ENGSO at SHARE webinars on Active Development
A set of the two SHARE webinars, organized by the European Commission Sport Unit, DG EAC in tandem with KEA, have been held on the 11th and 18th of May 2022. The overall objective of the two webinars was to deepen the knowledge around the concept of Active Development, the process of integrating the promotion of sport and physical activity into economic and social development strategies.
The participants varied from public authorities to sports stakeholders and other interested parties who were aiming to increase the institutional capacity of their respective organisations in accessing EU funding for Regional (Active) Development strategies.
The first session on the 11th of May was dedicated to informing the participants how the Active Development concept is linked to the EU structural funds. The webinar started with welcoming words by Floor Van Houdt (Head of the Sport Unit, DG EAC), followed by the presentation of the actions undertaken in the field of Share Alliance since the establishment of the programme in 2016. Therefore, Myke Coyne, the author of the study on Active Development, has shared the main results of the paper. One of the key points was the need to improve the coherence of sport-based interventions and move away from isolated projects to an integrated approach and unlock the health benefits of sport that can be delivered to the society at large. Moreover, the panel discussion concentrated on the topic of “mainstreaming sport and physical activity in non-sport sectors, the ability of stakeholders to connect with managing authorities and building partnerships”, which ultimately stressed the importance of convincing the managing authorities from other policy areas that sport can contribute to mutually beneficial development.
The second of the two-part webinars has shifted the focus to a practical approach on elaborating the “10 Active Development Steps”, and how it can make a tangible impact on sport-related projects. Furthermore, the ideas that were generated by the participants during the interactive session are diverse, including:
The processes within the European sport sector shall be driven by a bottom-up approach. Enhancing participation is a priority in order to understand where the challenges for local and national organisations lie (in particular, in the case of organisations outside of the “EU sport bubble”). Therefore, concerns collected from to ground level need to be streamlined to the Commission, especially in regard to EU funding challenges.
Multi-year operating grants for international umbrella NGOs operating in the field of sport shall be introduced. Funding, on the other hand, would be tied conditionally to assess the extent to which the sector is being developed
Establishing national focal points where information and capacity building would be shared in regard to EU funding on the national and local level (e.g., Sport Link in Flanders)