
• Providing advice and opinion to the OCA Executive Board, upon its request, on issues relating to its competence
• Providing expert advice to various arms of the OCA, as and when requested
The meetings of the Advisory Committee are held as decided by the chairperson with the prior approval of the OCA President.
The Advisory Committee is currently chaired by Singapore’s Ng Ser Miang.
The Coordination Committee is responsible for:
• Overseeing and assisting Organising Committees in the planning, construction and implementation of the Asian Games
• Monitoring the progress of the Asian Games Organising Committees and submitting reports to the OCA Executive Board
• Inspecting competition, training and other facilities and reporting its findings to the OCA Executive Board
• Ensuring that the Asian Games Organising Committees respond appropriately to the directives and views of the OCA, International Federations, Asian Sports Federations and NOCs
• Acting as a liaison between the OCA, Asian Games Organising Committees, NOCs and International Federations and Asian Sports Federations
• Supervising and advising Organising Committees on the proper conduct of the Asian Games, keeping in mind the OCA Constitution and the athletes’ requirements
• Calculating costs of the participants’ accommodation and related services to be provided by the Asian Games Organising Committees
• Carrying out an analysis relating to the organisation and execution of Asian Games and reporting such matters to the OCA Executive Board
The meetings of the Coordination Committee are held as decided by the chairperson with the prior approval of the OCA President.
The Coordination Committee is currently chaired by Japan’s Tsunekazu Takeda.
Peace Through Sport Committee
The Peace Through Sport Committee is responsible for:
• Mobilising youth in the cause of achieving peace
• Working in close coordination with NOCs to promote peace in troubled regions through sports
• Urging members to observe peace during the Asian Games periods
The meetings of the Peace Through Sport Committee are held as decided by the chairperson with the prior approval of the OCA President.
The Peace Through Sport Committee is currently chaired by Jordan’s Prince Faisal Bin Al-Hussein.
International Relations Committee
The International Relations Committee is responsible for:
• Facilitating and promoting the relationship between the Olympic Movement, particularly the OCA, NOCs, IOC, International Federations and Asian Sports Federations, and Governments and public authorities
• Using the network of relations and expertise of its members to strengthen existing dialogue and cooperation, and to contribute to resolving conflicts when possible
• Supporting the communication efforts made by the OCA in providing information on its policies, actions and mandate with respect to Governments as well as international, regional and Non-Governmental Organisations
• Preparing position papers on specific political issues related to sport and advising the OCA President and the Executive Board accordingly
• Working in close cooperation with the OCA’s International and NOC Relations Department
The International Relations Committee is currently chaired by Bhutan’s Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck.
The Education Committee is responsible for:
• Emphasising the importance of sports education and assisting in its promotion among NOCs in Asia
• Cooperating with existing National Olympic Academies and helping to form others in Asia
• Fostering the development of art and sports in line with IOC programmes
• Promoting interest among members in protecting the environment on the continent
The meetings of the Education Committee are held as decided by the chairperson with the prior approval of the OCA President.
The Education Committee is currently chaired by Saudi Arabia’s Prince Abdulhakim Bin Mosaad Bin Abdulaziz.
Examples of the Standing Committees' work
Information and Statistics Committee
The OCA Information and Statistics Committee met in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan in September 2017.
Chairman Demchigjav Zagdsuren welcomed members from Chinese Taipei, Iraq, Jordan, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan.
The Committee discussed participation and performance analysis on the 2017 Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan and plans for 2017 to 2019
It agreed to study further the positive doping cases, according to World Anti-Doping Agency rules, and to monitor and analyse the performance of Asian athletes at major Games and competitions.
The analysis of Sapporo 2017 was introduced at the 2017 OCA General Assembly.
The OCA Media Committee held a fruitful meeting in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan in September 2017.
Under the leadership of chairman Charles King Chiu Lo, the Media Committee heard reports from the Organising Committees of the 2017 Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat and the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang.
"I would like to thank the representatives from the three Organising Committees for their detailed presentations and briefings to our Committee members," Lo said.
"The media is always changing and the OCA will adapt to the new trends so that we can provide the best services and best working environment as possible for the media attending our Games.
"There is a lot of information to pass on from one Organising Committee to the next."