May 3, 2021

Message from Karo Lelai

Chair, ONOC Athletes’ Commission

In the middle of a global pandemic, changes to the world of sport, and to the appreciation of physical health and activity, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the ONOC Athletes’ Commission online home!

We are now afloat! Connected by the Pacific Ocean, the world’s largest ocean we call home, our Warriors of Oceania finally have a ‘home’ in the virtual world - one where we all may meet and one where the world may come to us in order to learn and know about us! 

This work would not be possible without the foresight and support of ONOC leadership and Olympic Solidarity - thank you Dr Robin Mitchell and Rick Blas! 

To every ‘Warrior of Oceania’ who believe in sport, are passionate about physical activity, and who continue to sacrifice in this time of uncertainty, my encouragement remains the same as when this COVID-19 pandemic first gripped our planet - Continue on the path of excellence and know that you are not alone! 

The Athletes’ Commission is by you for you and I am here to ensure your concerns and challenges are addressed through your representatives in the best and safest way possible.

Taking over the helm of the ONOC Athletes’ Commission from Barbara Kendall, and then taking up the role of Chair of the ANOC Athletes’ Commission, and then Oceania Liaison to the IOC Athletes’ Commission, I have been humbled by the degree of faith placed on me by my peers, mentors, and you Warriors of Oceania. I am a proud voice, representative and worker in the Olympic Movement because I have been launched by a Ocean of people.

This microsite is the beginning to our telling our story through documentation and sharing. I encourage you to take time to engage, learn about the many firsts we as a continent contributed to the larger Olympic Movement in terms of good practice, flagship products and initiatives - several of which led to transformations in sport organisation and participation. We are leaders!

I encourage you to follow us online so that you may access information, inspiration and practical guidelines on how to engage, access opportunities for capacity building and entrepreneurship, and personal development before, during and after life in sport!

Take care of your mental health, build support networks, create friendship, nurture trust, take the qualities of fair play and camaraderie from the sporting arena into your homes, offices and communities!

Through our Olympic Agenda 2020+5, the world of sport is changing and we are fast-tracking into alignment that will open opportunities for improvement and growth - your connecting with us is critical to your planning and preparing for the future.

I encourage you to draw inspiration from those around you and from the fact that as IOC President Thomas Bach has reiterated, and the United Nations (UN) now recognised, sport and physical activity are critical to COVID-19 recovery and to building in the New Normal in every nation.

This recognition will be translated into diverse and innovative opportunities for athletes, coaches, experts and administrators in our world of sport.

The waves of opportunity will crest in this new Olympic Quadrennium 2021 to 2024.

Ride with us!

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