Informal Ministerial Networking meeting in Baku

EPAS-Council of Europe & Ministry of Youth and Sport of the Republic of Azerbaijan a couple days ago organized an event “How to promote the social sustainability of major sports events”. In that respect, a discussion document was prepared and most of the participants from their respective countries and various NGOs took a stand supporting an importance of promoting a social sustainability within legacy of major sports events. I will try to summarize it within the position of Montenegro.

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The overall the impact of sports events on a specific environment is reflected through 3 core elements:

  • Economy: increasing production, consumption, services, job creation and infrastructure development;
  • Society: the cohesion of citizens, improving vocational training / education, -increased participation in sports activities and preservation of the cultural heritage
  • Environment: resource management, waste management, protection and conservation of biodiversity, ecosystems, spatial development.

Importance for social sustainable sporting events relies on 4 pillars:

  • Culture and education,
  • Workforce skills,
  • National unity,
  • Diverse local community.

Major sport events could move particular societies up to the new overall developmental stage. At the moment, in the term of social sustainability at the European level and considering values that Council of Europe stand strong for it means following:

  • Tolerant society with wide range of possibilities,
  • Society that fosters public health, overall well-being, wide range of business possibilities, and effective use of resources,
  • High quality of educational system and health care for all.

For organizers is vital to have a clear Legacy plan which relies on general developmental strategy, acknowledging on one side strength and weakness, on another opportunities and threats.  Sustainability of the any sporting event largely depends on the possibility to involve various stakeholders:

  • Government,
  • Sport Movement,
  • Local community (city),
  • Private sector

Based on the previous, majority of the activities should be measurable. The higher interconnectivity the better outcome will be from the organized sporting event.

  • Government
  1. Increase employment
  2. Economic growth
  3. Building national identity and unity
  4. Create an added value to overall touristic opportunity
  • Sport Movement
  1. Increase participation into sport
  2. Raise a profile of particular sporting organization
  3. Increase sport infrastructre
  • Local community (city)
  1. Reduce poverty
  2. Increase employment
  3. Increase volunteering opportunities
  • Private Sector
  1. Invest in CSR (Corporate social responsibility)
  2. Build an image

An example from Montenegro

Preconditions, at the national level, for organization of various sporting events is set up by the Law on Sport. A vital requirement for governmental consent is that organizers are obliged to submit feasibility study (social-political-economic)- document need show connectivity between National Strategy in the field of sport relying on the Local action plan and other supporting documents. Team of experts within governmental body responsible for the field of sport, Directorate for Youth and Sports, is established in order to access and suggest Government of Montenegro via proposing a Conclusion on a topical issue.

Bearing in mind the above, Montenegro incorporated societal dimension of sport within preparation work on hosting 2019 Games of Small Countries on the European Olympic Committee program. In line with that, team of experts prepared a Social-Economical-Political study on how to organize an event with 10yrs Legacy plan. In the mentioned document, experts proposed the following in the line with today topic:

  • Initiative for mandatory 5hours of Physical Education for school population by 2019,
  • -II- 3hours of Physical Education for students population by 2020,
  • Every school to have at least a sporting facility,
  • Organization of at least 10 workshop on a national level for 10 volunteers from each National Sport Federation,
  • Education of future sport administrators,
  • Organization on regular basis sport fairs and festivals in order to attract general population,
  • Long-term plan for sport-infrastructure development of Montenegro.
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