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  • Writer's pictureNOCZ


Updated: May 29, 2020

Olympian Jonathan Chipalo OLY takes time to share his insights, experiences and benefits of the Athletes365 Business Acceleration Programme offered by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in close collaboration with the World Olympians Association.

In an interview with NOCZ Communications Assistant Denise Cohen, Mr. Chipalo broke down the stages of his journey so far stating that it all begun with an online course which he successfully passed while based in the United States of America at the time.

After attending the world conference, which was organized By the IOC and World Olympians Association in Switzerland, he was later advised to get in contact with his local NOC, the National Olympic Committee of Zambia, where he was given the offer to go to Germany and Jordan.

He eventually went to Jordan to take part in an Athletes365 Business Acceleration Programme workshop under expatriate.

The Deputy Director of Olympic Solidarity of the IOC, Mr. Pere Miro, led the workshop. Those who advanced from this stage, the Incubation stage returned to their home countries and continued online courses under mentors and peers.

“My mentor was from Jordan and my group members (Peers) were from Namibia and Uganda,” he said.

According to Mr. Chipalo, the Group he belonged to worked on business proposals and selections were made from each Continent. Fortunately, for him, he was among those selected from the African Continent, cementing his current place in the Finale stage of the Business Acceleration Program.

In the acceleration (final) stage he will be under the mentorship of fellow Zambian this time Mrs. Susan Chembe and paired up with his Namibian counterpart for their Peer to Peer. The program will run for Six Months up to the month of August.

Mr. Chipalo further went on to mention the benefits of the Program to the sports industry, highlighting that it’s a career transformation program that will allow him to help others and share with them what he has learned and the material he has gained through the program.

“For example I can suggest to the NOC to think of a federation to run a school of the sorts,” He said.

He added on mentioning that, through the programme he has been given another opportunity of doing a program that will be used at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in France with the YUNUS Sports Hub looking to run a program to help France and African athletes launch a social business.

“I was selected by the athletes’ entourage to go to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games for the Athletes Commission Election that has now been postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic currently going on,” he added.

He went on to say that “it’s the NOCZ Policies and activities they are doing that makes us, have these privileges, and it’s a good program that helps sports men and women go into career transformation.

“It will help us not become destitute at the end of the day, what I’m getting from this program is worth helping others, I’ve learnt a lot away from just being a sports man and coach only,” he said.

Jonathan Chipalo is a formal Zambian sprinter. He competed in the men's 400 metres at the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics in South Korea.

Helping Olympians and athletes with career transition and dual careers is one of the focuses of Memorandum of Understanding, which was signed on 6 October 2018 during the Olympism Action Forum in Buenos Aires, Argentina, between the IOC and Yunus Centre, chaired by Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2006.

The MOU continues the demonstration of the IOC´s commitment to support athletes and Olympians during and after their sporting career. The Memorandum is in line with the recommendation 18 of Olympic Agenda 2020 as well as the IOC Athletes´ Commission Strategy and it is a logical continuation in athlete development done worldwide.

Since 2005, the IOC has put in place a programme dedicated to athletes’ career transition, named Athlete365 Career+. Delivered in cooperation with The Adecco Group, the programme provides educational resources and focuses on three main pillars: education, life skills and employment. It also offers career development, help in identifying existing skills, coaching and assistance in finding jobs and internships.

Athlete365 Career+ has already reached more than 35,000 athletes from over 185 countries



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