What is the Olympic Solidarity (OS) Programme?
Olympic Solidarity (OS) is the Oceania National Olympic Committee’s (ONOC’s) largest programme and its most critical.
It is a funding mechanism that is received by ONOC by virtue of its position as a Continental Association. The OS fund constitutes IOC revenue from broadcasting rights in Olympic Games. The fund is collated and distributed to five continental associations every quadrennial (based on media rights proceeds of the Olympic Games held). ONOC qualifies as a Continental Association and now manages its own OS programme, a priviledge earned through considerable lobby and demonstration of commitment.
The overarching IOC OS also distributes funds directly to NOCs and athletes through a wide range of programmes.
Why is OS important in the Oceania Continent?
With the exception of Australia and New Zealand (NZ), remaining ONOC countries are Pacific Small Island Developing States (Pacific SIDS) with pressing economic, geographical, social and environmental issues that limit the prioritisation of sport and physical activity in national budgets, including in foreign aid packages to countries.
The OS Programme is a lifeline for Pacific SIDS sport development and ONOC manages the funding for its 17 NOCs. Ms Nicole Girard-Savoy and the late Executive Director of ONOC, Mr Dennis Miller played a huge role in designing the current OS programme in the Oceania Continent.
Grant programmes managed by ONOC
ONOC disburses and monitors OS Continental Funds for NOC Activities through grants: National Activities Grant; Sports Development Officer Grant; Equipment Grant; and the National Games Grant.
Under Administration it covers general operations and maintenance of the ONOC Secretariat in Suva, the Office of the Secretary General in Guam; and the cost of the following meetings - ONOC General Assembly, Executive Committee meetings and other administrative meetings.
With Regional and National Games, support grants are provided for preparation and participation in regional and international games.
Under Olympoceania, NOCs are supported in obtaining permanent headquarters and in establishing income-generating programmes.
Under the Oceania Sports Education Programme (OSEP), it helps improve levels of sports governance, organisational management, administration, team management and coaching. This is overseen by the ONOC Education Commission.
The OS Funds also support Sports and Development initiatives such as that targeting non-communicable diseases (NCDs), the Oceania Sports Information Centre (OSIC), the Organisation of Sports Federations of Oceania (OSFO), the ONOC Commissions, and Regional Development which supports several initiatives. It supports the Oceania Australia Foundation (OAF) USA Junior College Scholarship programme; provides administrative support for ORADO, financial advice for NOCs and regional media training programmes.
For all Pacific SIDS, Olympic Solidarity offers a necessary support system that allows Olympism, sport, physical activity and physical education to remain alive in communities.
In line with the IOC's post-Corona world reflections, the Olympic Solidarity Commission agreed on 7 Key priorities to focus on from 2021 - 2024. These include empowering NOCs to keep athletes at the heart of the Olympic Movement; ensuring Good Governance, Financial Control and compliance; strengthening the Olympic Movement's Solidarity Funding Model; aligning with the IOC's strategy for the Post-Coronavirus world; enabling NOCs to contribute to the promotion of the Olympic Values; providing Individualised Services to NOCs; and measuring the Impact of programmes and Funding through robust monitoring, evaluation and learning.
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Oceania Olympic Movement leaders serving at global level
The Chair of the IOC Olympic Solidarity Commission is Dr Robin Mitchell of Fiji. The Commission is made up of individual members appointed by the IOC President Mr Thomas Bach. Secretary General of ONOC, Mr Ricardo Blas of Guam is also a member of the Commission.
To learn more about support for sporting organisations, athletes, or NOC's, go to Grants.
Masters in Sport Organisation Management (MEMOS)
The Executive Masters in Sport Organisation Management or Master Exécutif en Management des organisations sportives (MEMOS) began its first edition in 1995. It is a programme of the Olympic Solidarity Commission.
Its mission is to capacity build national and international professionals in the sporting world and develop the knowledge and skills to improve the management of sport organisations on all continents.
It was an idea of the European Network of Sport Science Institutes, supported by President Samaranch in 1994 and founded by Prof. Jean Camy and other colleagues from several European universities and schools of sport.
To date, 35 sporting professionals from the Oceania Continent have completed the MEMOS Programme and are giving back to sport through administration, management and leadership.
More about the MEMOS Programme may be found here.