Brussels, 29 September 2022 - United in efforts to promote values-based sport and empower young people to become the agents of change, today EL and the European Sports NGO (ENGSO) launched the Erasmus+ co-funded ‘’Youth Integrity Ambassadors Programme’’ (YIAP) within the framework of the 2022 European Week of Sport.
A collaboration between eight European sport organisations - Swedish Sports Confederation (RF) as coordinator, ENGSO, EUSA Institute, RF-SISU Smaland, Special Olympics Euroasia Foundation, Confederacao Do Desporto de Portugal, Lithuanian Union of Sports Federations (LSFS) and Organizzazione per l’Educazione e lo Sport (OPES), this new initiative aims to empower young people to become sport integrity ambassadors in their communities and actively promote actions at local levels, fostering active participation in sport as well as building a culture of integrity within the European grassroots sport community. Over 30 young volunteers and athletes have the opportunity to engage and create momentum within the European sport community with this important initiative.
During a dedicated seminar “#BeActive for Sport Integrity” on 29 September 2022 in Brussels, inspiring speakers highlighted the importance of youth, inclusion and integrity.
In the words of Keynote speaker Paul Standaert, Secretary, Panathlon International EU Brussels and Board member, Belgian Gymnastics:
”The promotion of a healthy lifestyle linked to the development of human values is our goal. From the very start of the European Week of Sport, Panathlon has been engaged in a partnership with the European Commission to help promote the #Beactive campaign within its network. Panathlon clubs continue to organise various activities that aim at promoting ethical values among young people.”
Empowering youth for a safer and cleaner sports environment is the main message of the YIAP Programme. ''Cooperation and collaboration is a must, working together and including stakeholders from all levels - from local sport clubs and national federations to sports managers and professional athletes,'' adds Ugne Chmeliauskaite, Chair of ENGSO Youth and athlete for the Lithuanian National field hockey team.
''Supporting sport and sharing in the same values - responsibility and integrity - is in the DNA of lotteries’’, adds Olivier Alsteens, COO, Loterie Nationale Loterij, Belgium. Access to all sports from local projects to facilitate integration between communities to inspiring young athletes to participate in team sports, lotteries work for the benefit of society and continue to support sport communities to promote fair play, integrity and transparency.
Hrisitina Hristova, Project manager, European University Sports Association (EUSA) highlighted the importance of sport integrity within university sport and the promotion of fairness and fair play in sport competitions. Jenni Hakkinen, Project manager, Special Olympics Europe Eurasia together with youth athletes emphasise why inclusion and integrity matters and the importance to champion young people as leaders in sport.
By sharing the same core values of responsibility, sustainability and integrity, ENGSO and EL continue to strengthen their collaboration for sport integrity. EL supports the partnership with ENGSO with its extensive experience in working with the topic of integrity, especially in the field of sport.