European Sport Diplomacy policy development #SportDiplomacyAcademy

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European Sport Diplomacy policy development during the #SportDiplomacyAcademy


On 24th of October 2021 a lecture of the online module of Sport Diplomacy Academy was delivered and it was focused on European Sport Diplomacy policy development with the valuable insights on the topic of Prof. Thierry Zinz, Faculty of Sports Sciences of the Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium. Prof. Zinz highlighted that "Sport Diplomacy promote a sense of identity, belonging and unity beyond citizens and inspired the participants to become even better ambassadors of their sport and country. Thierry Zintz is an emeritus professor of Sports Organisations Management at the Faculty of Sports Sciences of the Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium. He was the Dean of the Faculty between 2010 and 2016. He is in charge of the Olympic Chair Henri de Baillet Latour – Jacques Rogge in Management of Sport Organisations at the same university.

In this framework, he works closely with the Louvain Research Institute in Management (LouRIM) as a senior researcher and member of the Center for Research in Entrepreneurial Change and Innovation Strategies (CRECIS). He was also Vice-President of the Belgian Olympic and Interfederal Committee from 2001 until 2017 and is President of the European Observatory of Sport and Employment (EOSE). Since May 2010, the is the director of MEMOS, an Executive Master in Management of Sport organisations, organised by the International Olympic Committee. He is a member of the Olympic Education Commission of the International Olympic Committee (since 2015) and of the Standing Committee for Education of the World Antidoping Agency (since 2018). He is Vice-President of the board of directors of Special Olympics Belgium. The online module of #SportDiplomacyAcademy is devoted onworking with media and sport for development, originally planned to be implemented in Milan, Italy.

The Sport Diplomacy Academy project is a legacy of the first Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council,which took place in the first half of 2018. The project focus on cooperation with the Western Balkans as a logical continuation of all activities carried out under the #EU2018BG Priority: Perspective of the EU and the Western Balkans connectivity, citing the Sofia Declaration and the Sofia and EU Priority Agenda for the EU and the Western Balkans. The European Union and the Western Balkans must continue to invest in efforts to strengthen cooperation and the exchange of good practices focused on democracy, security and fundamental human rights.

Project ensures the educational mobility of coaches and other staff of sport organisations (incl.volunteers) linked to professional and grassroots sport. The four mobility modules, which will be implemented in each partner country, will improve the skills and competencies of a total of 80 sports professionals, as well as their qualifications, through learning mobility. Learning mobility is planned as an investment in human capital and a contribution to the capacity building of various sport organisations with clear focus on building a network of well-trained sport diplomats.

After the implemented project mobilities, each of the partner countries will possess with at least 20 well trained “diplomats in sport suits” with great skills and knowledge in the field of sport diplomacy (policy dialogue and international relationship, campaign creation, successful communication (verbal & non-verbal), public speaking, media relationships, protocol and etiquette, EU foreign policy and values). The network that project will create (4 countries-20 people each) will focus on supporting and developing EU integration of the Western Balkans in the field of sport and will be quality provider of EU values in their local environment. For the delivery of the modules will be recruited the best EU experts in each field and non-formal educational methods are going to be used.Project involves 4 partner countries – Bulgarian sports development association – academy coordinator and initiator, Rijeka sport association, Croatia, the Italian sport organization “L’ORMA” and BRAVO – Bosnian Youth and sport NGO). Partners have been working together for several years already, implementing different scale of projects and cooperating in different frameworks in the fields of sport, education and youth policy.

#SportDiplomacyAcademy project is co-funded by the European Union and includes also the following concrete results:
• 80 “diplomats in sport suits” /20 per country/, focused on delivering EU integration in the countries of Western Balkan area through sport;
• National, regional and local dissemination events (involving at least 400 people) – multiplying effect from the acquired skills and knowledge;
• Platform for WB sport development – practical tool for resources and EU sport values with accent on Sport diplomacy and the good governance in sport.

Learning mobility will be planned as an investment in human capital and a contribution to the capacity building of various sport organizations with clear focus on building a network of well-trained sport diplomats.

Module 1 (Bulgaria): Sport diplomacy, EU foreign policy, EU values, Policy dialogue and international relationships;
Module 2 (Bosnia and Herzegovina): Summary and feedback of Module 1, local practice reports, Good governance in sport;
Module 3 (Croatia): Summary and feedback of Module 2, local practice reports, Campaign creation, Successful communication (verbal &non-verbal), Public speaking, Protocol and etiquette;
Module 4 (Italy): Summary and feedback of Module 3, local practice reports, Working with media, Working with specific target groups, Sport diplomacy for development, How to put on practice the knowledge we got.


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