Elite athletes give sport introductions to young people in Lausanne!

True to its vocation as the Olympic Capital, the City of Lausanne offers a vast extracurricular program of sports activities known as 'Sports-Passion'. These activities are for students from both public and private schools in Lausanne and from primary level onwards. The main objective of Sports-Passion is to allow students to discover and learn about new sport disciplines that are not practiced at school, within a healthy atmosphere instilled with Fair Play and to promote long-term engagement. Sports-Passion offers a wide variety of disciplines from skiing to rowing through climbing and field hockey – there and more than 40 disciplines in total!

Students participating in diving, sailing, water polo and rowing initiations had a huge surprise as top elite athletes and members of the Lausanne 2020 Athletes Council were waiting for them to share their passion for their respective sport.. with a thread.. the water!

Jean-Romain Delaloye, Swiss athlete who competed in diving at both the Sydney and Athens Olympic Games, and who is now a medical doctor, welcomed budding divers at the swimming pool of Mon Repos in Lausanne. Jean-Romain explained, "it's an excellent initiative that I could only support! Giving motivation to young people to practice sport is at the very heart of my role as a member of the Athlete Council."

Other young people were able to learn to play water polo with English Olympian London 2012 and Commonwealth Games Champion 2014, Adam Scholefield at the Bergières swimming pool in Lausanne. As a current researcher at EPFL, he insists on the importance of providing these exchanges and remarked, "these are precious moments where we talk about sport of course, but where we can also highlight the Olympic values of respect, friendship and excellence."

Along the lake side, a group of more than 40 young people took off accompanied by Lausanne's Anne-Sophie Thilo, sailing Olympian at Beijing 2008, who shared her passion of sailing with them. She commented, "as a member of the Lausanne 2020 Athletes Council and a former athlete from the region, I believe that giving back to the sport and youth is truly my mission. Sport is a fabulous tool for personal development and it's essential to encourage young people to participate."

Finally, and still on the lake, some 34 young people measured themselves against Lausanne rower Jérémy Maillefer, who has several international championships to his credit. He explained, "I gave the Sports-Passion rowing course for several years and it is a pleasure to return to Vidy this time as a member of the Athlete Council." He added, "in addition to interacting with young people about the values of rowing and sport in general, I was able to make them aware of the unique opportunity that YOG Lausanne 2020 provides" and concluded, "I think many of them will be spectators at the competitions in January 2020! "