At this year’s ENGSO General Assembly, two new members of the Executive Committee were elected: Lotte Büchert from the National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark and Karin Mattsson Weijber from the Swedish Sports Confederation. Both of them are outstanding women who have been engaged in sport and have been involved in sport governance since their youth and obtained leadership positions in sport in their respective home countries.
At early age, both of them went in for equestrianism. Karin Mattsson Weijber started to take horseback riding lessons when she was 10 years old and so did Lotte Büchert around the same age. “I had my own horse and I participated in competitions in dressage” – revealed the Board Member of the Danish NOC and Sport Confederation, who also played golf and badminton for fun and was engaged in other sport arts, e. g. gymnastics or dance. Since the petanque sport was introduced to her by her husband with whom they have four children, Lotte Büchert has been a petanque enthusiast. She became a member of the Danish National Team for Women in 2005 and the coach of the National Team in 2008.
The sport career of the Vice Principal of a Danish High School did not stop here, however 2008 was a turning point in her life: she participated in the so called “Women on top” project of the Danish Sport Confederation. The project was a mentor programme with the aim to get more women into leadership positions in sport federations. From her mentor, who was the former president of the Danish Swimming Federation, Lotte Büchert have learnt not only all the necessary leadership skills, but also sport political skills. In 2009, she was elected president of the Danish Petanque Federation and one year later she became a Board Member of the International Federation of Petanque and Provencal (FIPJP, Federation international de petanque et Jeu provenaal). An other important position, for which she would probably have never run without the encouragement of her mentor, was the board membership of the National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark. She was elected into the board in 2011. This year, she has just been elected as ENGSO Executive Committee Member.
Karin Mattsson Weijber’s sport career started when she joined to an equestrian club in her childhood. Few years later she had already been active in the special youth section of her club. Her commitment and motivation at early age paved her way to take different leadership positions in the Swedish Equestrian Federation and, later on, in the Swedish Sports Confederation. She was elected to the Board of the Swedish Sports Confederation as “young leader” when she was 23 years old and has been the president since 2005. This year she became a Member of ENGSO Executive Committee, which is a great honor and appreciation to her.
As a Member of the ENGSO Executive Committee, the President of the Swedish Sports Confederation wants to be more involved in EU Sport Policy matters. Since the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, to which sport was incorporated for the first time, the European Union has an ever increasing influence on Non-Governmental Organisations in the field of sport. That is why during her mandate Karin Mattsson Weijber would like to be especially active in strategic issues related to sport policy among other areas that are important for ENGSO and its members.
On the other hand, Lotte Büchert as a Member of the ENGSO Executive Committee would give more attention to communication policy and health issues, and she would work on the financing of grassroots sports. In her opinion, it would be much fairer if the most popular professional sports would support grassroots sport by offering some percentage of their revenue. In this way, more money could be spent on health campaigns “to get the people out of their sofas”. People who have an inactive and unhealthy life style, as they spend most of their times sitting in front of the TV with a box of chips and a can of beer watching sport instead of doing sports, are expensive for the society. “In this postmodern world with no limits, I think that an organisation like ENGSO has a big social responsibility”. For this reason, one of Lotte Büchert’s main goals is to try to get ENGSO more visible among people in order to make them understand the importance of sport irrespective of age, sex or religion.