Lausanne 2020 President Virginie Faivre has claimed the Winter Youth Olympic Games can help teach young athletes the importance of playing a role in decision-making of their International Federations ©SportAccord

Lausanne 2020 President Virginie Faivre has revealed that they want to use next year's Winter Youth Olympic Games as an opportunity to stress to young athletes the importance of playing an active role in decision making in their sport.

Faivre, a three-time world freestyle skiing champion, used the opportunity of the International Federations (IF) Forum here to emphasise the importance to world governing bodies of consulting the athletes. 

"It is essential for an athlete to be aware and involved in decision-making during their sporting careers," she told the audience at a Forum where the topic is "Athlete Centred Sport".

"The legacy at Lausanne 2020 is focused on how best we can impact young athletes and young people in general to be inspired.

"This is not only listening to their viewpoints, but also integrating athletes in the development of policy and strategy. 

"Athletes need to be at the centre.”

Britain's former Olympic sprinter Jeannette Kwakye also urged International Federations to make sure they included athletes in their decision making. 

"Everyone has a different journey, and we need to take that into account when governing sport," she told delegates. 

"Are we up to speed with the modern athlete? 

"We need to make sure our core values still represent the athletes. If not, it is time to refocus how we treat athletes.

Kwakye added: "When you think of an athlete-centred system, there are many benefits. 

"Accountability, dual-respect, empowerment, excellence, health and well-being. 

"The list goes on. 

"Athletes should be at the heart of the strategies and policies. 

"Any young person should be able to grow to become the world’s best."

Global Association of International Sports Federations President Raffaele Chiulli supported the views of the two Olympians.

"The athletes are the ones who are experiencing first-hand what is happening in our sports," he said. 

"We should continue to listen to their feedback and work with them, constantly refining and improving.

"By strengthening our collaboration, I have no doubt we will see major benefits for the athletes."