On Dec. 28, 2022, the Palau Olympians and Athletes Commission (POAC), a commission within the Palau National Olympic Committee (PNOC) hosted their first forum at the Palau Pacific Resort. The forum was funded through the Olympic solidarity grant for Athletes Commissions activities.
The forum was attended by Palau’s Olympians and athlete representatives from their respective national federations. During the forum, the athletes learned about the POA commission and its role as advocates for the athletes to ensure safe and fair play as well as being their voice within the PNOC.
The participants learned about resources available to athletes from funding support to career development, and programs available for athletes through the International Olympic Committee (IOC) 365 Platform. During the forum, participants engaged in a strategic planning activity to share how they would like the POAC to assist in both athlete and sport development throughout Palau.
At the end of the evening, the Olympians and athletes present elected new officers to the POAC board – Palau Olympic swimmer E. Ikelau Otto as President, Palau Basketball Federation Anthony Rudimch as Vice-President, Palau Olympic swimmer Dirrngulbai “UB” Misech as Secretary-Treasurer, Palau Baseball Federation Kalei Luii and Chelechad ra Barebor dba Volleyball Federation of Palau Junior Seid as members At-Large.
Following these elections, the PNOC Executive Board will nominate two additional members to serve as At-Large to complete the POAC 7-member board. “We begin our position as board members during a very busy sporting year” stated Otto. In terms of 2023 competition, state athletes will compete in the Belau Games in June, followed by Team Palau competing at the Micronesian Games hosted by the Republic of the Marshall Islands in July, and the Pacific Games hosted by the Solomon Islands in November, not to mention sport specific international competition around the world. “With so much happening, it is important that all the athletes know that there is a system in place to be their voice and advocate.”
Board members will serve a 4-year term from 2023-2026, and will serve all athletes of Palau as they train and compete both locally during national competition such as Belau Games to Regional and International competition such as Micronesia Games, Pacific Games, International Championships, and the Olympic games.