World Mental Health Day at the European Parliament

World Mental Health Day at the European Parliament

10th of October every year is dedicated to the awareness about the importance of mental health. On this occasion, EU Athletes engaged with VUB, European Brain Council and EP Sport Intergroup, in organization of an event “Mental Health in Elite Sport”. Mental health and well-being is one of the main priorities for EU Athletes and our members, who are working in this area, raising campaigns and education programmes about the issue and providing services to their members.

Chris Kerr, Gaelic football player and member of Gaelic Players Association (GPA) has taken part in the event, raising awareness bout the importance of the issue while talking about his personal experiences dealing with depression and anxiety after the death of his father. Your can read more here.

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3rd International Conference on the fight against the manipulation of sports competitions

3rd International Conference on the fight against the manipulation of sports competitions

On 24-25th of September 2018, EU Athletes has taken part in the 3rd Macolin Conference organized by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. The event brought together over 160 participants from 37 countries and 23 international stakeholders.

EU Athletes has been actively involved in the Macolin Process, particularly by coordinating and representing athlete and player organizations positions within the Sport Movement Group of actors. Paulina Tomczyk, the General Secretary of EU Athletes, who was present at the conference, chaired a workshop dedicated to the Sport Movement group of actors and addressed the participants in the final session to present athletes’ perspective:

“In the context of Erasmus+ project PROtect Integrity Plus, currently coordinated by EU Athletes, we focus strongly on prevention, education and reporting. Athlete organizations are doing their part of work but nobody can tackle match-fixing on their own. Experiences in different countries show that properly composed and operational National Platforms, with the active involvement of player unions, are truly beneficial for the fight against match-fixing. For this reason we are supportive of the efforts from Council of Europe and Group of Copenhagen in terms of  national and international cooperation.”

During the conference, concrete priorities were identified, which will fuel the collective effort to be organised within the next phase of the “Macolin Roadmap”.

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EU Athletes at the EU Sport Forum 2018

EU Athletes at the EU Sport Forum 2018

Hosted by Tibor Navracsics, the Commissioner responsible for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, the 2018 EU Sport Forum has taken place in Sofia on 22nd and 23rd March.The EU Sport forum is the most important event in the European sport sector and an opportunity for EU institutions and Member States to engage in dialogue with the sport movement.

EU Athletes was present during the Forum, representing the voice of organized European athletes and participating in interesting discussions on the topics such as role of sport in international relations, sustainability of the Olympic Games, impact of the recent decision in the ISU case on the sport movement and implementation of EU Workplan for Sport.

Natalia Orive, the Vice-President of EU Athletes participated in the discussion panel “Women in sport: breaking the glass ceiling” and talked about the results of the SWAFE project and the role of player unions in advancing gender equality in sport.

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EU Athletes at Play the Game 2017: Riding waves of change

EU Athletes at Play the Game 2017: Riding waves of change

Play the Game is a biannual conference addressing a number of challenges to modern sport, such as corruption in sports organizations, match-fixing, doping, unsustainable mega-events and the need for more active sports participation policies. Play the Game 2017 “Riding the waves of change” gathers almost 450 journalists, scientists and sport officials on the 26-30th of November in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

EU Athletes Policy Officer Paulina Tomczyk has taken part in the panel “Reform in sport: An inside job or an outside intervention?”, highlighting in the speech the fundamental role of good governance in sport for athletes and the need for their equal participation in the reform process as well as the risks of uncontrolled and unconditional “autonomy” of sport organizations brings.

In the session “Athletes and Anti-Doping: Privacy and Participation” Paulina has also presented “Study of Monitoring Practices of European National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs)”. This research project, completed by Paulina together with Walter Palmer and Jeff Reymond, highlights poor reporting practices (low availability of the annual reports and fragmented data included) of European anti-doping organizations.

More information on the Play the Game 2017, including photos and videos from the sessions, is available on the website.

Photos: Thomas Søndergaard/Play the Game

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“Tackling Corruption in the European Sport”

“Tackling Corruption in the European Sport”

The event organized by the Greek MEP Stelios Kouloglou has taken place in the European Parliament in Brussels on the 7th of November. The conference has gathered many interesting speakers including representatives from the European institutions, as well as the research and sport, in order to discuss the problem of corruption, match-fixing and doping. Our Policy Officer Paulina Tomczyk has taken part in the panel and had an opportunity to highligh the importance of good governance in sport, the role of athletes in reaching this goal and the issues related to the specificity and autonomy of sport in this context.

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Gender Equality Index 2017 includes data on decision-making in sport for the first time

Gender Equality Index 2017 includes data on decision-making in sport for the first time

The Conference for Gender Equality Index 2017, the document prepared by EIGE (European Institute for Gender Equality) and outlining the gender gaps in different areas has taken place in Brussels on the 11th of October 2017.

The Index included for the first time data on decision making in sport and our Policy Officer Paulina Tomczyk participated in the event to comment on the results. Across Member States, the representation of women among the top decision-making positions in sports organisations remains very low. On average in 2015, only 14% of all positions were occupied by women, ranging from 3% in Poland to 43% in Sweden.

During the discussion panel on decision making in sport, research and media, Paulina pointed out that gender equality in sport is not possible without the equal and fair treatment of elite women athletes, especially when it comes to their status, working conditions and the labour rights, including pregnancy and maternity protection. What is more, EU Athletes believes that the EU and the Member States need to be more proactive in supporting the gender equality in sport to make sure that the sport governing bodies introduces real changes in their governance.

EU Athletes considers gender equality as one of its priorities, which is also supported by our work within the Erasmus+ “Supporting Women Athletes from Europe” (SWAFE) project. We are happy to say that thanks to a real commitment to improve gender balance, we currently have three women represented on our Executive Board (38%).

More information about the Gender Equality Index 2017 and the Conference is available here.

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