Through its Young Ambassador Programme which the International Olympic Committee (IOC) launched in Singapore on 23 March 2010, 30 young people nominated by their National Olympic Committees (NOCs) are being used to help promote the YOG in their regions and communities and support the athletes before and during the Games as well as during their participation in the Culture and Education Programme (CEP).
The CEP aims to educate, engage and influence young people in sport and the Olympic values, inspiring them to play an active role in their communities, and the Young Ambassadors will help facilitate this goal. The programme also gives athletes advice on careers in sport, social responsibilities and other lifestyle choices.
The Young Ambassadors are between the ages of 18 and 28, come from a variety of backgrounds - from former Olympians to scholars - and represent countries from Australia to Zimbabwe. Sixty percent are female.
At the Games, the Young Ambassadors will mentor 3,600 athletes ranging in ages from 14-18 on what it means to be an Olympian and how aspiring stars should behave on and off the field of competition.
Being hosted for the first time this August in Singapore, the Youth Olympic Games will host four events in the sailing competition. With a restriction of 100 athletes, ISAF chose one-person events, windsurfing and dinghy. The sailing competition will take place from the National Sailing Centre which is located at the south-eastern tip of Singapore along the East Coast Park.
Elise Rechichi will certainly be an inspiration to the next generation of athletes and gave her words of wisdom, "For me its realy exciting to be on the other side, instead of being an athlete I am in a role to assist the athletes. Being quite young I am able to identify with what they are feeling and hopefully they will recognize that I have just been through the same thing and be able to mentor them in the Olympic journey and help them with managing the Olympic environment because it is such a different event, with such different pressures."
"The opportunity for you to compete in the Youth Olympic Games is so amazing, and something that will put you in such a great position if you intend to go to the Olympics. Take this opportunity to absorb all you can from Singapore in terms of the event and the culture and education programme and I really think not only are you able to experience something else, but the positive distraction can enhance your performance as well."
The International Olympic Committee's (IOC) stated vision for the Youth Olympic Games is:
"is to inspire young people around the world to participate in sport and adopt and live by the Olympic values"
Alongside the competition and sporting aspect of the Games, there will be educational programmes on the Olympic values, the benefits of sport for a healthy lifestyle, the social values sport can deliver and the dangers of doping and of training to excess and/or of inactivity.
The IOC's stated objectives for the Youth Olympic Games are:
1. to bring together the world's best young athletes and celebrate them
2. to offer a unique and powerful introduction to Olympism
3. to innovate in educating and debating Olympic values and challenges of society
4. to share and celebrate the cultures of the world in a festive atmosphere
5. to reach youth communities throughout the world to promote Olympic values
6. to raise sports awareness and participation among young people
7. to act as a platform for initiatives within the Olympic Movement
8. to be an event of the highest international sporting standard
For more information visit the Youth Olympic Games microsite at www.sailing.org/yog