Hellenic Olympic Academy


Country Greece
Name of AcademyHellenic Olympic Academy (HOA)
Εθνική Ολυμπιακή Ακαδημία
Name of PresidentGeorgios ALIKAKOS
Contact PersonDenise PANAGOPOULOU
Foundation date9 October 2001
Year of accession to EOA2018 (founding member)
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Meet our members – An interview series by the EOA

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Shortly after the 20th anniversary of its founding, the European Olympic Academies (EOA) contacted the Hellenic Olympic Academy (HOA) with the objective of discovering more about the Academy’s aims, its organisational structure, and current projects. Denise Panagopoulou, who is Technical Advisor and the responsible for Olympic Education at the HOA, took the time to speak with the EOA via online call from the headquarters of the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) in Athens, where the HOA offices are based.

The discussion kicked off with an overview of the structure of the NOA, which is an independently registered organisation with its own governing statutes. The Academy is managed by a Board of Directors which consists of 13 members including a President, Vice President and General Secretary. These individuals are each elected for a 4-year term. Several members of the Board are also members of the Hellenic NOC which highlights close links to the NOC.

Moving forward, Denise Panagopoulou elaborated on its broad range of projects as well as its participation in the Olympic Week, which has initiated as a runup to the Athens Olympics in 2004. The HOA has created an Olympic sticker book which allows young children to learn about the Olympic movement in a playful and engaging manner. Additionally, the “I Love Sport” athletics programme combines sport and culture by offering guided tours of the Panathenaic stadium to primary school children.

Earlier this year, a new agreement was signed to confirm the French College IdEF as an academic partner of the HOA until the Paris 2024 Olympics. Through this partnership, student scholarships will be available for athletes belonging to Greek Sports Federations who wish to obtain a recognised French state degree in Physical Education and Sports. On this theme, the HOA is also collaborating with the French Embassy in Greece to launch projects relating to the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics.

In addition to these examples of international collaboration, the EOA discovered that the HOA has a Memorandum of Understanding with the NOA of Cyprus, with whom it jointly organises the Pierre de Coubertin Symposium. Although the Hellenic NOA does not have extensive links to NOAs in other countries, it is well integrated into the Greek education system thanks to links to the Ministry of Education, projects with the Ministry of Defence in military schools and collaboration with the Ministry of Politics on citizenship programmes.

Projects of the Academy

The main project and purpose of the HOA is the promotion of the core values of Olympism, excellence, respect and friendship in Greece as well as the cultivation and application of pedagogical and social principles of the Olympic movement. Its primary scope is to promote to the younger generation the principles of sportsmanship, the Olympic Ideal and Fair Play and the balance between body, will and mind. The Academy also wants to contribute to the fight against doping and violence within the field of sport and promote the idea of sport as a fundamental human right.

The HOA is very active and organizes a series of activities and educational programs. Among those, is the innovative educational program “I love Sports, Kids’ Athletics”, in which, 192.900 pupils have already participated and which combines culture and sport. The program is still taking place every day at the unique Panathenaic Stadium, a symbol of our modern history and a world symbol of sports.

Additionally, HOA in cooperation with the Deutsche Sportjugend has started a sports’ youth exchange program in different sports which has already started very successfully. In cooperation with the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC), the French Embassy and the French Institute, HOA co-organizes the program “The generation 2004 in Greece on the way to the Olympic Games of Paris 2024”. A program that aims to disseminate the Olympic Spirit, the Olympic Education and francophonie and intents, through annual Olympic seminars with Greek and French athletes that took part in the Olympic Games of Athens 2004, to create an active network of around 1.800 young people, of a bilingual generation, capable of propagating the values of Olympism.

Another important program that started with the cooperation of CSI and the non-profit organization “Oloi Mazi Mporoume”, concerns the propulsion of the Olympic Idea and fair play, the promotion of volunteering, the fostering of environmental protection and prevention and the handling of issues of security and proper use of the internet. From the 27th of September till the 7th of October, HOC and HOA celebrated the European school day of sport, with experiential actions of sport and lectures regarding the Olympic values, with the participation of Olympic Medalists and distinguished athletes in schools all over the country.

On 19-21 September HOC, HOA, and the International Olympic Truce Center, in cooperation with “Connect your City”, co-organized a Festival in the Center of Athens, in Syntagma Square, with a variety of sports and activities in the context of celebrating World Peace Day. HOC and HOA in cooperation with the Children’s Art Gallery of Greece organize a Painting Competition Exhibition with the subject of “Modern Olympic Games”. Alongside those, the following projects have been organized: The educational program “Olympic and Cultural Values”, in Thessaloniki which combines sport and environmental actions, a program of Olympic education with sport and experiential actions in five different cities of Greece, the program of “Olympic Values” in Ancient Olympia and visits of Olympic Game winners in schools all over Greece so that the students get to know the Olympic sports and to initiate them into the values of Olympism.

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