Thomas Bach, centre, attends the New Leaders Sports Leadership Programme ©Taina Erkkila/Twitter

The Finnish Olympic Committee is hosting International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach as part of its New Leaders Sports Leadership Programme.

Due to finish tomorrow, the three-day concluding forum recognises the impact of the programme, which promotes equality, good governance and responsibility in sports leadership.

During the past year, 30 young European sports professionals have engaged in the programme, organised by the IOC and European Olympic Committees and run by the Finnish Olympic Committee.

Many of the participants are former professional athletes, who designed action plans on a personal and organisational level to implement the IOC Gender Equality Recommendations into practice.

Dubbed the "Game-Changers", they came from 26 different European countries, representing a variety of different sports.

They were all mentored by an experienced European sports leader, with much of the training taking place in three workshop sessions across the year.

"I applied to join the New Leaders programme because I feel sports can have a great social and economic impact on the world around us," Marieke van der Plas, chief executive of the Royal Dutch Gymnastics Federation, said.

Daniele Facchinetti of the Italian Roller Sports Federation also learned a great deal.

"One of the main takeaways was the importance of communication and public speaking skills in stating your case and convincing others," she said. 

"If you are the right person for leading a group, you must speak up and take your place as a leader."

Football Association of Finland representative Katri Mattson has made a significant impact to female sport.

"A part of my New Leaders action plan was promoting equal bonuses for the women's and men's national football teams in Finland," she said. 

"I was active in promoting the matter, and this September the board of the Football Association of Finland decided to award the women's national team the same bonuses as the men's team."

President of the European Olympic Committees Janez Kocijančič also attended at the forum.