ISCA Secretariat: Vester Voldgade 100, 2, DK-1552 Copenhagen, Denmark - CVR 29 50 05 41 Tel: +45 29 48 55 51 / [email protected]
  • The battle for the European Sports Model: Comment by ISCA President Mogens Kirkeby
    Photo: What to do about the stubborn reality that isn't a pyramid of sport? (Danish National Performance Team, Gudrun Clausen.)  There is currently a tough, sports political power struggle over the narrative of European sport. A battle of words where sports federations with relations to the International Olympic Committee want a monopoly-like organisational structure based on the organisational narrative of a pyramid model with a blissful and unbreakable connection between recreational sports and medal sports – and where the money reportedly flows from the elite to the grassroots. But the advocates for this so-called "Pyramid Model" need to answer at least two questions:Do you want to abolish freedom of association?What to do about the stubborn reality, which is not a pyramid of sport? Council of Europe and freedom of associationThe sports political battle is being waged on many fronts. One of them is the revision of the Sport Charter of the Council of Europe. This Charter has historical weight and, not least, it is a basis for fundamental human rights. It forms a value base for the practice and organisation of sport in Europe and works as guidance for the countries' and civil society's delivery of sport and exercise. The Council of Europe was established in 1949, and the cornerstone of the co-operation is the accession of the Member States to the Convention on Human Rights. In Article 11, the Convention clearly states: "Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association […]" Organisational pluralismMost member states, researchers in the sports sector and organisations without affiliation to the IOC believe that the sporting reality in Europe is characterised by, among other things, diversity and organisational pluralism. Organisations with relations to the International Olympic Committee defend the pyramid model with a unitary, monopolised structure. It is, of course, perfectly legitimate to promote a narrative which is in one’s own interest. It was also predictable that it would be staged unanimously and coordinated by the members of the Olympic family. That is how sport politics is today. But it becomes a voice from the past when the proponents believe that the organisations that make up the pyramid are THE MODEL that describes European sport. And that we should do everything we can to protect exactly that perception and the economic interests of these organisations in order to save sport participation in the European continent. What happened to the many civil society organisations outside of the sport federations, which are also providing sport and physical activities for citizens? Do they no longer exist; do they not have freedom of association? Economic solidarity?It also gets troublesome when the proponents for the pyramid model introduce as one of its biggest selling points 'The Economic Solidarity'. In that narrative, the money is earned from the ‘medal sport’ and passed on to the grassroots sport. There are indeed sports which at the elite level provide a profit that is redistributed - primarily football in certain countries. How many percent of the sports economy it is, and how far down it trickles – it gets lost in the mist. Conversely, there are, in fact, many sports disciplines within the pyramid where the elite level is co-financed by the grassroots members’ fees! This is, of course, completely democratically legal and also a form of economic solidarity. However, this inverse relationship receives very limited attention in the discussion on economic solidarity. And at the end of the day, the reality remains the same: The primary source of finance for grassroots sport comes from citizens’ own payments, and the facilities and finance from the public sector. It does not depend on a pyramid model. 
