President's Report

Updated: Jul 14, 2020

Dear friends,

Just a few months ago, we were all looking forward to stepping into a new decade, starting new projects, and planning our activities for yet another busy and exciting year. I don’t think anyone of us realised how drastically our lives would be changing in 2020.

Unimaginably, the COVID-19 lockdown has closed the borders within Europe and stopped us from meeting each other. At the same time, we are closer to one another, all in the same boat, no matter where we are – in Sweden, in Portugal, in Albania or in France. Some of us are struggling to keep motivated at the home office or finding a good rhythm in our daily lives. Many of us are feeling lonely – or overwhelmed by having everyone at home all the time. Perhaps some of us are enjoying a more relaxed life with more time to be physically active. We have been forced to find new ways to work and keep in touch with our loved ones. For a few months now, a colleague or a friend from the next block has been as close to us as our colleague from the other side of Europe.

It has brought me immense pleasure to see that the ENGSO family, spread all over the continent, is sticking together in this difficult time. Our two online seminars on sport and COVID-19 gathered great participation and fostered a positive discussion and exchange of good practices. By working together, we can make sure that sport will not succumb to coronavirus, even if we have been heavily impacted.

Aside of the seminars for our members, our communications team is working hard to keep up the #BeActiveAtHome spirits and to provide inspiration and ideas for sport clubs on how to cope with the situation and to make the most out of this time. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to see what’s in store for you next!

Furthermore, we have joined forces with the SHARE initiative partners and a great number of other sports organisations to urge the European Union and EU member states to provide support for sport to alleviate the negative economic impact of the pandemic. We hope that our members will find the Position paper on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the sport sector a useful tool in lobbying their governments to make sport eligible for coronavirus crisis funding and other schemes. Many thanks for our partner, the European Olympic Committees’ EU Office, for leading this important initiative!

We are also looking to the future and planning to resume our live activities in the autumn. The 3rd European Sport Platform will be organised in Vilnius, Lithuania on 13–14 November 2020. Please save the date!

Let us hope that the situation will allow us to get together soon again, at ENGSO events and local sport clubs alike. European countries are now gradually reopening activities, including sport, allowing people to be physically active in an organised setting.

Now that we are missing it, it has become clearer than ever that sport is a vital part of our daily lives and the European way of life. Sport will undoubtedly play an important role in the full physical, mental and social recovery from the pandemic. We must work together – within the sports movement as well as with our governments – to ensure that sport is able to play this key role and deliver for our society.

Stefan Bergh

ENGSO President