‘Improving player associations’ support for women athletes’

‘Improving player associations’ support for women athletes’

Over the course of last year, EU Athletes has been coordinating an Erasmus+ project ‘Supporting Women Athletes from Europe’ (SWAFE). Project partners included WGPA (Gaelic sports, Ireland), AJFSF (futsal, Spain) and HPVPA (volleyball, Greece). The project aimed to improve the support that the player unions are offering to their women members, and to support female athletes who are thinking about establishing an association.

The Guide, which is a result of research into experiences of female athletes and the issues identified by the player associations, exchange of experiences and best practices, and aims to provide a concrete assistance on the topic, is available here.

Recently, we have seen many female athletes aroundthe World raising their voices and taking actions against inequality or mistreatment they are experiencing as athletes. We are committed to bringing the European player associations together to work on areas of common interest, gender equality being one of its main priorities.

The European model of sport recognizes the role that the sports trade unions and player associations have in aiming to improve athletes’ working conditions and environment. Ensuring that the unions are well equipped to represent women’s interests will favour a progress in dealing with gender equality issues. Additionally, elite level athletes are the “shop window” for the grass roots and have a role to play in promoting sport participation. Promoting gender equality for them will encourage more girls to take sport seriously and engage in physical activity.

Recently, we have seen many female athletes raising their voices and taking actions against inequality or mistreatment they are experiencing as athletes. We are committed to bringing the European player associations together to work on areas of common interest, gender equality being one of its main priorities. The European model of sport recognizes the role that the sports trade unions and player associations have in aiming to improve athletes’ working conditions and environment. Ensuring that the unions are well equipped to represent women’s interests will favour a progress in dealing with gender equality issues. Additionally, elite level athletes are the “shop window” for the grass roots and have a role to play in promoting sport participation. Promoting gender equality for them will encourage more girls to take sport seriously and engage in physical activity.

More information about the project is available here.

 

 

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SWAFE conference in Athens

SWAFE conference in Athens

SWAFE, the EU Athletes project that aims to empower women athletes in Europe, held a conference in Athens earlier this week. This event gathered 20 different players association from 10 EU countries and various women sports such as handball, rugby, basketball, futsal, Gaelic sport, football, golf, and judo.

The objective of the conference was to offer women athletes from Europe a platform to exchange on best practices but also on the challenges women athletes are facing when they are trying to organise themselves into groups such as player unions.

This first ever event on gender equality organised by EU Athletes was a success and for EU Athletes policy officer Paulina Tomczyk this is just beginning:

” The EU Athletes board have decided that gender equality should be one of our priority. I was really pleased to chair this conference and see that women athletes are trying to get organised everywhere in Europe. It’s the role of EU Athletes to offer them an opportunity to exchange on the challenges they are facing : employment, equal pay, harrassement at the workplace and health and safety issues. We are looking forward to continue this intiative in the near future and we are already in touch with women representatives who couldn’t be present at the conference. This ERASMUS+ funding is a great opportunity for us to invite athletes and athletes representative to share their experience.”

Now the project staff will use the results of the conference to put together a women player’s guide that would be distributed to women players association later this year.

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Erasmus+ SWAFE project Kick-off Staff Meeting

Erasmus+ SWAFE project Kick-off Staff Meeting

“Supporting Women Athletes from Europe” is an Erasmus+ project on the topic of gender equality, led by EU Athletes in partnership with three player associations: HPVPA (Greece), AJFSF (Spain) and WGPA (Ireland). The project aims to research into and improve the situation of professional and elite women athletes in Europe, particularly by working on the best ways that the player association can represent and provide adequate support for their female members. The project staff has met for the kick-of meeting in Madrid on 25-26th of January to define the work plan for upcoming activities. During the two busy days the project team focused mainly on the preparation of the survey that will be distributed to the athletes in three partner countries and to the athletes’ associations. Discussions also included the preparation for the Big Conference that will take place in Athens in June and will serve as an opportunity to discuss the results of the research as well exchange and present the best practices and ideas.

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