Cross-sector collaboration is ‘where the gold lies’:
ISCA President, Mogens Kirkeby, comments on the EU’s new ‘Grassroots sport – shaping Europe’ report
On 29 June, the EU published two new High Level Group reports presenting recommendations to the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics. One was from the High Level Group on Grassroots Sport, called ‘Grassroots sport - shaping Europe’.
The mandate of the group was to “evaluate the place and role of grassroots sport in European society and provide ideas on how the EU could better support and develop grassroots sport in order to strengthen the network of sports clubs”. Its final report, developed over eight months, outlines 10 key recommendations and several themed recommendations for the EU, its Member States, grassroots sport stakeholders and other sectors of society.
We support, in particular, the ‘Grassroots sport - shaping Europe’ report’s instrumental focus on grassroots sport and its proposal of an “EU Vision for grassroots sport” to promote grassroots sport in its own right. This focus on grassroots sport and physical activity as a valuable and multifaceted field is important as it represents the biggest interest of the citizens and the most powerful impact on society.
However, to really achieve stronger cross-sector collaboration and the potential benefits it can bring, the grassroots sport sector has to break free from the conservatism and stereotypes from the elite sport sector.
The most fruitful cross-sector partnerships, when it comes to financial, health and social impact, will emerge from stronger a collaboration between grassroots sport and the wider recreational physical activity sector. This is where the gold lies.