Olympic Solidarity and FINA Federations

Development News

This article is mainly aimed at our 194 National Federations, who sometimes lose the opportunity of collaborating with their respective National Olympic Committees in order to access the Olympic Solidarity programmes, created to allow them to ensure their development.
Completing this short presentation about the activities of the Olympic Solidarity, we have asked Pere Miró, the omnipresent director of both the International Olympic Solidarity in Lausanne and of the IOC department in charge of the relations with the National Olympic Committees (NOC), to present some advice to the FINA National Federations. We thank him for accepting to write a short text in these pages.

Firstly, we must keep in mind Olympic Solidarity’s mission:

The aim of Olympic Solidarity (OS) is to organise assistance to NOC, in particular those which have the greatest need of it. This assistance takes the form of programmes elaborated jointly by the IOC and the NOC, with the technical assistance of the International Federations (IF), if necessary.
The objectives of the programmes adopted by Olympic Solidarity are to contribute:

•    To promote the Fundamental Principles of Olympism;
•    To assist the NOC in the preparation of their athletes and teams for their participation in the Olympic Games;
•    To develop the technical sports knowledge of athletes and coaches;
•    To improve the technical level of athletes and coaches in cooperation with NOC and IF, including through scholarships;
•    To train sports administrators;
•    To collaborate with organisations and entities pursuing such objectives, particularly through Olympic education and the propagation of sport;
•    To create, where needed, simple, functional and economical sports facilities in cooperation with national or international bodies;
•    To support the organisation of competitions at national, regional and continental level under the authority or patronage of the NOC and to assist the NOC in the organisation, preparation and participation of their delegations in regional and continental Games;
•    To encourage joint bilateral or multilateral cooperation programmes among NOC;
•    To urge governments and international organisations to include sport in official development assistance.

The Olympic Solidarity is managed by the Olympic Solidarity Commission that is mainly composed by representative members of the Continental Associations, the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) and the athletes, and is presided by Mr. Mario Vazquez Raña. This commission is autonomous in the financial, technical and administrative plans.
The Direction of the Olympic Solidarity is under the Commission’s dependence and is in charge of implementing and executing the decisions taken by the latter and to apply its guidelines.

FINA is grateful to the Olympic Solidarity, emanation from both the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and from the ANOC, for its help and support provided through the NOC to our National Federations (NF). FINA is continuously encouraging our members to take the best possible advantage of these opportunities in order to sustain their development.

Within the frame of the quadrennial plan 2005-2008, five continental offices reinforce the action of the OS in Lausanne. Therefore, and from now on, world programmes are complemented with continental projects.

The world programmes are divided in four areas of action: athletes, coaches, NOC management, and promotion of the Olympic values.

Athletes – Olympic scholarships are provided to athletes for their preparation and qualification for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Our aquatic sports have obtained 94 scholarships in this area: 17 in Africa, 30 in the Americas, 15 in Asia, 30 in Europe, and two in Oceania. In total, the FINA National Federations are in second position concerning the number of scholarships received, only behind the IAAF (athletics) federations (206 scholarships).
Furthermore, a financial support was provided to the NOC so that they can identify young talents with real chances of qualifying for the London 2012 Olympic Games and to offer them good conditions of training.
Finally, our NF have also received subventions to help them in the progress of their respective national water polo teams. Six of our National Federations are taking advantage of this programme: Kazakhstan in Asia, and Moldova, Netherlands, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia in Europe.

Coaches – Technical clinics for coaches are regularly organised to ensure basic training in which the best FINA lecturers are involved. In 2006, 16 of these clinics (from a total of 334) were reserved for our aquatic sports. The situation is not fully satisfying, as FINA is only seventh in terms of the International Federations benefiting from this programme.
Olympic scholarships for coaches can also be obtained. Through this project, they can have continuous training at the highest level and they can access experience and knowledge that they can then develop in their respective NF. Nine of our coaches from a total of 137 beneficiaries were involved, a figure that can still be improved, as FINA is only ranked fifth in this area.

NOC management – The NOC organise national clinics for sports administrators, in which are invited to take part NOC, NF or club responsible. The NOC can also register participants to follow an international course in sports management.

These programmes are specifically conceived to adapt to each of the continents. They are managed by the five offices of the OS of the Continental Associations of National Olympic Committees:

-    Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) in Abuja;
-    Pan American Sports Organisation (PASO) in Mexico City;
-    Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) in Kuwait (under the direction of Husain Al-Musallam, our FINA Bureau member);
-    European Olympic Committees (EOC) in Rome;
-    Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) in Fiji.