Meet our members – An interview series by the EOA
In fact, the President of the Slovenian Olympic Academy, Ales Solar, is no stranger to the EOA, as he holds the role of Treasurer of the EOA. In spring 2022, we had the chance to meet him and learn more about the Slovenian Olympic Academy.
The Slovenian Olympic Academy (SOA) was established in 1995, after the founding of the Olympic Committee of Slovenia in 1991. Similar to other NOAs, the academy is a direct part of the NOC, and the operational work is undertaken by the staff of the NOC in the headquarters in Ljubljana. More precisely, the academy is a NOC commission, where the NOC’s lead guides decision making. While the NOA has the autonomy to design activity and financial planning, approvals ultimately come from the NOC.
Internally, the SOA is comprised of a small team of 8 individuals. The majority are volunteers who are elected by the NOC Board. The selection generally consists of representatives of sports associations, professors from educational institutions and former athletes. Further, the members of the NOA are not permanent and are only bound to specific tasks that pertain to their niche of knowledge. So, one might say the Slovenian NOA is well rounded and up-to-date as it is constantly changing to meet current societal and academic standards and expectations.
Moreover, the SOA’s funding is categorised in three groups: international, national, and lottery; these being European funds (majority of funds come from here), the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, and sports funding of the state, respectfully. The academy does not have direct partners, but due to their linkage with the NOC, they are able to benefit from their sponsorships and funding, which is vital for the NOA. Such a financial fundament allows the NOA to execute academic and educational projects, which all aim to promote Olympic values, advocate for the integrity in sports supporting safeguarding, sporting behaviour/attitude, and lastly, EU-related projects that deal with European values.
Slovenia is situated in the Balkans, an area that has placed heavy importance and funding on sports and sport education for many years now, and their success in competitions shows this. As such, their proximity with bordering countries such as Croatia and Serbia allows them to have close ties with their respecting NOAs. Beyond project cooperation with the Balkans, the NOA also maintains connections with international actors, such as the EOC, IOC, World Olympians Association, International Society of Olympic Historians, and the European University Sports Association. However, the NOA is always seeking new opportunities to partner with other NOAs to allow space for growth and development.
On an organisational level, the SOA and NOC of Slovenia persevere in their goal to spread Olympic values to its citizens and internationally. This is shown on a practical level as well, as more than 65% of Slovenians are regularly active, and their track record of Olympic medals is impressive. Slovenia is an inspiring example of how education leads to success.
Information on the Academy
The Slovenian Olympic Academy is according to the Long-term Strategic plan of the Olympic Committee of Slovenia – Association of Sports Federations responsible for the promotion of the Olympism and Olympic Values, Slovenian Sport and Olympic Legacy, Olympic education and education of staff in sport, promotion of sporting behaviour, protection of athletes’ status rights and integrity in sport.
The Slovenian Olympic Academy was established in December 1995 in Ljubljana and a body inside the Olympic Committee of Slovenia – Association of Sports Federations. For the President, Mr Miroslav Cerar was nominated and the first Director was Dr Rajko Sugman.
Latest News of the Academy
- Final conference of the Erasmus + project Active, Healthy and Happy Volunteers at the European Youth Olympic Festival – Maribor 2023On 24th November 2023, from 14:00 to 15:30 CET, the Slovenian Olympic Committee together with the EOC EU Office invite to the final conference of the project and the presentation… Read more: Final conference of the Erasmus + project Active, Healthy and Happy Volunteers at the European Youth Olympic Festival – Maribor 2023
- EOC’s European Young Olympic Ambassador Programme leaves its mark at EYOF Maribor 2023The 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… Read more: EOC’s European Young Olympic Ambassador Programme leaves its mark at EYOF Maribor 2023
- Celebrating Unity in Maribor at the 17th Summer European Youth Olympic FestivalIn the Slovenian city of Maribor, young athletes aged 14 to 18 came together for the 17th edition of the Summer European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) from July 23rd to… Read more: Celebrating Unity in Maribor at the 17th Summer European Youth Olympic Festival
- EYOF posters now on display in the city centre of Maribor, SloveniaOn Olympic Day, 23 June 2023, the European Olympic Academies, together with the Slovenian Olympic Academy and the EYOF Maribor Organising Committee, officially unveiled the EYOF country posters at the… Read more: EYOF posters now on display in the city centre of Maribor, Slovenia
- Slovenian Olympic Academy supports the Value of ReadingIn today’s age, when technology is becoming more prevalent and life is becoming more virtualised, curiosity about reading among the youth and young adults is decreasing. However, the Slovenian Olympic… Read more: Slovenian Olympic Academy supports the Value of Reading