Sep 16, 2022 – A group of young leaders from the IOC joined other inspiring young people from around the world at the recent One Young World Summit, helping to promote the Olympic values and the power of sport as a global force for good.
Dhukhilan Jeevamani (SGP), Javier Raya OLY (ESP), Jemima Montag OLY (AUS) and Sang Eun Lee (KOR) were among the IOC Young Leaders present, along with Layana de Souza (BRA), Mayssa Bsaibes (LBN) and Sophia Papamichalopoulos OLY (CYP) also contributed to the event agenda by facilitating a workshop during the summit, and Nicolo Di Tullio (ITA) was selected as speaker.
Held this year in Manchester, Britain from September 5-8, the annual event brings together over 2,000 of the brightest young leaders from over 190 countries around the world to connect, learn and work together on new new ideas and solutions to create change in the world.
Save the world’s oceans
Di Tullio’s keynote address was about saving and restoring the world’s oceans – one of the summer plenary topics and an issue related to his IOC Young Leaders project, which aims to empower surfers , kayakers and other water sports participants to become data collectors for environmental scientists and research centers.
His speech underscored how everyone must take responsibility for their actions if they are to help stop and reverse the ongoing damage to the world’s oceans, urging attendees to become ‘ocean literate’ to enhance their understanding. of their own impact on the ocean and how the ocean impacts each of our lives.
“Your daily choices have consequences for our oceans,” he said. “Gain ocean literacy your own way, so you know how to treat the ocean with respect.”
IOC Young Leaders: Sport and Peacebuilding
De Souza, Bsaibes and Papamichalopoulos also came together at the summit to facilitate a workshop titled “IOC Young Leaders: Sport and Peacebuilding,” which addressed the plenary theme of conflict prevention and highlighted how they each mobilized their IOC Young Leaders projects to encourage peace. -build through sport in their own local communities.
De Souza, for example, launched Change Score (Mudando or Placar) – an initiative in the Rocinha favela of Rio de Janeiro that aims to improve the quality of life of local young people through free basketball sessions, which are accompanied by educational activities, psychological and sports support and cultural activities.
“I want to use my sport as a tool for social development and human development, and to be able to give back to the children here in Rocinha, giving them the same opportunity that I had,” she said. “If I’m able to do that, I feel like I’ve accomplished what I wanted to do.”
Bsaibes, meanwhile, is helping people in her native Lebanon find peace through Keep-PING Hope, a project that gives local youth the chance to participate in table tennis sessions.
“We organize table tennis activities with national players and coaches and organize workshops on life skills and well-being,” she explained. “My goal is to give peace and hope to Lebanese children in these difficult times.”
Papamichalopoulos, who competed in the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, also felt compelled to help those affected by wars and conflicts. Her home country of Cyprus has long experienced such divisions, and she has seen firsthand not only the effects, but also how sport can be used to foster peace between peoples in conflict. His Winds of Change initiative aims to use sailing to bring together different Cypriot communities to sail around the island and develop lasting bonds that will improve relationships.
“Winds of Change will spawn the first bi-communal team to sail around our divided island of Cyprus,” Papamichalopoulos said. “It’s an opportunity for them to develop unique skills and an exceptional friendship by living and sailing together on a boat. It ultimately aims to inspire others to increase bi-communal activities on the island, encourage the use of sport as a catalyst for peace, and promote world peace.
Sport as a powerful tool for transformation
During the summit, De Souza and Di Tullio also participated in a panel discussion on sports leadership and sustainability, moderated by One Young World advisor Mark Tewksbury, Olympic swimming champion and vice-president of the Canadian Olympic Committee.
The session highlighted the ability of sport to be used as a powerful transformative tool that can support the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, with participants discussing how the power of sport can be harnessed to educate and inspire the next generation of ethical leaders to tackle the world’s most pressing issues.
“As an example, over the past decade, Brazil has hosted two of the most important events in the sports sector – the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games,” explained De Souza. “Both events provided opportunities to highlight some of the most pressing societal issues in my country.”
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