Ancient Olympia will host the meetings of the Association of European Olympic Academies.  IOA

The decision was taken by the Board of the European Olympic Academies (EOA) at the EOA Congress in Vilnius, Lithuania. The event, organised by the Lithuanian Olympic Academy (LOA), was attended by delegates from 22 European Olympic Academies, as well as representatives from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Olympic Academy (IOA) and the European Olympic Committees (EOC).

Mr. Isidoros Kouvelos, the President of the International Olympic Academy (IOA), highlighted the importance of education in Olympic Values for the global community and the key role of NOAs in inspiring young people toward a fairer world through a video address. 

Leveraging the theme of the Congress, 'The Olympic Movement in a changing world,' the IOA President stated: "Our mission is more important than ever now! Every challenge comes with opportunities and risks. And all of you, dear NOA members, have proved that you can manage risks. I would like to thank you all for your excellent work throughout all these years, your spirit, and your dedication to our mission."

Video message of the IOA President Isidoros Kouvelos. IOA
Video message of the IOA President Isidoros Kouvelos. IOA

During their brief address to the European NOAs, the new Director of the IOA, Dr. Makis Asimakopoulos, representing the IOA on-site, along with the NOAs Relations Manager of the IOA, Ms. Alexandra Karaiskou, also had the chance to stress the importance of building bridges among the NOAs with regard to Olympic Education. They specifically highlighted the IOA's intention to provide a clear framework for enhancing the NOAs’ role within and beyond the Olympic Movement.

Overall, the Congress focused on lectures on human rights and autonomy in sports, while a roundtable debate on the topic of an EOA-led Erasmus+ project 'Building European Safe Sport Together' (BESST) provided valuable insights to NOA delegates on safeguarding in sports. 

Also, the NOA delegates, including Prof. Dionyssis Gangas, as the EOA Good Governance Officer, had the opportunity to reflect on presentations that covered the vast resources provided by the IOC Olympic Studies Centre, as well as the function and work of the NOAs. More specifically, insights were given on sharing best practices, future strategic developments regarding their institutional environment, and financial autonomy.

The IOA director Mr. Makis Asimakopoulos. IOA
The IOA director Mr. Makis Asimakopoulos. IOA

After the conclusion of the Congress, during the 6th EOA General Assembly, the members of the European Olympic Academies approved the admission of four new NOAs to its institution and confirmed modifications to the EOA Statute. The Congress was rounded off by interesting cultural features and the first awards ceremony:

  • The Ukrainian Olympic Academy received the award for the best Olympic Education project.
  • The Czech Olympic Academy was honored for the best Olympic Heritage project.
  • Mr. Ales Solar, the first treasurer of the EOA, was awarded the Medal of Merit for his significant contribution to the establishment of the EOA.