ISCA Secretariat: Vester Voldgade 100, 2, DK-1552 Copenhagen, Denmark - CVR 29 50 05 41 Tel: +45 29 48 55 51 / [email protected]
  • True recovery in Europe?
    Comment by Mogens Kirkeby, ISCA President The Covid-19 crisis has been portrayed by many as an opportunity for a “new narrative” or to develop radically new solutions to society’s problems. As a matter of fact, disaster research shows that there is a very large degree of inertia in social systems, even when they are disrupted by crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic. As a species, we tend to go back to what we know, when we can. What is more, crises such as natural disasters and epidemics are particularly quickly diminished in our memories compared to wars, for instance, according to anthropologist Kristoffer Albris. So the question is: Will we try to go back to what we know from before the Covid-19 crisis? Today (15 October), the governments of the EU are finalising and submitting their national plans to the European Commission on how they suggest to spend the huge 750 billion-euro budget for the post-covid EU Recovery Plan. I sincerely hope that the recovery that is sought in Europe is one that is not just about recovering to “what we know”. Or a pursuit of what is stable and safe, as disaster research has documented in the past. But that we dare to take measures supporting both the “old normal” and new sectors. To be a true recovery plan, the plan should include civil society and the non-profit sector. This is because the operators and entities in these sectors contribute significantly to the social fabric of society and are huge drivers of employment and economic activity. At ISCA, we have encouraged our member organisations from civil society in the European Union to push their national governments to include civil society in the recovery plans. To include grassroots sport, but also other civil society actors in culture, education etc., in building stronger, more resilient and more cohesive communities. I believe that the Covid-19 pandemic has shown us the value of social and human interaction. The value of physical and mental health – and not least “social health”. Civil society, as the third sector, is not bound by a market logic or a political logic, as businesses or governments are. It is committed to voluntarism, bottom-up approaches and co-creation for the common good. And it is a very effective way to engage and empower citizens in building their own futures – besides being significant employment and economic drivers. It would be a mistake to aim for recovery without using the power of civic engagement. I hope grassroots sport will have a significant role to play. That would be true recovery. Related comment: The bird in borrowed feathers? Professional sport broadcasting rights in a new light Photo: Alyssa Ledesma/Unsplash
    True recovery in Europe?
  • Meet our Integration of Refugees Through Sport mentors and mentees
    ISCA’s Integration of Refugees Through Sport (IRTS) Mentoring Programme is now under way with 12 mentor-mentee pairs commencing their 12-month mentorships online in September. With the participants being based in 15 different countries around Europe, most are awaiting their first chance to meet in-person, as national restrictions and regulations allow, in Copenhagen in November. The Integration of Refugees Through Sport meeting and one-day conference in Copenhagen will be held in a hybrid format, with speakers and members of the IRTS Network and Mentoring Programme and partners of ISCA’s MOVE Beyond project being given the opportunity to participate in all aspects of the programme in-person or online. Currently, gathering limits in Denmark are 50 people, providing there is enough space for physical distancing, and strict guidelines are followed for networking breaks. Mentoring Programme Coordinator Laura-Maria Tiidla, from ISCA, emphasises how important it is to support people working with refugees in their professional development, particularly as they are facing greater challenges in 2020 in delivering their activities. “It is vital that we do as much as we can to supporting people working in this field, as refugees and migrants have been affected even worse by the pandemic in terms of isolation during lockdown and limited access to social services and activities. That is why we are trying to explore different options for knowledge sharing and international cooperation through virtual means – and in-person when possible, ” she says. The mentees will prepare for the hybrid conference by completing ISCA’s IRTS online learning courses and having individual chats with their mentors, who have extensive experience in delivering refugee inclusion initiatives. The mentor-mentee pairs were matched in September and are: Mentor: Augustas Romanovskis, Sports Projects Team Leader, Active Youth, LithuaniaMentee: Mridul Kataria, Researcher/Volunteer, Flag21, Switzerland Mentor: Benjamin Renauld, Project Manager, Royal Europa Kraainem Football Club, BelgiumMentee: Frigyes