#GoodGovernanceSport project started in Sofia
In the period 27 - 30 March, 2018 in Sofia was held the first international meeting on the project "Good Governance in Sport", which is going to be coordinated by the Bulgarian Sports Development Association in a period of 36 months and which aims to provide analyzes and specific tools to improve management processes in the area of sport. The meeting was attended by representatives of the partner organizations of the project from Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, which during the meeting, have examined the goals that the project will achieve and the steps for the implementation of the activities which are going to ensure greater transparency of the public face of sports organizations through a methodology for analyzing their websites, training and certification activities, including an online training module, activities to promote values and good governance principles as well as specific instruments for achieving sustainable and transparent governance in the sector.
Good governance in sport sector has been a topic that is becoming more and more needed in the field, as we are seeing the endless problems, starting with:
• Low numbers of people are actively involved in sport and physical activity. Sport in the present reality is one of many possibilities that European citizens have and sometimes, in some ways, not the most attractive one;
• Interest of the society members to be involved in sport is decreasing more and more due to the endless scandals, corruption, match fixing, doping, lack of transparency, activities, not focused on sport for all activities and public funding invested mainly in professional sport;
• Public attention is becoming higher on the public finances expenditure (recent resigning of candidate – cities to host Olympic games) and reflecting the governance problems in sport, people are losing their trust in sport organizations potential and the believe of returning the investments made in major sport events.
European, national and local sport organizations and federations and sport governance at all levels needs to implement necessary reforms, as stated already from many European sport organizations with the signing of the declaration on good governance (presented in Brussels in September 2016 and signed by BSDA in Malta in March 2017). As the sport bodies have been invited to commit to promote or implement basic principles of good governance in sport: integrity, transparency, accountability, democracy and inclusivity and as it is only a beginning of a process we need to walk in the present reality in order to make sport compatible in the dynamic world.
Until the moment, across Europe efforts are being made to try and raise governance standards in the sports sector, specifically around the principles of democracy, transparency, accountability in decision-making, and inclusiveness in the representation of interested stakeholders. While taking into account the great diversity of sport structures in different European countries, the EU aims to strengthen the organization of sport in Europe. The proper approach should be to provide added value to work at national level by collecting and sharing good practices and providing practical recommendations that will help increase standards of good governance in sport.
Until the moment, on the field of Good governance in sport has been walked the following steps:
• The 2007 White Paper on Sport noted that self-regulation is able to deal with most challenges that affect sport if good governance principles are being applied;
• In its 2011 Communication (Developing the European Dimension in Sport) the Commission took a more elaborate position, noting that good governance in sport is a condition for the autonomy and self-regulation of sport organizations;
• In 2011, the topics of good governance and strengthening the organization of sport in Europe were included in the Preparatory Actions in the field of sport. Eight projects were selected, implemented, and concluded by the end of 2013;
• An EU Expert Group on Good Governance was established on the basis of the Council Resolution on an EU Work Plan for Sport 2011-2014. In October 2013, the Group adopted recommendations on the Principles for Good Governance of Sport in the EU and presented them to the EU Council;
• In 2016, Flagship event on good governance in sport has been conducted and a Pledge on good governance in sport has been launched and supported by 32 sport organizations in Europe;
• An integrated approach to Sport Policy: good governance, accessibility and integrity report has been accepted from the EP and also has been main topic of Sport Forum 2017, held during the Maltese presidency. During the event, project applicant BSDA has signed the pledge to implement good governance principles in grassroots sport.
