A confident Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, President of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), has outlined his hopes for the organisation to be among the “biggest and best” in the world.
Sitting alongside Ireland’s Patrick Hickey, ANOC vice-president for Europe, and Swedish ANOC secretary general Gunilla Lindberg, Sheikh Ahmad spoke in the immediate aftermath of an Executive Council meeting here today.
This meeting had extra significance because it followed the first series of “specialised and strategic” ANOC Commissions and working groups in 31 years.
Sheikh Ahmad admitted it was regrettable that it had had three decades of inactivity but, after hearing the reports the various Commissions during the meeting, he insisted it could make up for lost time and that ANOC had a crucial role to play.
“I believe it is not too late, although we should have done these things 30 years ago,” he said.
“Today when I heard the reports, everyone was very professional and it made me realise we made the right choices when selecting these people.
“I think ANOC displays a reality of the key role which NOCs have to play in the [Olympic] Movement.
“Due to my experience, I know how NOCs think and I want them to be stronger.
“I believe that NOCs should be on the right hand of the International Olympic Committee [IOC] while on the left hand should be the International Federations.
“We have to work in a very quick way to make up for the last 30 years but I am confident a lot more will be achieved leading up to the ANOC General Assembly in November in Bangkok.”
After outlining the role of each respective Commission, which included the claim that the Medical Commission is “leading the way” in the fight against doping, Sheikh Ahmad also highlighted several more concrete ideas which had been finalised.
This includes a Gala Awards Ceremony provisionally set for November 7, as well as the World Beach Games to be held next year.
These two events were described as “key ideas” which he is “confident will be achieved”, with both set to be confirmed at an ANOC meeting on the fringes of the IOC Executive Board Meeting in Lausanne on July 7-9.
Sheikh Ahmad also confirmed plans to build the new ANOC Headquarters in the Swiss city, as well as the approval of a new logo.
With IOC President Thomas Bach present at the opening of the meeting today, he also outlined his approval of the IOC’s Agenda 2020 as he reiterated the key role his organisation has to play in the decision making process building up the Extraordinary IOC Session to be held in Monte Carlo in December.
“We are very happy with the courage of Thomas Bach and his roadmap for 2020,” Sheikh Ahmad added.
“I believe this clear vision and goal is very good and all of the members are supporting this decision.
“There is very good cooperation between the Executive Boards of both the IOC and of ANOC.
“ANOC will be represented in all the working groups ahead of the IOC Session in Monaco.”
This article first appeared in www.insidethegames.biz and is reproduced with permission.