“The subject of role models is key in bringing our Learn-Share-Connect vision to life.”


Mélanie Duparc, Director of Smart Cities, Secretary General of the World Union of Olympic Cities & Sport

Mélanie Duparc, Secretary General of the World Union of Olympic Cities

The essence of the Smart Cities & Sport Network is the sharing of experiences and best practices as well as inspiring and being inspired by the initiatives and projects of others. The subject of role models is key in bringing our Learn-Share-Connect vision to life.

A role model is someone who inspires you: individual, group, institution, territory, programme or event.

This publication intends to define role models in sport. While the textbook definition of a role model is fairly clear, the question of who qualifies as a role model leads to countless stories and anecdotes. With so many stories to share, we felt it necessary to include two volumes in this publication – with more sure to come! This first volume highlights role models as individuals and groups, as well as clubs, associations and federations.

Passionate and intensive involvement in the practice of a sport deeply changes your life. Intense emotions are felt experienced and fundamental values such as respect, excellence, commitment and friendship are learnt and lived. When such experiences are lived, they can be further enriched by sharing them with others–especially the youth.

To give you an overview of personal experiences and collective commitments, we have solicited people, clubs, associations and federations who act as models or role models, and who give back part of what they have received through sport practice. They inspire others, and not just within the world of sport!

We take this opportunity to warmly thank all contributors for their engagement, availability, and their willingness to share inspiring stories!

 Enjoy the reading!

2020 Smart Cities & Sport Publication

Role Models

Message from the President of the World Union of Olympic Cities

Message from the Director of Smart Cities & Sport

A Sociological Perspective

Siya Kolisi

Giving back to the Community

Three questions for St Louis Cardinals

Comme les Autres

Three questions for Michael Jeremiasz

Ready, Set, Gold!

Three questions for Michaela Reynolds and John Naber


Three questions of Andrew Parsons

Sport is your Gang

Four questions for Stephan Fox