A new programme which offers National Olympians Associations (NOAs) with the chance to apply for one of five $5,000 (£4,000/€4,700) grants has been launched by the World Olympians Association (WOA).
The Service to Society grants will be secured by one NOA from each continent as part of the inaugural initiative.
They will provide extra funding to “assist them in delivering Olympian-led community initiatives”, according to the WOA.
It is hoped the successful NOAs will use the additional cash for sustainable projects and activities in order to help those who have previously represented their country at the Olympic Games.
NOAs interested in being given the grant have until January 16 to make an application and the WOA will announce the recipients in February.
The WOA Service to Society Grants Panel, composed of WOA Executive Committee members from each continent, will look over each submission and will decide who should be given the grants.
“WOA is excited to announce our inaugural Service to Society grant programme, which will award funding to five worthy Olympian-led community action projects in 2017,” WOA President Joël Bouzou said.
“Olympians embody the Olympic spirit and act as ambassadors of the Olympic Movement, inspiring the next generation of Olympic athletes and fans through their words and actions.
“We are committed to supporting Olympians to reach their potential at all stages of their careers, whether that be through community involvement, leadership or simply by spreading the spirit and practice of Olympism in their daily lives.
“Through our Service to Society grant programme we hope to give Olympians the best possible platform from which to deliver vital projects that foster social development, promote unity and empower Olympians to help make the world a better place.”
The new scheme will sit alongside the WOA’s existing development grant programme.
It currently offers funding and assistance to encourage the growth and sustainability of the WOA’s members across the world.