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2ND EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON EDUCATION THROUGH SPORT “Living together through sport in Europe”

Developing sport as a social and educational tool in Europe April 7th and 8th 2011 in Dunkerque (France)

Following the 1stEuropean Conference on Education through Sport organised in Strasbourg (France) in November 2008, the Agency for Education through Sport and the sports social science research team (EA 1342) at Strasbourg University are organising the 2nd conference on the theme “Living together through Sport” in April 7th and 8th 2010 in Dunkerque (France)


This event will take place over two days:



  • First day: European Study Day - Young Researchers, organised by the Strasbourg University sports social sciences research team (EA 1342) (directed by C. Talleu and W. Gasparini) on the theme: “Social cohesion through sport in Europe: processes and those involved in the field”. This study day is open to all those studying master’s degrees, doctorates and young postdoctorates who are members of research groups and/or universities in Europe who can provide a detached view of the experiences of those involved in the field.
  • Second day: A European conference organised by the Agency for Education through Sport on the theme “Developing sport as a social and educational tool”. Speakers will include those in charge of institutions, elected members, members of universities, representatives from sports organisations, sports persons, those involved in associations, etc.
    These conferences will establish dialogue and will lead to intercultural exchange between the young researchers and those involved in the field who attend, in particular with mutual and reciprocal benefits in terms of knowledge and experience.



The European conference “Developing sport as a social and educational tool in Europe” aims to form an overview of the situations encountered in the different countries of the European Union. How, and under what conditions can sport be a tool to foster social links and living together between different people in the same territory? How can demand from new sections of society be satisfied? What are the answers provided by those involved in sport, but also by local authorities, public institutions and different associations in the light of a more and more diverse demand from the public, whilst maintaining social links and living together.

Researchers, those involved in the field, European MEPs, those in charge of institutions, directors of the European sports movement, students and key players will come together to share their thinking and experience with the aim of formulating some recommendations.

Call for abstracts (DOC, 83. KB)

The contribution of sport to social cohesion in Europe

In the light of the recent structural transformation of contemporary society and the emergence of new social fractures, sport has been widely called upon to combat new forms of vulnerability affecting excluded populations such as girls in precarious situations, minorities, the mentally handicapped, and the disabled, the unemployed, or even the elderly. In this sense, sport is a model of “integration” for different excluded populations and constitutes a tool to serve local and national policies aimed at social cohesion and “living together”.


This widely held idea of sport which “integrates” and “unites” has been progressively confirmed by European institutions. In the view of the Council of Europe, sport is indeed a “factor for insertion, participation in social life, tolerance and acceptance of differences” (May 2003). This question of principle was conveyed in 2004 by the European Committee for Social Cohesion which recalled the active role of sport in building a cohesive society where diversity is more a source of mutual enrichment than a factor of division and conflict. Finally, with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the main intentions of this European universalism in sport were ratified once again. Article 149 of the Treaty states that “The Union contributes to the promotion of European challenges in sport whilst taking account of its specific nature, its structures based on volunteering, and its social and educational function”. The Treaty thus paves the way for the introduction of a new educational and social dimension for sport in Europe.


Public policy for sport, whether at local, national or European level, refers more and more to the notions of social cohesion, co-education and integration in specific programs and initiatives, at the very least in terms of intentions. Sport is used in particular in policies aimed at people experiencing difficulties of integration, specific territories or periods of time, using certain sports disciplines or certain ways of practising sport.


The second day should allow participants to exchange their experience and analysis of the spatial, temporal, social and sports perimeters of policies aimed at “living together” through sport. Speakers may usefully ask questions about the profiles of the people targeted by these policies.


Round tables have been designed to allow for:


  • debate and discussion on the issue and the presentation of concrete examples of work carried out
  • the definition of a list of recommendations to be recorded in the summary



Submissions are requested on three main themes:


-          The group concerned: examples of action and work carried out.

Who are the people concerned by educational and social action through sport in Europe? How must physical activity be changed to adapt sport for different groups of people? What training should be done to attract these new groups of people? What are these people's links with territories and national, regional, cultural, and geographical environments?


-          Sporting practices: examples of educational and social sports activities.

Which activities provide a means of entry for those who have access difficulties? What are the aspects and conditions (social, cultural, technical, political, practical or material, etc) related to the implementation of these practices? Which actions are useful in certain adapted physical activities and sports? Which methods are applied by the various participants, for which purposes and using which processes to access this knowledge, know-how or interpersonal skills? Which of the possible transfers of Olympic values are implemented by the main federations working on social, educational and preventive action?  Which transfers, beyond disciplines, can be used to consider a “through sport” approach rather than a “through a sport” approach? What is the educational and social relevance of new sports practices and sports organised between individuals or groups of individuals?

- Educational and social policies through sport: examples of initiatives and policies implemented by federations, associations and territorial authorities. What actions have been undertaken and with what objectives? How far can transfers between disciplines or “areas” be envisaged? What are the means of financing and who provides the funds? Which European networks can be mobilised in sport or in the field of social work or education?  What are the cultural differences related to organisations, management methods and organisational functioning according to country, region or province, national or local cultures, and languages?


  • The Scientific and Technical Committee of the Agency for Education through Sport



The Scientific and Technical Committee plays a role of consultation, approval and advice for the agency. It gives opinions and recommendations on the studies and actions carried out by the Agency in its different programmes. It brings together European researchers from different fields (sociology, history, health, economics, etc) specialised in the field of education through sport. Consult the list of members of our Scientific and Technical Committee on the Agency for Education through Sport website.

  • Requirements and the sending of papers


The papers written in French or in English (1000 words at the most) will have to be enclosed to the registration form that you will find below. They must also be sent back to the following e mail address:

Papers must specify the theme chosen and answer the questions given in the presentation of the themes (see above) as appropriately as possible.


  • Deadlines


Deadline for sending proposals: 15 September 2010

Speakers will be informed on or around 30 October 2010 which projects have been selected.

Selected applicants must send their visual aids by 30 January 2011 at the latest in order to facilitate simultaneous translation on the study day.


  • Practical information


There will be no registration fees for this two-day conference.

The costs of speakers’ accommodation will be paid by the conference organisers.

Travel costs upon request.


  • Contacts:


Nathalie Rosell Nuguet

Director in charge of events

Agency for Education through Sport

00 33 1 44 54 94 92


Floriane Courtois

Project Manager

Agency for Education through Sport

00 33 1 44 54 94 99