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  • European Parliament adopts important report which recognises the diversity of sport organisations
    Today, 23 November, the long-awaited report on the EU Sports policy was adopted by the European Parliament. The report can be found here. The report follows the extensive study which was requested by the European Parliament’s CULT Committee. ISCA had significant fingerprints in that report, which was commented on here. There has been high political involvement in the drafting of the report, which is tabled by MEP Frankowski (EPP, pictured above and in the video below): The main challenge was whether the report should acknowledge the so-called European Sport Model. This model is a contested concept that in some definitions mean giving monopoly rights to single sport federations instead of acknowledging the diversity of sport organisations that engage Europeans all over the continent. Rather than acknowledging this model, the final report suggests “enhancing the principles of a European sports model” and “acknowledges the diversity of approaches across sports and countries”. ISCA President Mogens Kirkeby states: “The European Parliament supports the diversity of sport in Europe and the freedom of organisation. It is a democratic and inclusive position which underline the reality of the organisation of sport in Europe of today. Monopolies in sport such as only one recognized organisation per sport is a gone chapter of the European history”. The report follows the recent adoption of a renewed European Sports Charter by the Council of Europe, which also did not acknowledge the so-called European Sport Model. Next week, the Council of the EU will likely adopt its resolution, which (in the draft text) prefers to “explore and discuss with all sport stakeholders the key features of a European Sport Model by acknowledging the diversity of approaches…” By March 2022, the Commission will publish a study on the “European Model(s) of Sport” which will bring further evidence to the table on this highly contested concept.
    European Parliament adopts important report which recognises the diversity of sport organisations
  • WHO lead Dr Fiona Bull at MOVE Congress closing: We have to reinvent our system to meet physical activity targets
    For the MOVE Congress 2021, we at ISCA prioritised delivering a physical event, because we believe in the power of the physical meeting between people, and we wanted to enable our members and partners to come together to Reconnect, Rebuild and Restart. Some speakers were unable to be there with us in person, and we used our experience in delivering hybrid and online events to bring their expertise to the congress nonetheless. 300 participants, including 60 speakers plus performers, joined us in Brussels to be part of the MOVE Congress from 17-19 November 2021. In the plenary session on Friday 19 November, Dr Fiona Bull, Head of the Physical Activity Unit, World Health Organization (WHO) Department of Health Promotion greeted the MOVE Congress participants from Geneva and gave a motivational keynote reminding everyone of the value and need for their work as a Rebuild, Restart and Reinvent sport and physical activity promotion from 2021 and beyond. Her speech was followed by a live Q&A with ISCA President Mogens Kirkeby, who asked follow-up questions from the MOVE Congress stage. The plenary session was live streamed on ISCA’s Facebook channel to a wider online audience. “It’s with great regret I can’t be with you in person, as I have thoroughly enjoyed previous opportunities to join the MOVE Congress. But I’m absolutely delighted to be with you and say a few words to set off this final day of the Congress,” Dr Bull began. “I know many of you will be really enjoying it because it’s back to what we enjoy most: sharing our experiences, sharing the challenges and discussing how we can help more people be more active… I want to congratulate the organisers and all of you for this important theme, this Reconnecting, Restarting and Rebuilding, and I’m going to add to it by adding Reinventing.” The WHO’s Global Action Plan for Physical Activity has target of 15% improvement in physical activity levels across the world by 2030. But the pandemic delivered an unexpected blow to the initiatives supporting this goal, she noted. “Being active has become so important to us all during Covid and it reminds us how important it is in terms of its contributions to the global agenda [of] global health. We know, but let’s remind ourselves, the importance of the [UN’s] Sustainable Development Goals. There’s real concern now that Covid has set us back on the progress being made, but that progress itself was not enough. We needed it to be accelerating, and now [we’ve been hit by] Covid. Now we’ve got to double that acceleration to reach the target of improving good health and wellbeing and the WHO is the custodian of that target around non-communicable disease.” The updated WHO physical activity guidelines, published in November 2020, represented a reinvention when it comes to white paper recommendations. The pandemic prompted a quick changing of gears from prescribing minutes of moderate and vigorous physical activity to validating all forms of physical movement as a step in the right direction: “Let’s get it down to its bare facts – Every Move Counts,” she pointed out, reiterating the WHO’s slogan and adding, “Our task is evidence-based and clear.” She urged physical activity promoters at all levels to join forces with the WHO, the UN, the private sector, civil society and government “to build back better”, “to reinvent and ensure we are providing physical activity to everyone”, extending an invitation to use the resources developed by the WHO to convince colleagues, communities