Hegyi, Trainer, Oltalom Sport Association, Hungary Mentor: Cristina Vladescu, Project Manager, Terre des hommes Foundation, RomaniaMentee: Mihai Androhovici, Vice President, Romanian Federation Sport for All, Romania Mentor: Daniela Conti, Projecting department, Social policies, International relations, UISP, ItalyMentee: Gerardina Caputo, Project coordinator, Associazione Sportiva Dilettantistica Dojo Karate Pyros, Italy Mentor: George Springborg, Head of Network Development, Streetfootballworld, GermanyMentee: Marta Cristianini, Project Coordinator, Liberi Nantes ASD, Italy Mentor: Julie Lenormant, Project manager of social innovation projects, Play International, FranceMentee: Wim Poelmans, Programme Manager, Run Free & SPIRIT, Flemish Athletics Federation, Belgium Mentor: Hanna Johansson, Project Leader at Street Games project, RF-SISU Västra Götaland, SwedenMentee: Vasiliki Anastasopoulou, Sports Educator, Organization Earth, Greece Mentor: Karine Teow, Field programs manager, ITTF Foundation, GermanyMentee: Zina Mameri, Educational Officer, Fútbol Más, France Mentor: Karina Lackner, Co-Founder and Programme Director, Kicken ohne Grenzen, AustriaMentee: Nagin Ravand, Vice-president, Mino Ung Aarhus, Denmark Mentor: Martyn Rijkhoff, Project Manager, Stichting European Football for Development Network (EFDN), the NetherlandsMentee: Katerina Salta, Co-founder/Manager, Hestia FC, Greece Mentor: Mia Salvemini, Project Manager, SchweryCade, SwitzerlandMentee: Juana Ruiz Saura, Social educator, Fundación CEPAIM, Spain Mentor: Raffaella Chiodo Karpinsky, Project Manager, UISP, ItalyMentee: Gena Sturgon, Founder, Play2EDUCATE, Kosovo The full bios of the mentoring programme participants can be found here. If you missed the chance to be part of the Mentoring Programme this time around, a new call will be launched in spring 2021. Sign up to the ISCA newsletter for updates on the next call. Read more about the Mentoring Programme here
    Meet our Integration of Refugees Through Sport mentors and mentees
  • Hybrid format for World Leisure Congress in China
    Following the official decision from World Leisure Association to move the dates of the World Leisure Congress in Pinggu (Beijing, China) from October 2020 to 15-21 April 2021, it has now been announced that the event will be held in a hybrid format (online/offline). ISCA will join the World Leisure Congress with MOVE Transfer Europe-China project participants (55 grassroots sport leaders from 23 countries). Among these participants, 13 have submitted, and had accepted, abstracts to present at the event. The abstract deadline has been extended to 30 October 2020. It is not yet confirmed whether ISCA’s MOVE Transfer project managers and partners will attend the event in-person or online. This will be determined over the following months, keeping a close eye on the pandemic developments and national/international restrictions. The option to attend the World Leisure Congress is one of the professional development and exchange opportunities offered as part of ISCA’s MOVE Transfer Europe-China mobilities project, which is supported by the EU. This time last year, the Chinese and European partners met in person in Budapest during the MOVE Congress to kick off the project. Since October 2019 in Budapest, the partners have had to move their knowledge exchange and coordination meetings online, including an international conference in June. The World Leisure Congress in Pinggu is the next opportunity for the partners to meet in-person, if they are able to do so. The MOVE Transfer Europe-China project has been extended into 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Find out more about the World Leisure CongressVisit the MOVE Transfer website to find out more about the project
    Hybrid format for World Leisure Congress in China
  • Global Design Challenge reaches incubation milestone
    The first Global Design Challenge for Sport and Physical Activity (GDCSPA) has now moved 19 projects through to an incubation phase and has appointed 12 mentors to provide further coaching for selected participants of June’s hackathon. The GDCSPA was initiated by the University of Cork and supported by a host of partners in Ireland and abroad, including ISCA. How might we sustainably redesign sport and physical activity for children and families, the young and the not-so-young, for participants, spectators, fans and community groups, so that it is inclusive, accessible, attainable – and fun! – during the pandemic and afterwards? This was the guiding question behind the GDCSPA that led to 187 teams taking part in a three-day hackathon to propose ideas for the future on 26-28 June. Fiona Chambers from the University of Cork, says she is proud of the partners’ in-kind contributions to the hackathon and follow-up support of the participants and their ideas. “We have responded in a meaningful way to this pandemic and have certainly helped to reboot sport and physical activity in these the most difficult of times,” she says. “We have answered our original challenge, guided by the Sustainable Development Goals as aligned to the Kazan Action Plan (2017).” The GDCSPA statistics so far include: 5 months (from the planning of the hackathon to the current incubation phase)187 teams38 winners8 finalists19 projects being incubated40 countries12 time zones12 mentors/dream weavers22 partners (including ISCA)43 on GDC Organisation Teamc. 