There are no doubts that sport was one of the fastest growing sociological domains along the 20th century, which was a period that saw the traditional sports strive and influence society in a deep way. The first fifth of the 21st century has almost passed, and in this much more open society the new generations, in particular the youth, have no boundaries in their imaginations in terms of bringing to life innovative sport practices. I strongly believe that this will be the sports landmark of the current century.
Are traditional sports declining? In general, I don’t think so, although we already find that some traditional sports are no longer able to engage the younger generations as they did in the recent past. While better access to a whole world of sports activities has emerged, new barriers have risen, describing this era of declining physical activity levels.
Even the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided to open up towards “unthinkable activities” that traditionalists wouldn’t have dared to call sport only one or two decades ago. The IOC is on the right track, as we need to be more and more open to solutions to the challenges ahead of us, bringing new trends into the future sports “family”. I am sure that some of them we do not even dare to foresee today.
That’s how the world goes round! But where is the world of sports heading?
Having all of this in mind, ENGSO will be organising on 16–17 November 2018 the very first edition of the European Sport Platform in Budapest, in cooperation with the European Lotteries and the Hungarian Competitive Sport Federation. Our aim is to have an open discussion about the challenging times of today’s sports, but also about what we foretell for the years to come. You are all invited!
This is the near future. What about the near past?
On 28–30 September, Lisbon hosted a complete meeting of the leading ENGSO structures (ENGSO Executive Committee, ENGSO Youth Committee and ENGSO Equality Within Sport (EWS) Committee) for a biannual Joint Meeting that have now become a tradition with the aim of exchanging ideas and preparing for the near future, aside of the periodical individual meetings of each body.
“Inspiring” is really the most accurate word that occurs me to describe the atmosphere of that very sunny afternoon, during which the ENGSO elected representatives openly discussed new ideas and new sport trends for several hours. We have already started the future.
And the years to come will be busy! Just ahead of the Lisbon meeting, the news broke out that several ERASMUS+ project applications, in which ENGSO and ENGSO Youth participate, have been approved. ENGSO is the leader of a project called CHAMP, dedicated to modernising sports clubs, and a partner in two projects: Playing Green (led by Ecoserveis) and Play’in Together (led by Play International).