and governments to support sustainable initiatives. “We need to communicate the benefits… not just the physical benefits, but the mental health benefits and the social benefits to create more programmes for more people and address inequalities and we need to make sure that our systems will sustain this – not one-offs, not pilots, not demonstrations, but real change sustained.” Mogens Kirkeby asked whether physical activity had lost ground in policy-making due to the focus on combating Covid-19 and Dr Bull responded optimistically, pointing to raised awareness of regular exercise in the UK, Jamaica and Asia (for example) and emphasising that “We think at WHO that it is a must-have policy action area.” “I share your concern that physical activity has potentially lost ground. And yet, this is perhaps too simplistic because, at the community level, I think we have gained ground in the recognition due to the constraint, due to the confinement, due to the impact of Covid on how we live our lives. We’ve realised that moving has been central… so there’s an opportunity in this… In some countries there’s been increased focus on physical activity.” Nevertheless, the data she showed indicated that physical activity is still lagging behind other persistent public health priorities, including the fact that tobacco control has more regulatory support than physical activity promotion. Sustaining physical activity programmes is also hindered by intermittent funding that prevents organisations from “building and scaling” their work. So the pandemic is an important crossroads, she said. “We are at the very important stage of our work of creating and helping the world recover, rebuild and let’s use it to reinvent a stronger system together for better physical activity.” To take action in our sectors, Dr Bull listed three potential drivers that can complement the WHO’s Global Action Plan: sustained communications, better environments for physical activity, and engaging people through inclusive programmes. “I know that’s been a core theme of your conference and I congratulate you and look forward to hearing about your deliberations and suggestions.” Watch the full Day 3 plenary here Stay tuned for more opportunities to join in WHO and ISCA physical activity initiatives, coming soon. Visit the official MOVE Congress website for our full coverage of all sessions. By Rachel Payne, ISCA
    WHO lead Dr Fiona Bull at MOVE Congress closing: We have to reinvent our system to meet physical activity targets
  • ISCA Awards 2021 winners revealed!
    The official opening of the MOVE Congress on 17 November 2021 concluded with an ISCA Awards ceremony, with this year’s awards recognising best practices and role models in the Integration of Refugees Through Sport (IRTS). All 12 shortlisted nominees gathered for the ceremony and the winners were revealed by four of the jury members who had been part of making the final selection in three categories. The winner of the fourth category, the IRTS Role Model, was selected through a public vote. Belgian organisation Run Free won the IRTS Cross-Sector Partnership Award, German initiative JUNO – a voice for refugee women received the Integration of Women and Girl Refugees through Sport Award, the French branch of the Chilean initiative Futbol Más was awarded for its IRTS Innovation during Covid-19 and Special Olympics’ Advisor for Unified with Refugees Gerald Mballe won the people’s choice IRTS Role Model award. As well as receiving a trip to Brussels to take part in the whole of ISCA’s MOVE Congress on 17-19 November 2021, the winners each received a cash prize of 3000 euro and will be invited to participate in ISCA’s IRTS international seminar with expenses paid in 2022. The nominees and winners are pictured below.
    ISCA Awards 2021 winners revealed!
  • MOVE Congress 2021 opens in Brussels
    After two years of meeting via computer and mobile screens across countries and continents, 300 physical activity promoters from 40 countries reconnected in person on 17 November at the MOVE Congress 2021 in Brussels. The opening of the MOVE Congress at Tour & Taxis kicked off two days of active networking and expert-led presentations, panels and workshops, with the first full-day programme starting on 18 November at 9:00 CET. The plenary session will be live streamed here on ISCA’s Facebook page. ISCA President Mogens Kirkeby welcomed the MOVE Congress participants to gather again after two difficult years, underlining how vital connecting with people is to our work. “The pandemic caused limitations for people, societies and also our sector. It prevented people from being together and being social. However, the fundamental element of sport and physical activity is being together and being social,” he said. “At the MOVE Congress we will be putting fuel into the tank of inspiration and motivation.” The curtains opened to local children’s choir Singing Molenbeek, who set the scene for the evening with a Serbian song called ‘Ajde jano’ and followed their multilingual journey during the opening and ISCA awards ceremony with songs in Italian-Albanian and Spanish and stunning musical instrument mastery. Inspirational keynotes followed from Gonzalo Vargas Llosa, the EU Representative of IRTS partner UNHCR, and ISCA Award nominee, advocate and change-maker Khalida Popal, who put the spotlight on how community and refugee-led initiatives can make a significant difference to the experiences of refugees and migrants.
    MOVE Congress 2021 opens in Brussels
  • The world’s most active conference kicks off in Brussels today!
