ACTIVE Network Twinning Meeting Cyprus Sport Organisation and Larnaca Municipality, 7.10.2013
As part of the ACTIVE Network Project, project partners host meeting forums for municipalities and sports organisations in their own countries. The aim is to build effective working relationships between the two types of institutions, identify good examples of partnership working and develop new ideas for future working.
Cyprus Sport Organisation (KOA) and Larnaca Municipality have chosen as their priorities in 2013/2014 cross-sector cooperation in the fields of Health-Enhancing Physical Activity (HEPA),Volunteering in Sport and Sport and Tourism. These partners hosted a twinning meeting with 50 participants as part of the ACTIVE Network project on 7 October 2013.
Mr Pambos Stylianou, Chairman of KOA in his welcome speech stated that the topics chosen by both parties – which are consistent with the broader objectives of the ACTIVE Network Project – show that when aspects of grassroots sport, such as encouraging people to engage in physical activity, volunteering and sports tourism are backed by appropriate cooperation and common strategic objectives, they can deliver multiple benefits , not only on individual level but also for the economy, society , culture and the promotion of Cyprus abroad.
Mayor Andreas N. Louroutziatis said that the organisation of the twinning meeting and MOVE Week, as part of the NowWeMove Campaign, in Cyprus was fully aligned with the objectives and priorities set out by the Committee on Youth and Sports of the Municipality of Larnaca, such as the active participation of citizens, especially young people, in sport and physical activity, the organisation of sports events and cooperation with other entities and sectors in the area of sport and youth.
Cross-sector cooperation in the field of sport
Sport and health topic was one of the priorities during the Cypriot Presidency of the Council of the European Union and Council Conclusions on promoting HEPA were adopted during this period. Based on these Conclusions, the European Commission has prepared a Proposal for a Council Recommendation on promoting health-enhancing physical activity across sectors. The Proposal was submitted at the Working Party on Sport meeting last month and it was welcomed by the Member States, and as things shows it will be adopted by the Council this November.
At this point, KOA, as the highest sport authority in the state, is trying to materialise the provisions of these Conclusions and be proactive for the upcoming Council Recommendation.
Building on the abovementioned documents, KOA has prepared a draft three-year National Cross-Sector Strategic Plan on Sport and Health – Promoting HEPA 2014-2016.
The National Cross-Sector Plan (NCSP) is structured as follows:
- The importance of physical activity for health
- European, international and national policy background
- National and European studies related to the participation of Cypriots in sports and physical activity.
- The rational and context of the current strategic planning (i.e. the necessity for a NCSP in the field of HEPA, the framework of the strategic planning, methodology, main principles of the NCSP, the role of the different stakeholders (sectors) – local authorities, education, sport, health, transportation, community, economy, environment, research, NCOs)
- SWOT Analysis
- Vision, mission, values and strategic goals of the NCSP
- 7 Strategies for promoting HEPA (Building a cross-sector cooperation and network / provision and upgrade of PA services for different groups of population – children, adults, elderly, special groups / development and improvement of quality and accessible PA facilities / PA at workplace / PA and transportation / promotion, awareness, dissemination / research, monitoring and evaluation of the NCSP)
In the ACTIVE Network meeting in Larnaca many potential stakeholders were present. It was the first time for them to be informed about the context of this NCSP. The meeting was a good opportunity to get their initial feedback as well. At the meeting a good example from Slovenia was presented: “Challenges and prospects in developing and implementing a cross-sector cooperation on HEPA – The Slovenian experience and good example” by Maja Pori, PhD at the Faculty of Sport, University of Ljubljana. Maja presented the rationale behind the development of Slovenian NCSP; What were and are the benefits? What were/are the difficulties and challenges? What was the process during the drafting and the implementation? What are the evaluation outcomes?
Volunteering in sport
As in most European countries the sport sector relies heavily on volunteers and the lack of volunteers is one of the biggest problems of sport club development. Sport organisations are challenged to take care of this scarce resource. They are forced to recruit, educate and retain volunteers. But only few sport organisations have tackled this challenge with a systematic approach.
Effective volunteering which meets the pressures and responsibilities placed upon volunteers and organisations requires effective strategic planning and management. But there is no one-size-fits-all approach. The size of the organisation, the number and types of volunteers and the complexity of roles being offered, demand a particular and individual course of action.
The ACTIVE Network twinning meeting facilitated a strong debate about the framework for the most relevant dimensions of a volunteer strategy and gave some general advice about how to manage such a strategy. Saska Benedicic Tomat, ISCA Head of Projects, stated that “Each organisation has to develop its individual approach and define a long-term, systematic steering of development processes. This follows the principle of constant and step-by-step improvement of the strategy/action plan based on the available resources and the plan’s acceptance among the actors involved. Political willingness, careful planning (action plan), defined sequences for implementation and evidence based evaluation procedures are the basic elements for successful management”.
Link to KOA website: http://cyprussports.org/
|Final Programme (PDF, 0.50 MB)|