Based on the gap, stated in the aforementioned analysis of the policies and actions, taken on EU level and considering the need of rebuilding the trust in sport and bringing back in daily work of the sport organizations in EU the principles of good governance. As sport is about ambition, emotion and inspiration, initiated by the people for the people, the good governance in the field should be based on the personal convictions of decision-makers for integrity, dedication and fairness as well as on the principles of “fair play”, team-work, discipline, equal start and non-discrimination. it is more than visible that the importance of highlighting and promoting good governance as the unique solution of the crisis that sport organizations are suffering and insure European citizens, that the accountability and transparency in sport are high priority. This is why the current project is aiming to find the way of analyzing, collecting and promoting the needed steps in the proper visibility of the decisions taken, decision making stakeholders, transparency of public funding. We believe that the added value of this project and all project outputs – analysis and report of current condition of accountability and transparency, trainings, educational and dissemination events on the topic of good governance, decision – makers meetings and self-learning path in good governance in sport will contribute to the increasing of people, that trust sport organizations and involve themselves more and more in sport and physical activity. Project outputs will be available for sport organizations at local, national and European level, as well to the educational institutions, local authorities, NGO’s, national authorities in their daily work.
The current collaborative partnership will implement various activities on local, national and international level; will focus in development, identification, analyzing, promotion and sharing good practices in good governance as well as giving recommendations to some of the observed practices that can be improved. The analysis that will be implemented during the project will be very useful for all sport organizations in Europe, regardless of their capacity and scope of activities. In the present times we are living now, our public face is available in few clicks and we need to be sure, that this face is reflecting the reality and is giving us the full picture of accountability and transparency. This project identifies and adequately addresses clearly specific needs for bringing a new approach of management and administration in the field of sport on national and European level. GGS will add to the existing knowledge, know-how and practices to the organizations and persons involved in project activities and outputs.
All activities we will hold by this project will be available and can be used as OER (open educational resources) to the interested stakeholders. The possibility for a self – learning path in the field of good governance will improve sport management or at least will present to the decision makers and administrators in sport what has to be improved. Trust in sport needs to be repaired and this is a small step to present who the organizations are, who is bringing the decisions on board, how public money are spent, who is responsible for the organizational issues at all levels.
Main objectives, we will focus in the project are:
• Improved good governance in sport in sport organizations in Europe at local, national and European level;
• Analysis of public face of European and national sport organizations, based on strict criteria and with transparent methodology, applicable to all of them with the same approach;
• By the planned dissemination events, we will increase attention to good governance at local and national level;
• Prepare and support next sport leaders, that believes and implements the values of integrity, “fair play”, transparency, integrity, fairness, dedication with the self-learning path and training mobility’s implemented during the project;
• By this project, will be strengthen the evidence base for policy making (studies, data gathering, surveys) at local, national and European level;
• Will be increased the knowledge and awareness regarding sport and physical activity, as in the same moment, will be strengthened the cooperation between institutions and organizations active in the field of sport and physical activity, not only inside the consortium, but also at local level in the partner organizations countries;
• Promotion of good governance principles in sport to all stakeholders and creating good governance multipliers;
• Improve good governance in sport with shortcut to resources - self-learning path in good governance in sport;
• Create an innovative network of professionals, devoted to good governance in sport from different parts of Europe, who will be committed to the project not only during project life, but also after the project end with development and growing good practice database;
• Raise awareness on the added value of sport and physical activities in relation to the personal, professional and social development of individuals through all planned project activities;
• Raise awareness on the importance of health-enhancing effects of physical through all planned project activities;
• Increase participation in physical activities and sport by increased number of local actions and events, awareness-raising activities and providing opportunity to individuals to personally experience the benefits of physical activities;
• Disseminate the accumulated knowledge and expertise of the partnership, its newly developed tools and best practices to inspire and promote further collaborations and synergies on the related topics;
• Empower specialists from different fields with the tools and instruments to act freely in their daily work, with the ideas that they can implement directly.
"Good governance in sport" project has been co-funded by Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission - Sport chapter and it is a collaborative partnership that will work together for 36 months, starting from 01/01/2018 and includes 7 countries - Bulgaria - Bulgarian sports development association, Greece - ΑΕΤΟΙ ΘΕΣΣΑΛΟΝΙΚΗΣ, Italy - Mine Vaganti NGO, Croatia - Riječki Sportski Savez, Hungary - Reményt a Gyermekeknek Közhasznú Egyesület / Hope for Children Hungary, Poland - Stowarzyszenie Instytut Nowych Technologii / Association Institute of Innovative Technologies, Slovakia - A.D.E.L. – Association for Development, Education and Labor.