ONOC SG Blas encourages transparency in Oceania Olympic Solidarity benefits among member


There is a need for the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) of Oceania to be more transparent with its national federations and athletes on grants and opportunities offered through the Olympic Solidarity Programme.

Ricardo Blas, Secretary-General of the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) made the call at the opening of the ONOC Secretaries-General Workshop, a quadrennial meet that kickstarts the beginning of the Olympic programme every four years – this one with a focus on good governance.

The meeting, delayed by a year due to the postponement of the TOKYO 2020 Games, opened in Guam yesterday and the hybrid event runs to 11 March, followed by a visit to the Northern Marianas, the host of the upcoming SAIPAN 2022 Pacific Mini Games which is scheduled to held in June.

Blas said, “Information sharing is important and ONOC has begun this process since 2020 with the launch of its new website which presents all grants and opportunities available to members.

“Our member NOCs need to be more transparent in sharing this with their national federations and athletes as this builds credibility and trust.”

Blass added that, “Our ONOC President and I discussed the urgent need for this workshop to be held as we needed to kickstart the Olympic Programme after about two-and-a-half years on inactivity due to COVID-19.

“This sense of urgency on utilisation of the Olympic Solidarity grants funding also spurred the decision to include all sport development officers, sport education officers and finance officers of our NOCs to attend the workshop alongside their secretaries-general before they break for specialist training in the last two days of workshops.

“The invitation is intended to better the service of the respective NOCs to their primary constituents – all athletes.

“Having looked at how members access, use and report on grants through Olympic Solidarity enabled us to review where ONOC can assist to add or complement each member NOC better.”

Blas said, “A critical position in every NOC is the Sport Development Officer but this role is misunderstood, and NOCs do not use this position – the SDO only coordinates sport development and often, the person in this position does not know what funding is available at their disposal.

“It is important that communication between SDOs in and their NOC management and executives occurs, and funding, grants and opportunities shared openly because the SDOs are direct links to the national sporting federations and athletes.

“We also encourage all NOCs to share their funding grants and opportunities, and what they access on behalf of athletes on their websites and in communications to members.”

Blas also shared that sport development officers are not there to develop sport but to coordinate the development of sport and this misunderstanding is important to address so appropriate levels of information sharing can be enabled to ultimately benefit athletes and national federations.

The Workshop continues today with a focus on IOC compliance and NOC action planning.