By Emily Goddard

woa logoFebruary 4 - The World Olympians Association (WOA) has unveiled plans to establish a new biennial event uniting all 142 National Olympians Associations (NOAs) to share and discuss best practice schemes and projects that will benefit Olympic athletes and local communities around the world.

Called the World Olympians Forum (WOF), the conference will host a number of leading figures and opinion formers in the Olympic Family, while representatives of National Olympic Committees, National Federations, Governments and other key Olympic, sporting and non-governmental stakeholders will also be invited to add their experience and knowledge.

The WOF, which will be launched this year, will feature keynote speakers, working seminars and executive level networking, with each edition to be held in a different city - the WOA is already in preliminary discussions with a number of cities interested in hosting the inaugural WOF in 2013 and a formal bidding process will be announced soon.

The launch of the WOF is part of a series of new initiatives and strategies to promote reform and growth within the WOA, which will see the organisation operate under the banner of "Service to Society – Service to Olympians".

"The WOA is setting out on a new path as directed by our Executive Committee," said WOA President Joël Bouzou, who won an Olympic bronze medal in the modern pentathlon at Los Angeles in 1984 as a member of France's team.

"On behalf of the whole Olympic Movement, the WOA aspires to connect and support Olympians around the world and help promote the values of Olympism.

"Establishing the new World Olympians Forum is just one of the ways the WOA will be able to achieve this important ambition.

"We want to improve our direct and online services to Olympians and help facilitate programmes and activities that foster health and fitness, cultural awareness, environmental responsibility and proactive citizenship.

"We will be making further announcements in the coming months on our new plans and other initiatives which are now under discussion."

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