Villa ambassador Farina appointed Olympic role model
Villa's head of sports integrity Simone Farina has been appointed an athlete role model by the International Olympic Committee for the upcoming Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.
The athlete role models will offer support, mentoring and advice to the 3,800 young athletes who will be participating in the Games, with all 28 sports providing a representative.
They will also take part in workshops and fun educational activities with the young athletes.
Villa chief executive Paul Faulkner said: "It's a great honour for the club to have Simone appointed to such a prestigious position within the IOC.
"He arrived at Villa with a very honourable reputation - and his work for us has been very impressive.
"He is a role model within the club, works strongly within Villa in the Community and this new post is well deserved."
Simone Farina said: "I am very proud to be appointed an athlete role model and it will be fantastic to spend time with young people - the future generation - in Nanjing.
"Also, I would like to thank the IOC, FIFA, INTERPOL and Villa for their help. I am proud to represent them."
FIFA president Sepp Blatter continued: "We welcome Simone's appointment as an athlete role model for the Youth Olympics.
"He spoke out against match-manipulation and in defence of the positive values of football. That's why FIFA is proud to have him as an ambassador for fair play."
Former Roma defender Farina hit the headlines for his key role in helping to stop a match-fixing attempt in Italy in November 2011.
His evidence helped lead to the arrest of 17 people - and Blatter named Farina as a FIFA ambassador for fair play.
INTERPOL, who investigated the match-manipulation scandal in Italy, also awarded Farina a commemorative medal for his contribution to crime prevention and law enforcement.
"In creating the Youth Olympic Games, the IOC has developed a mission of building an event that educates, engages and empowers aspiring young people around the world to play a positive and active role in their communities," international Olympic committee president Thomas Bach told Simone.
"Your involvement and participation in the Youth Olympic Games will have an enormous impact on helping fulfil this mission.
"Your success as an athlete and your life experiences will serve as an invaluable model for the young Olympians who will be competing in Nanjing."
The football tournaments of the second Summer Youth Olympic Games will be played from August 14 to 27 in Nanjing, China, with six teams for both boys and girls.
The Youth Olympic Games takes place on August 16-28. It's not the only role Simone holds.
He is also patron of Villa in the Community, integrity and fair play ambassador for Interpol and FIFA, adviser in grassroots football for the Italian Federation and he is also a member of the Serie B ethics committee.
Check out the great work of Villa in the Community.
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