Filipino fencer Tan part of IOC’s young leaders program

Published February 3, 2021, 4:00 PM

by Waylon Galvez

US-based Filipino Lance Tan at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Photo from Lance Tan’s Facebook account)

US-based Filipino fencer Lance Tan has been selected to join a slew of young leaders that will be part of a four-year program organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Tan, who represented the country in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Argentina, will be able to get weekly learning modules and leadership opportunities under the program.

The 20-year-old fencer and the other members of this IOC initiative from 25 countries and five continents will be able to develop sustainable, sport-focused social businesses for the coming years.

In a press statement Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, IOC president Thomas Bach has commended the young leaders program, which is now in its fifth year after it was launched in 2016.

“All of us in the Olympic community share the mission to make the world a better place through sport,” said Bach, who likewise lauded the efforts and support of its Olympic partner Panasonic.

“The IOC Young Leaders program is empowering young people from around the world to put this mission in their communities into action. With a sharp focus on building sustainable sport-based social businesses, 25 young people will be given unique opportunities.”

“In this Olympic spirit, I would like to welcome the new class of IOC Young Leaders, who have already impressed us with their energy and motivation. I look forward to meeting each of them and learning about their ideas on how to bring about positive change in their communities in and through sport,” he added.

According to the press statement, the fifth generation of IOC Young Leaders will benefit from an enhanced version of the program, which moves from an annual to a four-year model, and will provide the Young Leaders with additional tools and expertise that they will need to become successful social entrepreneurs.

The program, which hopes to make a positive impact through sport, will start this month.

The chosen 25 were picked from 350 applicants, all with a “background in or a clear passion for sport”.

The list of selected 25 Young Leaders is balanced in terms of universality and diversity, with 13 female and 12 male, from 25 countries across five continents, and includes countries that have not yet been represented in the program.

This is a good opportunity for Tan since he is a sophomore at Sacred Heart University, a US NCAA Division 1 school. A member of Vicious Brainiac Fencing Club here, he has also played in two World Championships, in Wuxi in 2018 and in Budapest in 2019.