On Tuesday, 17 September 2020, ISF participated in the European Commission’s High-Level virtual conference on recovery of sport sector after the Covid19 crisis.
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, opened the conference and welcomed the participants with a reminder that sport is an important part of Covid-19 recovery.
With his key note speech Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, emphasised that sport is widely recognised as an essential factor in fighting the pandemic, and should be an integral part of the solution and the recovery.
He also highlighted the importance of Olympic values in recovering: “Solidarity is at the heart of the Olympic Games. In these difficult times we need these (Olympic) values more than ever.”
Marisol Casado, Member of the International Olympic Committee and President of the International Triathlon Federation agreed on the importance of unity and Olympic values: "We (IOC) have a slogan Stronger Together. Olympic movement was very clear: it wants to help. The model is solidarity."
Marc Tarabella, Member of the European Parliament, Co-Chair of the Sports Group discussed the importance of including schools and school sport in the recovery process: “"We have to make more effort to integrate more sports at schools."
The conference hosted two panels: ‘Key challenges and lessons learnt from the crisis for grassroots sport organisations’ and ‘The impact of the crisis on growth and jobs in the sport sector and possible ways to recover’. Other panellists included:
- Jean Gracia, President of the European Athletics Championships Paris 2020,
- Gerd Kanter, Chair of the Athletes’ Commission of the European Olympic Committees, Olympic Champion in discus throw,
- Stephan Mayer, Parliamentary Secretary of the State, Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the EU Julien Zylberstein, Chief of Governance & Stakeholder Affairs of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)
- Anna-Kaisa Pusa, Mayor of Kurikka, Finland
- Tiago Brandão Rodrigues, Minister for Education, Portugal
- Manuel Pauser, Vice President for Global Government & Community Affairs at adidas and Vice President of the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI)
- Kirstie Simpson, Secretary General of the European Observatoire of Sport and Employment (EOSE) and Associate Dean of the Chester Business School, University of Chester
The conference was closed by Mariya Gabriel who mentioned the increase in funding of the Erasmus+ Sport programme and the importance of sport as part of the solution in recovering from Covid-19 pandemic.
In October, ISF Active Girls’ Lead (She Runs) project was selected for the Erasmus+ Sport programme funding (not-for-profit European sport events). The project is the first international school event to promote girls’ health, emancipation, and leadership through school sport. ISF Active Girls’ Lead will take place in 2021 in Brussels, Belgium.