    The world stopped moving during the Covid-19 pandemic, but now is the time to reconnect and reignite the sectors that help us all to be more physically active and healthy. The MOVE Congress is a dynamic global event for stakeholders in grassroots sport, physical activity, health and wellbeing, where participants walk the walk and get a huge dose of inspiration from some of the world’s thought leaders. The MOVE Congress 2021 starts today, 17 November at 7pm CET at Tour & Taxis in Brussels! More than 300 participants will jump, dance and play their way through the conference, which kicks off on Wednesday, 17 November, at 7pm CET in the iconic Maison de la Poste, part of the Tour & Taxis venue in Brussels, and concludes on Friday 19 November. They will hear from 64 world-class speakers and facilitators, including:  Khalida Popal from Girl Power Organisation, with her powerful personal story on how sport can help refugeesMagid Magid, Former Lord Mayor of Sheffield, MEP and Founder of Union of Justice, UK, a human rights and climate activistLars AP, founder of the “F***ing Friendly” movement in DenmarkDr. Fiona Bull, World Health OrganisationMEP Marc Tarabella, co-chair of the Sports Intergroup in the European Parliament  With a grand opening ceremony and awards show on the 17th, enticing keynote speakers, workshops, masterclasses and a LOT of activity and fun, the MOVE Congress will live up to its name and make participants and the world MOVE again! ISCA President Mogens Kirkeby states: “MOVE Congress 2021 will be a grand celebration of our vision to build back better and more physically active societies in the wake of Covid-19. It is time to walk the talk and at the MOVE Congress we will do just that as we reconnect – rebuild – restart for more active societies!” Key presenters from the full programme and speakers include Novo Nordisk, UNHCR, FC Barcelona Foundation, the International Paralympic Committee, Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, the Belgian Design Council and many more. Visit the official MOVE Congress website for more information and follow live sessions on our Facebook page. The MOVE Congress is organised by the International Sport and Culture Association (ISCA). ISCA is a global platform open to organisations working within the field of sport for all, recreational sports and physical activity. Created in 1995, ISCA cooperates with its 260 member organisations, international NGOs, and public and private sector stakeholders. It has 40 million individual members from 89 countries which represent a diverse group of people active within youth, sport and cultural activities. ISCA’s activities are supporting the general HEPA (Health enhancing physical activity) policy of the EU. ISCA concentrates on three key areas – solutions, campaigns and advocacy for physical activity promoters – and it established the NowWeMOVE campaign in 2012.
    The world’s most active conference kicks off in Brussels today!
European Parliament adopts important report which recognises the diversity of sport organisations
Today, 23 November, the long-awaited report on the EU Sports policy was adopted by the European Parliament. The report can be found here. The report follows the extensive study which was requested by the European Parliament’s CULT Committee. ISCA had significant fingerprints in that report, which was commented on here. There has been high political involvement in the drafting of the report, which is tabled by MEP Frankowski (EPP, pictured above and in the video below): The main challenge was whether the report should acknowledge the so-called European Sport Model. This model is a contested concept that in some definitions mean giving monopoly rights to single sport federations instead of acknowledging the diversity of sport organisations that engage Europeans all over the continent. Rather than acknowledging this model, the final report suggests “enhancing the principles of a European sports model” and “acknowledges the diversity of approaches across sports and countries”. ISCA President Mogens Kirkeby states: “The European Parliament supports the diversity of sport in Europe and the freedom of organisation. It is a democratic and inclusive position which underline the reality of the organisation of sport in Europe of today. Monopolies in sport such as only one recognized organisation per sport is a gone chapter of the European history”. The report follows the recent adoption of a renewed European Sports Charter by the Council of Europe, which also did not acknowledge the so-called European Sport Model. Next week, the Council of the EU will likely adopt its resolution, which (in the draft text) prefers to “explore and discuss with all sport stakeholders the key features of a European Sport Model by acknowledging the diversity of approaches…” By March 2022, the Commission will publish a study on the “European Model(s) of Sport” which will bring further evidence to the table on this highly contested concept.

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The best way to look back at the grassroots sport sector

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The MOVE Congress 2021 is the place to Reconnect, Rebuild and Restart after a year that turned the sport and physical activity sector upside down. It’s time to take charge and master a new era of your work – with the help and inspiration from experts, decision makers and your colleagues (yes, in person, not just behind the screen!)

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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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ISCA ONLINE LEARNING

Boost your skills in sport and physical activity promotion by taking one of our free online courses - developed by people with practical experience and expertise in advocacy, social inclusion, outdoor facilities, fitness testing, sport diplomacy and social impact measurement.

 

Find the right course for you at learn.isca.org