The Home Host Program
As Sydney prepared for the Games the Rotary Club of Sydney (RCS) worked with the Sydney Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (SOCOG) to develop a community program offering free bed and breakfast in homes for families of athletes.
Athletes and their families from many countries needed this support to be able to be part of the Olympic dream. The program enabled nearly 1,500 athletes’ family members from 123 countries to come to Sydney. They were hosted for an average of eight days by nearly 1000 Sydneysiders, all of whom gave welcoming hospitality.
The RCS registered an incorporated association, Athletes Family Host Inc, administered by a Board of Rotarians, SOCOG and community representative; many other service organisations worked alongside Rotary to find hosts together with churches and other religious groups, ethnic community organisations and sports clubs.
Samsung, a worldwide Olympic Partner of the Games representing the wireless communications equipment category, became the sponsor of the Athletes Family Host program in 1999. Past President of the Rotary Club of Sydney, Geoff McIntyre, was appointed chairman of the restructured and renamed Samsung Athletes Home Host Program.
Mr Chang, Vice President and Head of Olympic Projects for Samsung Electronics said: The Olympic Games is the climax of every athlete’s career, a career they would not have without the continued support of their close family. It is therefore very important to these athletes that their families are able to come to Sydney to support them. Samsung salutes the Sydney families that have given their hospitality so freely.
Rotary Paralympic 2000 Working Group
Rotary Club of Sydney member, John Macpherson, was from 1998 Chair of the Rotary Paralympic 2000 Working Group under the umbrella of the Tri–district Olympic Advisory Group comprising 2 representatives from Districts 9680, 9690 and 9750.
The Rotary Paralympic Working Group was one of several community service organisations supporting the Sydney Paralympic Organising Committee whose CEO Lois Appleby was also a member of the Rotary Club of Sydney.