Farewell, Orsolya!

As the successful ASPIRE project has come to an end, Project Manager Orsolya Tolnay, one of our most long-standing employees, is leaving ENGSO. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Orsolya for her contribution and commitment to ENGSO and ENGSO Youth for the past 8 years.

Orsolya first joined us as a volunteer, bringing her energy, ideas and determination to ENGSO Youth as a Youth Committee Member in 2011–2013. She was responsible for the website and its relaunch, as well as marketing. Orsolya’s ability to come up with new ideas for developing the organisation and its activities was well-noted already then!

In 2012, Orsolya became employed by ENGSO as Assistant, and later as Communication and Policy Officer. She coordinated and reactivated the Communication and Marketing Working Group, co-wrote applications and developed projects such as the Erasmus+ funded SCORE and ASPIRE, and actively helped in drafting different policy papers, for example the ENGSO Recommendations to the New European Union Work Plan for Sport 2017-2020.

“In her work, Orsolya showed proactiveness, responsibility and endurance. ENGSO has raised many competent, energetic and collaborative young leaders, and Orsolya is one of them. A warm thank you for your work”, says Honorary President Birgitta Kervinen, who led ENGSO in 2007–2015.

“From the very beginning, Orsolya actively developed the ENGSO communications – the newsletter, social media presence and the website –, both their contents and their outreach. Orsolya has always been full of ideas, willing to develop and take things further. For ASPIRE, Orsolya’s role was instrumental from the application phase up until implementation. Especially for the project’s visibility, her input has been crucial”, recalls Heidi Pekkola, our former Policy Director and Orsolya’s long-term supervisor.

In 2016, Orsolya re-joined ENGSO Youth, this time as an employee, working for both ENGSO and its Youth branch at the same time. As Youth Communication and Partnerships Officer, she contributed to ENGSO Youth’s international cooperation and sponsorship development, as well as advocacy and policy work.

Following the successful ASPIRE (Activity, Sport and Play for the Inclusion of Refugees in Europe) proposal, Orsolya gave up her other ENGSO-related tasks in order to concentrate on the project that ran from 1 January 2017 until 30 June 2019. As ASPIRE Project Coordinator, and since 2018 as Project Manager, she has actively shaped the process of the ASPIRE project from the first ideas until the final conference, coordinated the activities and contributed to multiple outputs.

“Orsolya has led and executed the project activities in an ambitious way. It has been a personal mission for Orsolya to spread the positive impact of sport, which she has also experienced in her life. Orsolya has been able to motivate the project partners and was successful in making the project an enjoyable setting for work”, says ENGSO Secretary General Kaisa Larjomaa.

ASPIRE has gained a great deal of attention and applauds, both from the sports community and European and international policy-makers. The recognition of the project’s success is manifested in the numerous invitations to meetings and conferences, such as the Erasmus+ Sport Info Day 2018 and a Sport Migrant Integration Platform meeting organised by the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS) of the Council of Europe, where Orsolya presented the project.

“The success of the ASPIRE project no doubt owes a great deal for the ideas, ambition and perseverance of Orsolya Tolnay. She has been a driving force behind the project, with her passion for promoting the inclusion of refugees through sport. We, at ENGSO are grateful for this long and colourful journey of working and learning together, and I wish you all the best for your future professional and personal pursuits” concludes Stefan Bergh, ENGSO President.

Have a look at the gallery of Orsolya's journey with ENGSO and ENGSO Youth.