The European Young Olympic Ambassador (EYOA) programme in Maribor took place in its 7th edition during the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) from 23rd – 29th July 2023.
Organised under the auspices of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) Culture and Education Commission, the EYOA programme aims to promote and strengthen the Olympic Values of excellence, friendship, and respect amongst the young athletes participating at the EYOF.
In Maribor, 23 young ambassadors nominated by their NOCs were involved in the programme. They were responsible for the development and implementation of various activities and were supported by alumni with their experience from previous editions.
The Olympic values of friendship, excellence and respect were brought to life in the activities designed by the ambassadors for the young athletes. With their passion for sport and the Olympic movement, the ambassadors, aged between 18 and 25, led the athletes in the Athletes’ village through educational activities and facilitated interaction between them. Activities included games to promote knowledge of the Olympic Games and Olympic values, as well as team-building activities and cultural evenings where the athletes could learn more about Europe’s diversity and meet each other.
Everyone agreed that this year’s edition was once again a great success. Programme Director Natasa Jankovic and Vice-Chair of the EOC Culture and Education Commission Clea Papaellina were very satisfied with the implementation of the programme and even called it the best edition yet:
“With each edition we learn from the experience of our alumni. Our programme continues to grow, and we can offer a wide variety of activities that inspires the young athletes to follow the Olympic values on and off the field.”– Clea Papaellina, EOA Executive Board Member and Member of the EOC Culture and Education Commission
Also, Jean-Michel Brun, Chair of the EOC Culture and Education Commission, was also pleased with the ambassadors who once again made a great team:
“I am already looking forward to the next edition of the EYOA programme. Our goal is eventually to have an ambassador from every participating country.”– Jean-Michel Brun, EOC Executive Committee Member and Chair of EOC Culture and Education Commission
At the end of the programme, the ambassadors were honoured for their efforts in a small ceremony by EOC President Sypros Capralos, who predicted a bright future for the EOC in terms of spreading Olympic values through the programme. “The EYOA programme combines culture and sport in a unique way and gives the athletes an experience they will never forget.” At the ceremony, the programme was also awarded the Fair Play Recognition by the European Fair Play Movement, which designated the ambassadors as role models.