Sports consulting newsletter #9 - Sports and professional athletes in Luxembourg has been saved
Sports consulting newsletter #9 - Sports and professional athletes in Luxembourg
Luxembourg has produced some greatly talented athletes over recent years. With four of its athletes having qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 so far, sport in Luxembourg celebrates yet more success. Thanks to recent investment in the industry and the government’s commitment, Luxembourg is on the right track to achieve what has already been proven by similar countries before - small countries can achieve success and become renowned in the international world of sport.
In this newsletter, we take a look at the different Luxembourg sports institutions, the government’s approach to reinforce the sports industry’s infrastructure and Luxembourg’s plans to better support its athletes.
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The Comité Olympique et Sportif Luxembourgeois - COSL
The Comité Olympique et Sportif Luxembourgeois (COSL), Luxembourg’s Olympic and Sports Committee, is the principal organization for elite sports in Luxembourg. A key focus of the COSL is to organize participation in the Olympic Games and an array of other multi-sports events. All of its elite team members receive financial as well as medical support from the COSL, allowing them to focus on their career as professional athletes and to increase their chances of international success. Today, four of their 51 elite team members have qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games. These are:
- Bob Bertemes – athletics (shot put)
- Xia Lian Ni – table tennis
- Raphaël Stacchiotti– swimming (freestyle and backstroke)
- Nicolas Wagner – equestrian (dressage)
In addition, Luxembourg has been granted four places by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) for the road cycling competitions. These spots will be allocated to cyclists by the Luxembourg cycling federation.
Luxembourg Institute for High Performance in Sports - LIHPS
In 2017, the COSL, together with the Société Luxembourgeoise de Médecine du Sport (SLMS), founded the Luxembourg Institute for High Performance in Sports (LIHPS). As an organization, LIHPS delivers specialized support to Luxembourg’s professional athletes. The goal is to improve the success of the athletes at major events such as the Olympic Games. Ultimately, the aim of the LIHPS is to facilitate the development of professional athletes in Luxembourg and to promote the international careers of its athletes.
2019 was the first year that the LIHPS was available to athletes all year round. Currently, there are around 65 athletes benefitting from the individual support offered by the institution. Part of this support involves expert teaching on topics such as nutrition, cardio and endurance training as well as dual career consulting. Over the coming years, the institution aims to integrate team sports without compromising the high quality of support it provides athletes competing in individual sports.
The High Performance Training and Recovery Center – HPTRC
The High Performance Training and Recovery Center (HPTRC), located at the Coque sports center, was opened in mid-2019 and offers the best training conditions to professional athletes. Fully equipped with modern, high-tech training and diagnostics equipment, the center answers to the needs of the modern athlete. Video analysis, performance diagnostic tools and heat chambers are just some of the services offered by the HPTRC.
The HPTRC is not only an example of modernization and the high quality of the infrastructure available to the Luxembourg sports industry, but also of the collaboration between its different players. The LIHPS coordinates the operation of the HPTRC along with the COSL and various sports federations, while the Ministry of Sports supports the center financially.
The Luxembourg government
The Luxembourg government’s dedication to support professional athletes in their development and in their international careers was highlighted in the “Accord de Coalition 2018-2023” along with many other sports-related topics as shown below:
- A collaborative and aligned environment will greatly aid the development of athletes. Permanent, structured and coherent coordination between the key parties (COSL, LIHPS, Sportlycée, sports federations, etc.) will be required in order to maximize the professional sporting benefits
- LIHPS will be given the necessary financial support to carry out its missions in the best possible way
- The government will provide contributions towards the costs incurred by the HPTRC
Moreover, the government puts a strong focus on the concept of providing promising athletes with a supportive environment that combines sports with academic and professional training:
- The Sportlycée promotes high-level sports to young, promising students by providing them with infrastructure that is conducive to training and competitions. As of March 2020, 80 percent of the COSL’s elite squad have attended or still attend the Sportlycée, proving the concept to be successful1
- Review of the selection criteria for the sections de sports d’élite of the Army, with the selection criteria to be adapted to allow the acceptance of “high-level athletes” currently being enrolled at university
Dedicated to supporting professional athletes who work alongside their sports career, the government offers “sporting leave” (up to 12 days per year, with possible exceptions), enabling elite athletes to participate in high-level sporting events (such as the Olympics, international competitions, training camps registered by the COSL, etc.) whilst being financially supported by the government.
All of the above measures are in line with the government’s plan to reinforce the sports structure overall, and an action plan to reinforce technical as well as administrative structures that support the sports sector will also be put in place.
Luxembourg has promising athletes and increasing international success, and the government has proven its dedication to provide the supporting environment to enable talents to thrive nationally as well as internationally. Similar countries such as Iceland have demonstrated that, with the right motivation and dedication, it is possible for small countries to be recognized on the international sports scene. With the promotion and the active use of the many facilities and institutions available, promising athletes are given the support they need and Luxembourg is ready to prove its success on the international sporting stage.
1 Les cadres du COSL 2020. (2020, March 9). Retrieved from Luxembourg Sportlycée: https://portal.education.lu/sportlycee/Home/ArtMID/2947/ArticleID/567606/Les-cadres-du-COSL-2020
Giulia Bruni Roccia
Eleonore Moreau Gentien