Developing Holistic Athletes Vital : Lelai

Former Papua New Guinea elite basketball player Karo Lelai and chairperson of the Oceania National Olympic Committee (ONOC) Athletes’ Commission, said an athlete’s needs are holistic – both on and off the field of play.

Former Papua New Guinea elite basketball player Karo Lelai and chairperson of the Oceania National Olympic Committee (ONOC) Athletes’ Commission, said an athlete’s needs are holistic – both on and off the field of play.

Lelai was addressing the Oceania Sport Education Program (OSEP) micro-qualifications and accreditation process workshop in Nadi this week.

“Sport education offers the range of skills and literacies Oceania athletes need to manage their personal, sporting, and post-sport professional careers, what is available and what could be strengthened.”

“Pacific island countries and the sporting sector need to recognize that athlete welfare is paramount for athlete development and performance; and both the sector and athletes benefit from recognition of the importance of sports education.”

We must take care of their needs off the field of play for them to be able to have the peace of mind and mental focus to excel on the field of play and sport education offers this for both athletes and others working in the sporting sector. “

Leading sport experts gathered to review and endorse sport education micro-qualifications towards accreditation of the 15-year-old flagship OSEP which will progressively expand course offerings through the Pacific Islands.

The accreditation process will see courses absorbed by higher education institutions accredited to the Pacific Community (SPC) Educational Quality and Assessment Program (EQAP) Pacific Qualifications Framework (PQF) – an exercise that will guarantee graduates recognition of their formal qualifications and for those interested, mobility into higher academic programs.

Lelai said: “Athletes must pay attention to sport education because aside from gaining valuable knowledge to aid their own understanding of high performance, it also assists them prepare for life after sports.”

“Together with their experience as elite athletes, undertaking OSEP courses and participating in all other OSEP activities and programs will differentiate their curriculum vitae from others and make an athlete a more attractive employee.”

“Previously, athletes may have had to choose between education and sport or pursue one over another, but with the advent of the digital era there is more that could be done in the digital space with internet access and –– a mobile phone.”

“The IOC Athletes’ Commission, for example, has loads of useful online learning tools in small bites that are easily understood and useful for athletes to not only navigate the changing world but also start thinking about a career after sports.”

Lelai emphasized that Digital Literacy and Finance Literacy are two critical literacies that athletes in Oceania need to prioritize in the Pacific islands for their own personal management.

“Being digitally literate enables athletes to access online learning tools, programs and applications that are designed for convenience and contribute to reducing carbon emissions,” she said.

“The Pacific still lags behind the rest of the said, ‘given world, ONOC could consider developing short videos customized to Pacific athletes to educate and raise awareness on basic digital literacy in the context of sports – this could be loaded onto the new ONOC Athletes. “Commission microsite which is built to serve our Oceania athletes.”

Finance Literacy was also tagged by Lelai as critical to athletes in Oceania because personal planning requires attention to finance and its management at personal and family levels.

Story By:- ONOC

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