Interview with one of the ACTIVE Network project partners
The cornerstone of successful partnership is cooperation, understanding and trust
ISCA and its ACTIVE Network project partners used this idea to guide a discussion on their project’s vision and objectives, to find common path for developing the project and to share knowledge and experiences. We started with interviews that are now used to help focus the project's plan, future activities and discussions.
Here we present the interview with the Cyprus Sport Organisation (KOA).
ISCA: What are the main purposes of the local authority/sport organisation partnership for you?
KOA: We are developing a partnership with the local authority to work together on effective sport for all policies and programmes aiming to increase the number of citizens participating in sport. We need to have a common long-term strategic plan, addressed to the needs of citizens, aims to increase mass participation levels in quality physical activity and sport for all initiatives and programmes. The strategic plan should be drafted on the basis of a genuine social partnership between partners, recognising their independent roles, responsibilities and special capacities and facilitating the leverage of resources available (human, financial, facilities, etc.). We will create a network engaging all key stakeholders (health sector, education, voluntary agencies, private sector, transportation sector, etc.) that will support our efforts to achieve common goals. We will help organisations and local authorities to develop attractive and innovative sport and physical activity events/programmes. And last, but not least, we will ensure together safe and equitable access of citizens to sport programmes and facilities.
ISCA: What are, in your opinion, the three important elements in a partnership between a city and a sports organisation?
KOA: The most important is to achieve sustainable commitment to support the partnership with shared responsibilities, engaging the appropriate manpower/professionals. A long-term strategy that addresses the needs of potential users must be planned and developed together. And to develop clear reporting, monitoring and evaluation process to ensure strategic continuity.
ISCA: Have you documented in your sport organisation the priorities and main principles of partnerships between local authorities and sport organisations? Can you share any of these?
KOA: According to the Cyprus Sport Organisation Laws of 1969 to 1996, the Organisation shall cultivate, diffuse, develop and organise mass sports or “Sport for All” and determine the institutions to be involved and their competencies. Based on this provision, the National Sport for All Programme was launched in 1985. The SFA Programme has a prolonged cooperation with the local authorities based on two pillars: a) the local authorities fund the participation of their inhabitants to the SFA Programme and b) both entities organise joint sport events and activities. Moreover the Organisation partly finances mass sports and physical activity events as well as social sport events addressed to minorities, immigrants and people with disabilities organised by the local authorities.
In line with the abovementioned Law, the Organisation shall furnish financial and technical assistance to local authorities. On this basis, the Organisation partly provides financial support to the local authorities for the development of sport facilities.
The Cyprus Sport Organisation’s Strategic Plan 2010 - 2020 “Citizens in Action – Right to Physical Activity” has one of the main objectives: the development of enlarged Sport Activity Programmes aiming to enhance the citizens’ health following:
- The further development of the National Sport Programmes, including the National Sport For All Programme where an increase in the numbers of members participating is foreseen.
- The support of local authorities’ institutions to create sporting conditions for citizens aiming to enhance health meeting all the groups’ needs in this area by 50% annually.
- Take actions and implementation of the EU Physical Activity Guidelines engaging all relevant key stakeholders, including the local authorities.
2 good experiences with partnerships between local authorities and sport organisations in Cyprus
National Sport For All Programme and the Local Authorities Partnership (Municipalities and Communities)
During the last decade, the National Sport For All Programme, understanding the significant role that Local Authorities play in increasing the rates of citizens participating in sport and physical activities, has developed partnership alliances with the local bodies. Currently the Programme is associated with 22 Municipalities and 32 Communities. The cooperation is expanded in two areas: a) the organisation of common sport and physical activity events on national, district and local level and, b) funding of the participation fee of the citizens that are registered in the Programme by the Local Authorities.
“Sport, Health and Local Authorities” Conference
The conference was addressed to the representatives of the local authorities on a national basis. It was held in 2010 in an effort to inform the local authorities about the EU Physical Activity Guidelines and specifically about these GLs related to local authorities. Following the conference, a series of meetings took place between the Cyprus Sport Organisation and those local authorities which have shown interest in putting into practice the GLs. An example is the Municipality of Larnaca which was inspired by the Conference’s context and organized the Sport Festival “Make Sport a way of life”. The Sport for All Programme of the Cyprus Sport Organisation contributed to the event by presenting some of its sport activities with the participation of its local members.
For more information please contact:
Ms Ioanna Paraskevopoulou
European and International Affairs Officer
CYPRUS SPORT ORGANISATION
Tel. + 357 22897204