Monaco Sport Academy


Thursday 13th February 2020. Health and wellbeing are clearly very important themes to young athletes as evidenced by attendance at the Monaco Sport Academy’s first workshop. Many athletes, not only from the Yacht Club de Monaco but other Monegasque sports federations turned out with their coaches and parents.


Entitled Nutrition and Sleep: foundations of a balanced life for an aspiring athlete, the conference-debate took place under the watchful eye of YCM General Secretary Bernard d’Alessandri and founding member Philippe Ghanem, attended by Monegasque institutions including Isabelle Bonnal, Minister of National Education, Youth and Sports, and representatives from City Hall and Monaco’s Anti-Doping Committee.


With the mission being to help Monegasque athletes achieve their full sporting, academic and personal potential, MSA’s ambition is to turn these youngsters into upstanding citizens of tomorrow. A healthy body and mind are key. For this first workshop, experts were addressing an informed public seeking more essential information on wellbeing and health.



Benefits of sleep

Dr Diane Compan-Kirk, child psychiatrist at the Princess Grace Hospital, David Charles, a teacher specialised in adolescents, and Cédric Fiorino, a psychologist at Action Innocence in Monaco kicked off the debates, highlighting the importance of sleep and potential impact of screen-time on young athletes. Still too little is known about cyber-bullying that some young people are subjected to on social networks, but it may dramatically disrupt their recovery. It was one of the warnings of the harmful effects of hyper-connectivity.


Sports nutrition: an absolute priority

GP Thomas Killian then took to the floor to outline the importance of a healthy diet for all athletes. Covering daily energy intake and deficiencies, his talk made a big impression on the audience, generating a lively discussion at the end of his presentation.


Psychological wellbeing: accepting failure key to progress

The evening ended on a topic that is key to success at the highest level, and was addressed by Steve Tineo, an expert in crisis management, negotiation and mediation: understanding fear and how to accept failure and move on. Fear can eat away at an athlete’s inner confidence, preventing them from evolving and from understanding the mechanisms which slow their progress and keep them awake at night. Wellbeing is not just about physical health. In putting the emphasis on personal experience, the presentation resonated with youngsters prey to constant doubts about their performance and results.


The next Monaco Sport Academy event is already in the diary: a second workshop on Thursday 28th May at the Yacht Club de Monaco. The topic: preventive medicine and awareness of its risks at any age.