With fewer than 150 days to go until the first Youth Olympic Games (YOG), the International Olympic Committee (IOC) launched its Young Ambassador Programme in Singapore today.
The new initiative engages 30 young people nominated by their National Olympic Committees (NOCs) 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.
The Ambassadors are in Singapore to take part in an action-packed week of seminars and workshops in preparation for the inaugural edition of the Youth Olympic Games this August in Singapore. The workshops and forums will focus on societal issues of particular relevance to young people.
Five themes will be targeted: Olympism, skills development, well-being and healthy lifestyle, social responsibility and expression through digital media.
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.
IOC President Jacques Rogge
is in Singapore to attend the Chef de Mission Seminar for the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games and met with the Young Ambassadors this morning to discuss their mission.
President Rogge said, "It was a pleasure to meet such an inspirational group of young people who have already achieved so much in their lives. This experience will enrich not only their lives, but also the lives of all the athletes they come into contact with. It is our hope that this goodwill and friendship can in turn find its way back to the communities where they come from."
"The Young Ambassador programme is a very effective way of reaching out to young people around the world to promote the YOG and the Olympic values. The NOCs have selected very talented individuals and I am looking forward to seeing them in action with their delegation and in their respective communities," Rogge added.
The Young Ambassador programme is supported by TOP Partner ACER, which has provided each Ambassador with a special Olympic-edition laptop.
Reports of their activities will be updated regularly at www.olympic.org/yog
Working alongside the Young Ambassadors during the Games will be 60 CEP Champions, local representatives who will promote and facilitate the Culture and Education Programme developed by the Singapore 2010 Organising Committee.
IOC Vice-President and SYOGOC Chairman Ser Miang Ng said, "We are delighted to welcome the Young Ambassadors to Singapore. The Young Ambassadors and CEP Champions have an important role to play in the success of the Culture and Education Programme, and we are confident the world class athletes coming will benefit most in Singapore 2010."
Visit our Youth Olympic Games microsite at www.sailing.org/yog