Bermuda Olympian Patrick Singleton who is a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athlete Commission, IOCAC Representative to Tennis Federation, World Sailing Federation and IBSF and is also an Executive Member of the World Olympians Association is currently in Turkey as the World Olympians Association, together with the International Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Commission, has launched a joint mentoring programme to support Olympians with their life transition.
The initiative will address the challenges many Olympians face once their athletic career comes to a close by putting together Olympians who have already transitioned to new careers with Olympians who are yet to do so.
By working with National Olympians Associations, National Olympic Committees and NOC Athletes’ Commissions at a local level, WOA and the IOC Athletes’ Commission hope to promote better support pathways for elite athletes, while empowering Olympians to use the life skills they have gained through years of elite competition and beyond to support their peers.
As a first step, six-month pilot schemes have been set up in three countries: New Zealand, Slovenia and Uganda. The pilots, which will run between October 2017 and March 2018, will be tailored to meet the needs of the respective nations and will be shaped by the Olympians involved.
Three pairs of mentors and mentees will be matched in each pilot country, resulting in 21 Olympian participants, all of whom will be supervised by a national mentoring champion. Mentors will be encouraged to share their experiences, provide valuable insight on managing a life transition and encourage new and attainable life goals with the mentee.
WOA President, Joël Bouzou OLY, said, “The transition from life as an elite athlete to a post-athletic career can be a difficult and stressful time for many Olympians. Through our joint mentoring programme with the IOC Athletes’ Commission, I truly believe that we can help to ease this journey and see Olympians continue to flourish throughout their lives.
IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair, Angela Ruggiero OLY, added, “This initiative aligns with our recently launched strategy All In, which sets out our plans to enhance support for athletes to succeed on and off the field of play. Coupled with the IOC’s established athlete resources such as the Athlete Learning Gateway and the Olympic Athletes’ Hub, we hope to empower and educate Olympians as they begin to plan for life after competition.”