A joint joint day between the International Athletes’ Forum and World Olympians Association has been held in Lausanne ©World Olympians Association

Strengthening continental ties and local partnerships were among the aims of a joint day between the International Athletes’ Forum and World Olympians Forum in Lausanne.

The event at the SwissTech Convention Centre was billed as being part of a wider commitment between World Olympians Association (WOA) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes’ Commission.

It is hoped the collaboration will ensure continuous support for athletes and Olympians at all stages of their lives.

Around 500 athletes and Olympians were claimed to have taken part in the event, which bridged between the conclusion of the International Athletes’ Forum yesterday and the star of the World Olympians Forum tomorrow.

A panel discussion took place between vice-chair Danka Barteková, IOC sports director Kit McConnell and WOA President Joël Bouzou, following a welcome address from IOC President Thomas Bach.

"At the heart of the IOC Athletes' Commission's strategy, our mission is to strengthen the support to all athletes and Olympians in their sporting and non-sporting career," Barteková said.

"Also, our mandate as the IOC Athletes' Commission is to represent the voice of athletes within the IOC and Olympic Movement.

"We work tirelessly to further strengthen and empower athlete representations in decision-making bodies to ensure athletes' viewpoint is heard and is taking into consideration at all levels and across all Olympic Movement stakeholders.

"By working together, collectively we can further reach of our programmes and activities for all athletes and Olympians."

The day featured workshops, networking and team building opportunities focussed on strengthening continental ties as well as enhancing partnerships at a local level.

It is hoped this will ensure National Olympians Associations and Athletes Commissions can work together to maximise opportunities for Olympians.

This would ensure they remain connect to the Olympic Movement and serve as ambassadors, it is hoped. 

"It has been fantastic to see participants today working collaboratively, exchanging views, sharing ideas and strengthening partnerships," said Bouzou.

"All focussed on how collectively we can best support athletes and Olympians at all stages of their lives.

"We believe this has been a valuable experience that has laid the groundwork for a unified and effective network for future cooperation between athlete representatives and Olympians across the Olympic Movement."

The World Olympians Forum is due to take place for the next two days in the Swiss city, with around 150 Olympians present.

The Forum has theme of "Olympians for Life" and is set to focus on strengthening National Olympians Associations and building relationships with the Olympic Movement and wider sporting community.

Workshops, presentations, networking events and cultural celebrations are expected to feature as part of the Forum, according to the WOA.

"The theme of this year‘s Forum is Olympians for Life," Bouzou said.

"Through this we will explore how we can collectively deepen the understanding and connection of Olympians to the Olympic Movement and the value that will bring. 

"And we will share ideas on how we can better support and empower Olympians to secure their legacy as the enduring ambassadors of the Olympic Movement.

"To do this we need to ensure that National Olympians Associations have the tools and support they need. 

"Across the two days of the Forum our focus will centre on National Olympians Associations and how we can better support Olympians. 

"Through a series of workshops attendees will be given the tools you need to enhance local services and activities, engage with Olympians more effectively and boost the development of National Olympians Associations."

It is the second edition of the Forum following the first one at Moscow in 2015. 

A total of 284 delegates attended, representing 121 National Olympians Associations.