The long journey toward a more inclusive sport movement
Perspectives and reflections of the partners at the mid-term of the EQUIP project
Sport umbrella organizations from six different countries (Belgium, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden) have been working together with equality experts and their own members (sport clubs or federations) since the beginning of 2021, within the framework of the EQUIP project. They are committed to improving governance and tackling issues of inequality at any level within their structure. Here are some of their reflections at the mid-term of the project.
The organization of “Equality Within Sport” workshops was a milestone to increase the capacity of their own members in their journey toward equality and inclusion, despite the difficulty to organize and host inclusive activities.
“We organised a workshop on gender and sexual orientation with about 12 federations in [our country]. It was great to see their enthusiasm.”
“The organisation of workshops in [one of the regions] is creating a strong network among sport clubs in the area.”
Collaboration and networking are crucial to develop new perspective and raise the capacity of actors on the fields. In EQUIP, external experts are closely working with national partners to build lasting relationships toward common goals.
“As an organisation, we now have a broadened knowledge of equality aspects outside our own expertise area, contacts who we can work with to offer a more intersectional approach.”
Change can take time! Indeed, the diversity of partners and the local dimension is calling for a case-by-case analysis rather than a global strategy. In addition, as rightly pointed out by a few partners, “these objectives are very long-term and will need to be pursued with additional efforts and initiatives after the project ends”.
The work of EQUIP partners has a direct impact at the local level. The next 12 to 14 months of implementation will be a test for the EQUIP tools and methods, among which:
The Index of top policies and practices (IO1): “IO1 was a real eye-opener. It was great to inform myself how other countries are organised in terms of inclusion and diversity.”
The development of tailor-made Equality Action Plan using the Design Guide (IO3) for and with sport clubs or federations.
The strengthening and extension of the collaboration with external experts in the process of change at the national and local levels.
The translation of the different material
EQUIP is coordinated by ENGSO and co-financed by the Erasmus+ Program of the European Commission. Meet the project partners and follow the group’s achievements on the EQUIP webpage.
“Equality Within Sport” Workshop jointly organised by the BOIC and ICES in Belgium with federations from Football (3), Athletics (3), Cycling (2), Field hockey (3), Judo (1), Taekwondo (1), Multisport (1) and Weightlifting (3).