Updated: Dec 16, 2019
The year of changes for EU politics has almost come to an end. Since the elections in the spring, we have seen a new European Parliament with a new composition and power structure. More lately, a new European Commission was elected, and to our disappointment – despite our efforts and those of other sports stakeholders – “sport” was not included in the title of Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, the Commissioner responsible for e.g. innovation, education, youth and sport. No matter the title, we hope to establish a good relationship with this new key player, whose unique portfolio opens up new opportunities to explore the possibilities of sport to foster innovation.
ENGSO will keep on putting sport on the agenda during the coming five years. During the second half of 2020, a new EU Work Plan for Sport will be adopted by the EU member states, which is our next big opportunity to remind European leaders of the power of sport to bring people together. This potential should not be ignored at a time, when the global trend favours polarisation and division instead of understanding and unity.
While the future of the Erasmus Programme after 2020 is open and uncertain, I would like to take this opportunity to remind our members and partners of the ongoing Erasmus+ Call 2020. There are more funds available for sport projects and events than ever, and I encourage you to explore this opportunity to develop your activities, organisations and networks!
Talking about Erasmus+, our ongoing CHAMP project is gathering speed. We are currently collecting best practices with our project partners, looking for sports clubs that use innovative practices to recruit and retain members. Please take the survey and contribute to the contents of an online course, which will help sports clubs embrace innovation! The online course will be launched in 2020, and it will be open for everyone willing to find new members and reduce dropout levels in sport.
The sport of the future is undoubtedly in good hands, judging by the excellent performance of the 30 young game-changers that finished the New Leaders Programme in November. I had the privilege to participate in the final event of the programme, the New Leaders Forum, and present the work we have done in Sweden to promote equality in the leadership of sport. I would like to congratulate our Honorary President Birgitta Kervinen for this important initiative, and our colleagues at the Finnish NOC for the excellent organisation of the event. I can only wholeheartedly reaffirm the commitment of ENGSO to promote equality at all levels of sport and to put young people in the lead – not only in 20 years, but today.
To conclude, I would like to warmly and sincerely thank all our members, partners and other stakeholders for the fruitful collaboration in 2019, and wish you most joyous festivities and a successful year 2020!