Role Models – Message from the President of the World Union Olympic Cities

“The power of sport is to convey feelings and values that go far beyond sport activity.”
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Grégoire Junod, Mayor of Lausanne and President of the World Union of Olympic Cities

Grégoire Junod, Mayor of Lausanne and President of the World Union of Olympic Cities

The power of sport is to convey feelings and values that go far beyond sport activity and reflect outwards across great distances and over time, such as friendship, respect, excellence, leadership, the feeling of belonging to a community and personal or collective accomplishment. Sport includes among its positive effects capacity for activating such feelings and values and provide the inspiration to move mountains!

Sport offers us a great deal of potential inspiration and identification. From individuals to teams, and from clubs and associations to federations, role models can take many forms. Some are famous, others are not, some are young, while others have a life-experience. It is an endless well of characters, values, and stories which can be identified with or aspired to.

We may not all be meant to be a role model, but we certainly all have or have had role-models to refer to at different steps of our lives. We build ourselves through models. Positive role models influence our goals and motivation. Indeed, they open horizons, demonstrating new methods and new directions. Acting as behavioural models, they are inspirational.

Cities and sport organisations have a key role to play to support the development of the youth in both detecting talents and encouraging mass practice. As they are also responsible for supporting local clubs and sport associations which form the backbone of the system guaranteeing sport for all, cities are well positioned to identify role models and to collaborate with them so that the youth are more active and connected with the societies they live in.

This new Smart Cities & Sport publication offers a variety of cases that may resonate among us, as inspiration for us and useful as we seek to inspire others. In these unusual and troubled times, when each of us is invited to re-invent social relations and collaborations, there is no doubt that this two-volume publication is a window into solidarity, hope and trust in others!