Global Partners
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Olympic Solidarity

Optimising Olympic Participation

One of World Rugby's key strategic goals is to optimise Olympic participation. Among a range of key performance indicators to measure the success of this goal is that support from Olympic bodies and governments is increased.

To help achieve this, World Rugby is working with its regional associations and members to provide information and advice as to how to collaborate with their respective Continental Associations of NOCs (CAs) and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) to leverage support from Olympic Solidarity.

Olympic Solidarity

Olympic Solidarity’s aim is to organise assistance for all the NOCs, particularly those with the greatest needs, so that they can develop their own structures to favour the expansion of sport in their country. To help NOCs to fulfil these objectives, Olympic Solidarity offers a consulting service to assist them in gaining access to financial, technical and administrative assistance through:

  • World programmes, which cover and reinforce all areas of sports development;
  • Continental programmes, designed to meet some of the specific needs of each continent;
  • Olympic Games subsidies, which complement the range of programmes and offer financial support to NOCs before, during and after the Games; and
  • Complementary programmes, which extend the assistance offered by Olympic Solidarity in the framework of targeted project.

Made up from the share of the broadcast rights from the Olympic Games which belongs to the NOCs, the overall budget for Olympic Solidarity for the 2021-2024 quadrennial is US$590m, of which US$258m has been allocated to World Programmes.

Is Rugby eligible for Olympic Solidarity support?

Yes. World Rugby regional associations and member unions, including associate members and those unions recognised by their regional association, are advised to build close working relationships with their CA or NOC. In doing so, information and advice can be sought from the CA/NOC as to what opportunities may be available to help develop rugby in that territory.

Can a union apply for funding direct to the IOC?

No, however, an NOC may apply to Olympic Solidarity for support on behalf of a union.

What opportunities are available?

World Rugby regions and member unions have already begun to avail of financial support across a range of World Programmes since 2013 including:

  • Technical Courses for Coaches
  • Team Support Grants
  • Development of National Sports Structures
  • Olympic Scholarships for Coaches and
  • Continental / Regional Association project funding.

Over the course of the 2017-2020 quadrennial, over US$2.5m of Olympic Solidarity funding was allocated to over 100 rugby projects worldwide involving 70+ rugby federations, covering technical coaching courses, team support grants, scholarships and national rugby structure development for the men’s and women’s rugby sevens. An example of the benefits to unions can be seen in the fact that four of the 18 teams which benefitted directly from an Olympic Solidarity team support grant during 2013-2016 won medals at Rio 2016.

What does my region/union need to do?

Rugby is well regarded in the Olympic family and rugby’s values of integrity, respect, solidarity, passion and discipline are closely aligned with Olympic values. Many NOCs have embraced the reinclusion of rugby onto the Olympic Programme and are willing to support well thought-out projects.

Regions/unions should first establish a good working relationship with their CA/NOC so that each can familiarise the other with their respective strategic goals, priorities and objectives. The region/union should clearly explain the current situation regarding rugby in their territory, alongside their plans and ambition for developing and growing the game, demonstrating how this could fit in with CA/NOC plans for developing sport in their region/union.

What resources are available to help maximise Olympic Participation?

World Rugby has developed a range of resources to educate and assist regions/unions in their dealings with their CA/NOC if required and resources include information on rugby’s Olympic participation, the Olympic Family, further detail on Olympic Solidarity programmes, presentations etc.

In addition, World Rugby Regional and Development Staff are available to work with the region/union to develop proposals for project support when appropriate that link in with the region/union’s overall development plan.

Who do I contact?

For further information on these and other resources, please contact:

Fraser Gow - Training and Education Coordinator

For more information on Olympic Solidarity and its programmes, visit


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