From pro athlete to a successful sports administrator

Two years after her DTM experience, Mongolia’s Zaya Yadamdorj can see now just how “special” it was, as she describes it but, even more important, how “practical.”

A 5th batch alumnus, Zaya came to DTM with eight years’ national service representing her country at shooting competitions. After her career as an athlete ended, she quickly turned to sports administration, soon enough at the Mongolian Shooting Federation and the “Khuch” Police Sport Bureau of National Police Agency of Mongolia.

Her intent: to help young athletes overcome challenges at the national and international levels.

Zaya at the 2017 DTM Welcome dinner
Zaya at the 2017 DTM Welcome dinner

A mother of four, Zaya was one of the Best Practice and Project Proposal recipients at a prestigious symposium called the Dream Together Seoul Forum. As one of the ten contestants – together with her senior official, Dolgor Shirnendorj from the Implementing Agency of Government of Mongolia, Physical Culture and Sports Authority – Zaya attended the fully funded 14-day intensive course.

 “This course was very special and very practical to me,” she said. “Besides the study, the course was wholly well organized and was very adventurous. We were introduced to the National Training Centers and Korean historical sights. I met there with so many other DTM Alumni and their respective countries’ officials.

Zaya receiving an award at the DT Seoul Forum 2019
Zaya receiving an award at the DT Seoul Forum 2019

“So we had a truly good opportunity to enhance our network in worldwide sports organizations. I also really appreciated that the course organizers gave us the opportunity to see and understand Korean sport systems more deeply.

“Especially, as I learned, long- and short-term Korean sport policy planning and community sport facility management was the core of sports development in the country,” and that can now be the basis of policy back home: “So we run several courses and introduction to our local sport organizations managers and staff, and the implementation process is now on the discussion.”

SNU DTM 5th batch field trip
SNU DTM 5th batch field trip

Zaya said the best thing is one’s willingness to share ideas and experience in a creative way. In shooting sports – and beyond.

 “For me, I was interested in the Korean ‘National Fitness Award 100 project’ from my first days in DTM. So,” she said, “I wrote a project to build a community center which measures people’s physical fitness level and give them proper instruction to practice by sports according to their physical fitness and age.”

After prize awarding, DT Seoul Forum 2019
After prize awarding, DT Seoul Forum 2019

A practical application – she worked at the May 2019 Ulaanbaatar International Marathon 2019, coordinating more than 600 volunteers. And then, she said, she wrote an essay documenting her experience – so that others can, and will, learn how to do it even better.

About the author

Baboucarr Camara
Sports journalist (Gambia)
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