    The battle for the European Sports Model: Comment by ISCA President Mogens Kirkeby
  • Brand new European Parliament report on sport policy: ISCA welcomes priority for participation sport
    Comment by ISCA Secretary General Jacob Schouenborg.  On 17 June, the European Parliament published the long-awaited report “EU sports policy: assessment and possible ways forward”. ISCA has read the report, and takes particular note that the report’s DELPHI study highlights that the participation sport topics are ranked highest among stakeholders – both in the past, the present and the future (p 87ff). It is also encouraging to see that there is a specific recommendation to “promote physical activity” (p 110). ISCA is happy to see that its engagement in grassroots sport diplomacy, and the ISCA co-led initiatives European School Sport Day and European Youth and Sport Forum, are described as important pieces of EU sport policy development. Likewise, in a prioritised list of key stakeholders of EU sport policy, “ISCA was the sole global sports organisation included in the list”. ISCA will continue its advocacy work for grassroots sport and recreational physical activity – for a previous example, see our Inactivity Time Bomb report and campaign. Read the 'EU sports policy: assessment and possible ways forward' report here. Image: Research4CULT Twitter
    Brand new European Parliament report on sport policy: ISCA welcomes priority for participation sport
  • Youth Perspectives on a Healthy Community webinar registration open
    The new Youth Health Community is hosting its second webinar on Thursday 1 July 2021 (13:30 to 14:30 CEST) “Youth Perspectives on a Healthy Community”. This online event will focus on the perspective of children and young people on a healthy lifestyle and healthy environment. The event will feature brilliant young speakers and experts, all an example for their communities, who will take part in a conversation moderated by Samme Allen: Claudia Batz, Core Team Member at Young Leaders for Health and Policy & projects coordinator at the World Obesity Federation (United Kingdom)Sarah Hickey, Programme Director at Impact on Urban Health (United Kingdom)Pedro Gonçalves, Member of the Co-Create Youth Declaration Task Force, Co-Create and Youth Alliance Member CEIDSS (Portugal)Dev Sharma, Bite Back 2030 Youth Board Member (United Kingdom)Yasmina Sina, Favela Street Foundation Young Ambassador (The Netherlands) Make sure to join our online event on Thursday 1 July 2021 to voice your opinion and connect with our network. Participation is free of charge, event held in English, registration is required. Register here By Lideke Middelbeek, Coordinator of YHC
    Youth Perspectives on a Healthy Community webinar registration open
  • Applications set to open for second round of IRTS Mentoring Programme
    The Integration of Refugees Through Sport (IRTS) Mentoring Programme is connecting people who have specific skills and knowledge (mentors) with individuals (mentees) who need/want the same skills to increase their capacities to work in the field of integration of refugees through sport. On 20 June 2021 we are launching Round Two of the Programme and invite all motivated individuals to apply. During the 12-month mentoring programme (total duration October 2021 - October 2022), the mentorship pairs will be engaged through an online platform throughout the period and two offline events to meet face-to-face (travel and accommodation costs covered). The mentoring pairs will have access to IRTS Online Courses, online focus groups and helpful resources throughout the programme – both relating to the IRTS field and tips/advice related to mentoring. The mentoring programme aims to:Build the capacity for the organisations and individuals involved through accelerated exchange of knowledge.Allow direct collaboration between various integration of refugees through sport related projects and initiatives.Grow the international network and community. TimelineFor the second round of the Mentoring (October 2021 - October 2022) 12 mentees will be matched with pre-selected mentors of experts in the IRTS field. The applications will be opened on 20 June 2021 and the deadline for applications will be on 15 August 2021. Read more on the Integration of Refugees Through Sport website and in the guide on how to apply below.
    Applications set to open for second round of IRTS Mentoring Programme
  • 10th MOVE Week wraps up – but the MOVEment continues!
    Summer 2021 started on an active note with the MOVE Week physical events and online movement sessions at the MOVE Week Gym from 31 May-6 June, including the celebration of the new European Mile event on 5 June. MOVE Week 2021 has wrapped up a week of sport and physical activity, and it’s time to look back at the results of these 7 days of free events aimed at bringing people the joy of movement. With the support of the MOVE Agents and partners across the globe, we managed to get hundreds of thousands of people active. Wherever possible, traditional offline MOVE Week events were organised – from stretching sessions to full body workouts, from special activities for children, students, elderly or all-inclusive movement sessions. Overall more than 600 events were registered at the website with the biggest amount of activities happening in Italy, Turkey, Czech Republic, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria. In addition, our online MOVE Week Gym hosted 20 sessions with trainers of diverse profiles delivering workout sessions from 13 countries. These daily workouts, streamed on YouTube and Facebook, turned out to be popular among people all over the world: from Costa Rica to Turkey, Russia to Australia, Poland to Brazil. Find all video recordings here. On 5 June, together with the online and offline MOVE Week events, a joint celebration of the European Mile took place. MOVE Agents held 561 number of events across Europe, and even in Brazil where Sesc broadcast a live session on its channels and held in-person events. The European Mile Live virtual tour of Europe celebrated people moving together with a fun animated sightseeing walk streamed by V4Sport from Poland. Until now we have collected close to half a million miles to be donated to charitable and social organisations, including the Daily Mile Foundation. If you haven’t been part of the European Mile yet, you still have the chance to walk, run or roll for your health and contribute to the mile donations, as the European Mile campaign will continue until 31 November. We say thank you to all the participants of the MOVE Week and the community of NowWeMOVE campaign MOVE Agents for showcasing the benefits of physical activity and helping people find their move. The next big MOVE Week is this September in Latin America where the Semana Muévela takes place in the week of 23 September. Keep finding your moves By Maria Malyshkina, ISCA
    10th MOVE Week wraps up – but the MOVEment continues!
