20 Jul 2022

Getting ready for the EYOF Banska Bystrica 2022, let’s meet the European Young Olympic Ambassadors!

Categories: EOC · Sports Events

The fifth edition of the European Young Olympic Ambassador (EYOA) Programme is taking place next week (24-30 July) in Banska Bystrica, during the Summer European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF).

Organised under the auspices of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) Culture and Education Commission, the EYOA programme aims to promote and strengthen the Olympic Values of excellence, friendship, and respect amongst the young athletes participating at the EYOF.

In recent months the EYOAs, a group that includes multiple Olympians and EYOF competitors, have been working on creative new ideas for the educational activities that will be organised for athletes during the EYOF.

One of the key features of the EYOA project is the freedom given to ambassadors to create their own programme based on personal experiences and interests. The result of this is that the activities are organised in a variety of innovative formats, but all focused on the same goal of sharing the Olympic Values with young athletes throughout Europe.

“We are at the final stage of preparations for the EYOA Programme. At the moment we are preparing our booth in the athletes’ village and making sure that everything is in place. We are setting the booth to be ready on time for the start of the EYOF on 24 July. We are very excited and looking forward to hosting young people from all over Europe”, said Nataša Janković, EYOA Programme Leader.

This time in Banska Bystrica, 22 EYOAs will guide athletes through the educational activities, and facilitate interactions and communication between athletes from different countries.

Let’s meet them:

  • Anna-Liisa Kärson from Estonia took part as an EYOA in Vuokatti and she is one of the creators of EYOF Podcast.
  • Blerata Ukehaxkay is a tennis player from Kosovo who participated at EYOF in Gyor 2017.
  • Running, walking, hiking and dancing are her hobbies, her name is Claudia Mestre Moreno and she will represent Great Britain.
  • Her country proudly organised Winter EYOF in March, now she will proudly represent Finland in Banska Bystrica, she is Hilla Hannola.
  • Track and field athlete Nais Racasan will come from France. She has excellent experience from youth events after she competed at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.
  • Elisavet Voulgari will come from Greece, the birthplace of the modern Olympic Games. She is four-time state champion in figure skating.
  • Linoy Ashram, who won gold medal in rhytmic gymnastics at Tokyo 2020, will represent
  • Jan Steinmuller is track and field athlete who will represent Germany.
  • Janine Gols will represent Austria and her goal as EYOA is to make everyone’s experience amazing.
  • Daniella Ipsaridies, who will represent Cyprus, has EYOF experience since she competed at EYOF Erzurum 2017 in figure skating.
  • The representative of Luxemburg is Fanny Arendt, and her dream job is to become a sports psychologist.
  • Mija Motiejaityte is the representative of Lithuania. She competed at EYOF Baku 2019 in swimming.
  • The representative of Azerbaijan is former judoka Miragha Aliyev.
  • The talented Konrad Badacz, who was a silver and bronze medalist in biathlon at EYOF Vuokatti 2022 will represent Poland.
  • “Dream big, try again and rest well” is her motto, Daria-Olimpia Haristiade will represent Romania.
  • Senna Deriks is a an Olympian from Belgium who competed at Rio 2016 in artistic gymnastics.
  • His dream job is to organise big sports events, and now he has that chance, as he is taking part in organising EYOF 2022, Kamil Pavlinsky is representing host country Slovakia.
  • Meet Tamila Holub, two-time Olympian in swimming who will represent
  • Sonja Margrét Ólafsdóttir says that she lives by the motto “fake it, ‘til you make it”, and will represent
  • After EYOF Vuokatti 2022, Mario Albaladejo Saura is excited to represent Spain in Banska Bystrica as well.
  • Coming from Serbia, Ivana Perović is current European Champion in karate and she is excited to represent her country at EYOF once again, after EYOF Vuokatti 2022.
  • Cooking, drawing, researching, and practical thinking are her hobbies – Ilayda Develiouglu will represent Turkey.

The EYOA programme also helps develop the skills of the alumni and ambassadors, many of whom wish to pursue a career as a future sports leader. “I am really excited to take part in this programme, I want to meet new friends from other countries and learn from this experience. It is definitely a different experience to attending as an athlete, and I am sure it will be fun”, explained Linoy Ashram, EYOA and Olympic Champion from Israel.

The multi-national team of EYOAs are supported by five Alumni, Alfred Varnik (Estonia), Paulius Martinkėnas (Lithuania), Rebekka Dahl (Denmark), Kristin Valdis Ornolfsdottir (Iceland) and Mirjana Ivković (Serbia), as well as one volunteer Sintija Mišina (Lativa). All of them already participated at a previous EYOF as an EYOA. The alumni have given great support to the new ambassadors, but they have also provided them with a good amount of freedom to come up with ideas.