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MOVING PEOPLE contribute to the integrity of sport: Looking ahead to 2017

Comment by ISCA President Mogens Kirkeby


The slogan of ISCA is MOVING PEOPLE. This term represents both what we are striving to do and the kinds of people we are ourselves – moving people. It is also a term that connects our values, initiatives and advocacy, and is a central guideline when we collaborate both within our organisation and when we work with our partners.


We strive to “say what we mean” and “do what we say”

I strongly believe that saying what you are aiming to do and doing what you say you will do and are what integrity is about, and integrity is one of the most important values and assets of sport. The problem is that the integrity of sport has been seriously challenged in recent years and 2016 was unfortunately not a turning point. On the contrary, 2016 showed that major high profile sport organisations do not contribute to the integrity of sport. This has severe consequences, not only for these respective organisations, but also for the general brand of sport.


If the integrity of grassroots sport and recreational physical activity sectors is not protected, we will lose the positive perception whereby citizens and societies recognise and utilise the social, mental, physical benefits of sport.


Over the last years, ISCA has engaged in good governance in the grassroots sport sector. Not because we believe that grassroots sport is particularly challenged governance-wise. But because we want to assist in developing and promoting proper governance in a sector which includes the most governing bodies, the most citizens (who are directly involved in its activities) and represents the majority of the sport sector’s economic impact. Three good reasons why the grassroots sport sector the most important sector in sport!


Cultural diversity is a strength – and integrity is a need

Grassroots sport and recreational physical activity have developed differently throughout history and across the world. In some countries the sector has developed over decades – even centuries –and in others the concept is rather new.


In some countries this citizens-based sector has its roots and organisational foundation in sports associations and clubs. But in many countries we are seeing new ways of organising and governing grassroots sport and recreational physical activity. Grassroots sport encompasses a cultural diversity and knowledge which we believe can be used as inspiration for the development of the sector.


However, we depend on its fundamental values like integrity being protected. Right now not enough organisations are stepping up and contributing to safeguarding the integrity of sport. Let’s see if this will change in 2017.