Council of Europe wants a renewed focus on sport for all


Photo: Colourbox


By Stine Alvad
In a recently adopted report, European Council members call for more sport for all through a shift in member countries’ sports political focus towards more public health and less discrimination.

EU member states should adopt a more integrated and a more dynamic approach to promoting sport for all, says a new report from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

The report is called ‘Sport for all: a bridge to equality, integration and social inclusion’ and is authored by Spanish PACE member Carmen Quintanilla.

“Sport for all is far from being a reality. Lack of physical activity, which is a growing trend, costs economies around 80.4 billion euro a year in the EU countries alone,” says Quintanilla in a press release from PACE about the report, which was adopted on 1 June 2016.

The report recommends that member states adjust their sports policies so that they focus more on sports participation and that the collaboration between public institutions is strengthened.

The report highlights four areas that are seen as part of the public responsibility: reducing the ‘dropping out’ of sport, monitoring discrimination in the field of sport, involving equality and human rights organisations in the fight against discrimination in sport and rethinking the distribution of elite-sport revenues.

The report calls for a shift in European sports policy that incudes sport and physical activity as an “integral component of building and improving life in society”. But to make this shift, a different approach to the economic issues involved in sport is required, the report acknowledges and suggests that more funds for the sport for all area could be obtained by redistributing a percentage of the revenues that come in through professional sport to the funding of projects that improve access to sport for all.

Other proposals to concrete measures laid forward in the report include initiatives that will increase gender-equality in sport. The rapporteur, Quintanilla, suggests to reduce the gender based gaps in remuneration and prize money and to increase media exposure of women in sport e.g. by “devoting more public-service broadcasting air-time to women’s sport”.

The report concludes by underlining the importance of collaboration between the different stakeholders in the sport for all area, including national and local authorities and sport federations. This collaboration could lead to mechanisms of monitoring of discrimination in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, disability, sexuality etc.

Another outcome of collaboration could be wide-ranging research projects that would help create “evidence based policies for the future”, Quintanilla writes in the report urging the IOC and the national Olympic committee to join in and act “as a catalyst of commitment” to fostering equal access to sport for all.

The report, including a draft resolution, was unanimously adopted by PACE’s Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media.

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