European Sport Platform 2019

Welcome to the second European Sport Platform! At Appia Park, a hidden gem in the proximity of touristic Rome, we will learn from inspiring speakers and engage in discussions on volunteering, good governance and mental health.

Time and Location

Time: 4–5 October 2019

Location: Appia Park Hotel, Via Appia Nuova 934, 00178 Rome, Italy

About the event

The European Sport Platform brings together ENGSO members and different European stakeholders – professionals, volunteers, policymakers and scholars alike – to stay informed on and take part in the current debate on sport. The event is hosted by OPES Italia, and organised in partnership with the European Lotteries. The Communication Partner of #ESP2019 is Sport and Citizenship.

The themes of #ESP2019 are:

  • Volunteers, the everyday heroes of sport

  • SCORE for diversity in governance

  • Healthy body – healthy mind?

Registration fee
  • Standard ticket: 185 €

  • Discount ticket for ENGSO members: 145 €

  • Conference programme, meals and coffee are included


You will receive payment instructions by email after registration, along with your ticket. The registration is only valid after the receipt of payment. The payment deadline is within three working days of the registration.

Register online by 10 September!


ESP participants are responsible for booking their own accommodation. Hotel rooms at the Appia Park Hotel may be booked for special prices (per night, breakfast included):


  • Double room (for single use): 79,00 €

  • Double room: 99,00€

  • Triple room: 119,00€


You will receive instructions for booking a room for the discount price once you have submitted the registration form.

Friday 4/10


Morning: arrivals

12.30–14.00 Lunch

14.00–14.30 Welcome!

14.30–15.45 Session #1: Volunteers, the everyday heroes of sport

Keynote:  Adrian Feller, UEFA Senior Event Workforce Manager  The invisible value of volunteers – uncovering the economic and social impact of football

Comment from the former Austrian EU Presidency  – Claus Farnberger, Civil Service and Sport, Federal Ministry of Austria  The economic dimension of sport - what we know and what we still don't know



15.45–16.15 Coffee break

16.15–17.45 Session #2: Volunteers, the everyday heroes of sport

Best practice: ENGSO Youth and New Leaders Programme – Michael Leyendecker, Chair of the German Gymnastic Youth Federation and ENGSO Executive Committee member; Ivana Pranjić, ENGSO Youth Committee member and New Leaders Programme participant; Birgitta Kervinen, Honorary President of ENGSO

Speaker and workshop facilitator: Dr Niki Koutrou, Programme Director for Sport Management, University of Kent, Project Coordinator, ENGSO

Comment: Bruno Molea, President of the International Workers and Amateurs in Sports Confederation (CSIT)

17.45–18.00 Short break

18.00–19.00 Info and networking session on Erasmus+

Presentation by Yves Le Lostecque, Head of Sport Unit of DG EAC, the European Commission

Session facilitated by Sara Massini, Head of International Department, OPES Italia and ENGSO Executive Committee member

19.00–20.00 Free time

20.00 Dinner


Saturday 5/10


9.00–10.30 Session #3: SCORE for diversity in governance, hosted by ENGSO Equality within Sports (EWS) Committee

Introduction: Niina Toroi, Chair of ENGSO EWS and Manager of International Affairs, Finnish Olympic Committee

Keynote speaker: Tiina Kivisaari, Director, Sport Division, Ministry of Education and Sport, Finland

Best practice: SCORE and Play to Train Sara Massini, Head of International Department, OPES Italia and ENGSO Executive Committee member

Discussion in groups


10.30–11.00 Coffee break

11.00–12.45 Session #4: Healthy body – healthy mind?

Keynote speaker: Dr Richard Bailey, FRSA, Senior Researcher, International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE)


Best practice - SPHERE (Sport Healing Rehabilitation) – Dr Francesca Cirulli, Senior Researcher and Group Leader, Center for Behavioral Sciences and Mental Health of Istituto Superiore di Sanità and Member of ECOS Scientific Committee

Discussion in groups

Conclusions: Sinikka Kaakkuriniemi, MIELI Mental Health Finland

12.45–13.00 Closing of the European Sport Platform

13.00–14.30 Lunch

Afternoon: Departures 

Conference themes
Volunteers, the everyday heroes of sport


Session #1: Volunteers – coaches, board members, officials, referees – do the majority of work in sport carrying an immense value for sport, but also for society. To raise the importance of sport, we need to understand and communicate the true impact of the voluntary-based sports movement. How can we measure the economic value of volunteering?


Session #2: Sport relies on its volunteers, but volunteering also creates value for the volunteers. However, in the past years, engaging volunteers, especially for longer periods, has become harder. What are the underlying trends and how can sports clubs attract, train and retain volunteers?

SCORE for diversity in governance

Session #3: Equal representation is one of the key principles of good governance. It’s not just about values – it’s about making sports better by getting input from underrepresented groups, such as women and minorities, at all levels and in all tasks. In 2014, a group of experts laid down proposals for strategic actions for gender equality in sport. The Erasmus+ funded SCORE project in 2015–2016 aimed at increasing the number of female coaches. What steps forward have been taken since then?

Healthy body - healthy mind?


Session #4: Mental health issues are some of the most common problems in today’s society, burdening individuals, families, communities and health care budgets. The preventive and healing impact of sport and physical activity for mental health has received a careful, yet optimistic recognition by scientists. Sports clubs and coaches need tools in order to recognize and encounter people struggling with a mental illness and to support sports participants’ mental and social well-being along with their physical health. What do we know about sport’s potential to nurture good mental health?

Further information

We will publish the first speakers shortly - follow this website to stay up to date! Use the hashtag #ESP2019 to engage in discussions ahead of and during the event.

Contact person: ENGSO Secretary General Kaisa Larjomaa,

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