On 21 April 2022, the European Olympic Academies held its Fourth General Assembly. The digital event was attended by approximately 50 representatives, including delegates from 24 EOA members and the EOC, IOA, EFPM, ICSSPE and IOC.
The Executive Board and the staff received great encouragement by the members and partners for their work, despite the barriers of the pandemic, to develop the EOA into an important European stakeholder for the Olympic Movement. Moreover, the General Assembly approved the accession of the Kosovo Olympic Academy to the EOA.
The annual event underwent several postponements last year and was finally moved once more from February to April following the outbreak of war in Ukraine. The COA of Russia and the Belarusian Olympic Academy were not invited to the General Assembly in conformity with the decisions of the IOC, IOA and other sports federations.
EOA President Prof. Dr. Manfred Laemmer opened the assembly and presented a report on the activities of the past year and the current situation. Prof. Dr. Maria Bulatova, EOA Vice-President and Delegate of the Ukraine Olympic Academy expressed her gratitude for the support efforts and numerous messages from the National Olympic Academies as well as the EOA, EOC, IOA and IOC. The EOA Good Governance Officer Dionyssis Gangas assessed that all activities were carried out in accordance with the Good Governance Principles.
The annual accounts for 2020 and the budget for the following years were approved and the Executive Board was discharged from liability. The EOA’s finances rest on a sustainable foundation, and despite the pandemic, the budget could be gradually increased. The EOA receives most of its funding from the German Federal State of Hesse, Erasmus+ funds and from the European Olympic Committees.
The participants enjoyed two inspiring lectures delivered by Dr. Uri Schaefer, President of ICSSPE and Prof. Thierry Zintz, Member of the IOC Olympic Education Commission. Uri Schaefer presented an outside perspective on the relevance of the European Olympic Academies and Thierry Zintz spoke about the importance of cooperation between Olympic and academic institutions.
The commissions reported on their activities, highlighting, among other things, strong improvements in the area of communication, which the EOA has previously reported on. Preparations for an EOA Strategic Plan are in full swing and members are currently being asked to complete a detailed questionnaire. A preliminary version of the strategic plan is planned for the next General Assembly.
Many National Olympic Academies had submitted written reports in advance. They showed great efforts in providing Olympic education in innovative forms, especially in digital form.
Furthermore, intermediate states of new projects were presented to the General Assembly, including the EOA Honours and Awards and the conduct of EOA Seminars to address Olympic issues on a regional level.
The next General Assembly is planned to take place in person, a venue has not yet been determined.