Leah Ewart has been chosen by the Olympic Council of Ireland as Team Ireland’s Young Ambassador for the Nanjing 2014 World Youth Olympic Games (YOG).
The primary role of the Youth Ambassador (YA) is to encourage young athletes to actively participate in a number of learning experiences that take place in parallel to the competition programme. Building upon the lessons from Singapore and Innsbruck, the IOC is convinced that the role of each YA is central to the success of the YOG and to offer a unique, life-changing experience to all participating athletes. In the true spirit of our YOG mission, they want to engage with young athletes and other young participants and inspire them to play an active role in their communities.
The 2014 YA Programme has now been extended to 120 NOCs from the five continents.
Leah captained the Irish hockey team in the first YOG in Singapore finishing 5th overall. The Games experience was hugely inspirational and she has since gone on to represent Ireland at senior international level.
She is currently studying Biomedical, Health and Life Sciences University College Dublin (UCD) and plays hockey with top Irish club team UCD.
Ewart said “After having had the privilege of participating in the first ever Youth Olympic Games myself, I’m delighted to have been chosen as an ambassador to encourage other young athletes to enjoy and be motivated by this unique and unforgettable experience. To be part of an event like this is every young athlete’s dream and I want to share with others how taking part in these games can inspire you to train harder and aim for your own sporting goals, as it did for me. I want to make sure the athletes involved in the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing realize not only the sporting opportunities of competing against other top athletes but also the educational and cultural experiences that will be available to them. I hope that as an ambassador with previous experience of the games that I can be a source of advice, encouragement and support to Team Ireland athletes so that they too can appreciate and get involved in every aspect of the Youth Olympic Games whether it be sporting or non-sporting, and having experiences that they will keep with them for the rest of their lives”
In addition here’s some footage of Leah during the Singapore Youth Olympic Games on YouTube