The battle for the European Sports Model: Comment by ISCA President Mogens Kirkeby
Photo: What to do about the stubborn reality that isn't a pyramid of sport? (Danish National Performance Team, Gudrun Clausen.)  There is currently a tough, sports political power struggle over the narrative of European sport. A battle of words where sports federations with relations to the International Olympic Committee want a monopoly-like organisational structure based on the organisational narrative of a pyramid model with a blissful and unbreakable connection between recreational sports and medal sports – and where the money reportedly flows from the elite to the grassroots. But the advocates for this so-called "Pyramid Model" need to answer at least two questions:Do you want to abolish freedom of association?What to do about the stubborn reality, which is not a pyramid of sport? Council of Europe and freedom of associationThe sports political battle is being waged on many fronts. One of them is the revision of the Sport Charter of the Council of Europe. This Charter has historical weight and, not least, it is a basis for fundamental human rights. It forms a value base for the practice and organisation of sport in Europe and works as guidance for the countries' and civil society's delivery of sport and exercise. The Council of Europe was established in 1949, and the cornerstone of the co-operation is the accession of the Member States to the Convention on Human Rights. In Article 11, the Convention clearly states: "Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association […]" Organisational pluralismMost member states, researchers in the sports sector and organisations without affiliation to the IOC believe that the sporting reality in Europe is characterised by, among other things, diversity and organisational pluralism. Organisations with relations to the International Olympic Committee defend the pyramid model with a unitary, monopolised structure. It is, of course, perfectly legitimate to promote a narrative which is in one’s own interest. It was also predictable that it would be staged unanimously and coordinated by the members of the Olympic family. That is how sport politics is today. But it becomes a voice from the past when the proponents believe that the organisations that make up the pyramid are THE MODEL that describes European sport. And that we should do everything we can to protect exactly that perception and the economic interests of these organisations in order to save sport participation in the European continent. What happened to the many civil society organisations outside of the sport federations, which are also providing sport and physical activities for citizens? Do they no longer exist; do they not have freedom of association? Economic solidarity?It also gets troublesome when the proponents for the pyramid model introduce as one of its biggest selling points 'The Economic Solidarity'. In that narrative, the money is earned from the ‘medal sport’ and passed on to the grassroots sport. There are indeed sports which at the elite level provide a profit that is redistributed - primarily football in certain countries. How many percent of the sports economy it is, and how far down it trickles – it gets lost in the mist. Conversely, there are, in fact, many sports disciplines within the pyramid where the elite level is co-financed by the grassroots members’ fees! This is, of course, completely democratically legal and also a form of economic solidarity. However, this inverse relationship receives very limited attention in the discussion on economic solidarity. And at the end of the day, the reality remains the same: The primary source of finance for grassroots sport comes from citizens’ own payments, and the facilities and finance from the public sector. It does not depend on a pyramid model. 

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The best way to look back at the grassroots sport sector

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New ISCA website coming soon! Our mascot is working very hard on a brand new ISCA website and we look forward to revealing it to you in 2021. Meanwhile, we will still keep you updated here with the latest news from ISCA and our partners.

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