Handbook launched in Prague to support NOCs organise Olympic Festivals

An interactive, online handbook aimed at supporting National Olympic Committees (NOCs) develop and organise Olympic Festivals in their countries was launched in Prague during a two-day conference hosted by the Czech Olympic Committee.

The launch of the handbook is the conclusion of a two-year-long project, Sport Parks Inspired by the Olympics. The project was co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union and has been coordinated by the Czech Olympic Committee in collaboration with the IOC. It was developed in coordination with seven NOCs – Belgium, Croatia, Finland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Slovenia – and one regional authority – South Bohemia, Czech Republic.

The handbook was launched on the final day of the Global Sport Events Go Local conference, by Czech Olympic Coordinator Jana Janotová to more than 90 participants from 13 countries. It can be accessed on https://www.sportparks.com and provides NOCs with recommendations, guidelines, case studies and examples of good practice for the organisation of Olympic Festivals. Olympic Festivals, or Sport Parks, are hosted by NOCs in their countries during Olympic Games to engage the local population in sport and Olympism. The Czech Olympic Committee is one of the leading and most experienced NOCs in hosting Olympic Festivals having first hosted one back in 2014 during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

Czech Olympic Committee President Jiří Kejval, Vice-President Roman Kumpošt and IOC Associate Director – Relations with the Olympic Movement James McLeod gave the opening speeches at the conference. Speaking following the launch, President Kejval said:

“We have come a long way since the first Olympic Festival at Letná in 2014. I am very happy that, thanks to excellent partners and the support of the International Olympic Committee and other organisations, we can now pass on our know-how to the world. The handbook provides detailed instructions and information for those who might be interested in organising Olympic Festivals. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to it.”

Czech Olympic Committee Vice-President Roman Kumpošt added:

“During the project, Sport Parks Inspired by the Olympics, and during this year’s Winter Olympics, we became convinced that the Olympic Festivals can be organised on various scales, from small events to events lasting over a fortnight. We tried to reflect this in the handbook. We believe that the handbook will provide inspiration for other countries and that it will, along with the Olympic Festivals, continue to spread under the International Olympic Committee umbrella.”

The handbook is split into eight sections: Before you start, Organisation, Resources, Marketing, Communications, Sustainability, Evaluation and Common activities. It is particularly relevant to event and marketing managers, directors and specialists.

During the conference, there were also five panel discussions held, involving representatives of the IOC, various NOCs, National Federations, Local Organising Committees, partners, and marketing directors. The final day concluded with lively discussions and debate on topics including sustainability, organisation, resources, marketing and communications.

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