Association of European Olympic Academies (EOA) officially established
Ljubljana – On 20 September 2018, delegates of 23 National Olympic Academies of Europe approved the statutes of the European Olympic Academies (EOA) on the occasion of their fourth conference in Ljubljana/Slovenia. Professor Dr. Manfred Lämmer, deputy chairman of the German Olympic Academy (DOA) was elected first President of the Association.
Already in 2012, the German Olympic Academy invited to the first conference of European National Olympic Academies in Eltville/Germany, in order to intensify the cooperation throughout Europe. Further conferences followed in Baku/Azerbaijan (2015) and Albena/Bulgaria (2017). In Albena, the delegates signed a Declaration, requesting the establishment of a European umbrella organization. They elected an Initiative Committee, commissioned to initiate all necessary steps.
Special Conference and Partner Organizations
The founding assembly was preceded by a special conference, dealing with the current challenges of Olympic Academies and focusing on future partners, target groups and tasks of the EOA. Miroslav Cerar, Vice President of the European Fair Play Movement, Rako Kovacic, President of the European Paralympic Committee as well as Petra Robnik, former Olympic athlete and present representative of the World Olympians Association, pointed out potential fields of cooperation. Also Isidoros Kouvelos, President of the International Olympic Academy (IOA), emphasized in his speech that the IOA is aiming at an intensive cooperation with the new European umbrella organization.
A close partnership shall also be established between the European Olympic Committees (EOC) and the EOA. Only a few days before the official inauguration ceremony, the Initiative Committee of the EOA and the EOC signed a “Memorandum of Understanding”. EOC President Dr. Janez Kocijancic stressed the aspiration for a strong cooperation between both organizations. To meet this objective the EOC already set up a “Working Group Olympic Academies”, presided by the DOA Chairperson Professor Dr. Gudrun Doll-Tepper. “EOC and EOA pursue common goals and they can perfectly complement each other on the European level”, Professor Doll-Tepper resumed.
Inauguration Ceremony and next steps
During the first General Assembly, the 23 Delegates accepted the statutes of the new umbrella organization that will be listed in the association register in Frankfurt am Main/Germany. The General Assembly also elected the President and the six Executive Board Members. This Board will now put forward three working groups to be dealing with initial projects and activities in various topics.
“We are very pleased that we now implemented the founding declaration numerous European Academies signed last year by establishing the EOA”, said Professor Lämmer. “Regarding the challenges the Olympic Movement is facing these days, the bundling of resources, passion, knowledge and experience is fundamental for a sustainable promotion and social embedding of the Olympic Idea and its values. We feel strongly encouraged by the support from EOC President Dr. Janez Kocijanicic.” Professor Lämmer stated optimistically: “The EOA member organizations are highly motivated to meet these challenges jointly. My Executive Board colleagues and I have already experienced a remarkable support from numerous members who wish to be involved in the EOA’s duties, both in terms of personnel and structure.”
The newly elected Executive Board and the Delegates of the General Assembly expressed their sincere thanks to the NOC and the NOA of Slovenia; in particular to NOA President and former Olympic Champion Miroslav Cerar with his team including Ales Solar and Petra Robnik. They perfectly organized the conference in the heart of the city of Ljubljana and let the participants experience Slovenian hospitality.
Voting results for the Executive Board:
President: Prof. Dr. Manfred Lämmer (Germany)
Vice Presidents: Prof. Dr. Maria Bulatova (Ukraine) & Prof. Dr. Lozan Mitev (Bulgaria)
Secretary General: Mrs. Marion Guigon-Lacroix (France)
Treasurer: Mr. Ales Solar (Slovenia)
Additional Members: Dr. Sasa Ceraj (Croatia) & Dr. Ivans Klementjevs (Latvia)
Picture (left to right): Ceraj, Mitev, Lämmer, Bulatova, Solar, Klementjevs
Photo credit: Slovenian Olympic Academy