10,000 volunteer hours 3 International Observers: UNESCO |WHO | Commonwealth Secretariat Visit the new Global Design Challenge for Sport and Physical Activity website for more information. Follow the challenge on social media: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/globaldesignchallengesport/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GlobalDesignChallenge/Twitter: https://twitter.com/GlobalDesignCh1  
    Global Design Challenge reaches incubation milestone
  • The bird in borrowed feathers? Professional sport broadcasting rights in a new light
    Comment by Mogens Kirkeby, ISCA President I believe it is totally fair that professional sport protects its broadcasting rights against online piracy. But I get concerned when the reasoning is that this income is “vital for the development of grassroots sports”. I will get back to that. One of the biggest myths in sport is that all sport is the same. Kids that are playing table tennis in their schoolyard in Slovenia are supposedly part of an integrated ecosystem of sport that includes professional baseball in the US. The illustration of this is typically the (in)famous pyramid model of sport (below), which shows the direct link between the top athletes and the less talented, but always aspiring, “bottom” of the pyramid. But the pyramid is not an accurate model for citizens’ participation in recreational sport activities. The pyramid wrongly implies that the “bottom” is there to serve and underpin the top by providing talent and competition structures to screen and train talented individuals. But most citizens do not play sports or recreational activities to become professional. They do not see themselves as part of a “sport food chain”. Rather, they are active because it is healthy, fun and social.
    The bird in borrowed feathers? Professional sport broadcasting rights in a new light
True recovery in Europe?
Comment by Mogens Kirkeby, ISCA President The Covid-19 crisis has been portrayed by many as an opportunity for a “new narrative” or to develop radically new solutions to society’s problems. As a matter of fact, disaster research shows that there is a very large degree of inertia in social systems, even when they are disrupted by crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic. As a species, we tend to go back to what we know, when we can. What is more, crises such as natural disasters and epidemics are particularly quickly diminished in our memories compared to wars, for instance, according to anthropologist Kristoffer Albris. So the question is: Will we try to go back to what we know from before the Covid-19 crisis? Today (15 October), the governments of the EU are finalising and submitting their national plans to the European Commission on how they suggest to spend the huge 750 billion-euro budget for the post-covid EU Recovery Plan. I sincerely hope that the recovery that is sought in Europe is one that is not just about recovering to “what we know”. Or a pursuit of what is stable and safe, as disaster research has documented in the past. But that we dare to take measures supporting both the “old normal” and new sectors. To be a true recovery plan, the plan should include civil society and the non-profit sector. This is because the operators and entities in these sectors contribute significantly to the social fabric of society and are huge drivers of employment and economic activity. At ISCA, we have encouraged our member organisations from civil society in the European Union to push their national governments to include civil society in the recovery plans. To include grassroots sport, but also other civil society actors in culture, education etc., in building stronger, more resilient and more cohesive communities. I believe that the Covid-19 pandemic has shown us the value of social and human interaction. The value of physical and mental health – and not least “social health”. Civil society, as the third sector, is not bound by a market logic or a political logic, as businesses or governments are. It is committed to voluntarism, bottom-up approaches and co-creation for the common good. And it is a very effective way to engage and empower citizens in building their own futures – besides being significant employment and economic drivers. It would be a mistake to aim for recovery without using the power of civic engagement. I hope grassroots sport will have a significant role to play. That would be true recovery. Related comment: The bird in borrowed feathers? Professional sport broadcasting rights in a new light Photo: Alyssa Ledesma/Unsplash

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