Final Sport Diplomacy Academy meeting has been implemented in Sofia
In the period 13-16 of December 2021, in Sofia, Bulgaria was held the final partners meeting of Sport Diplomacy Academy that gathered the organizations, implementing since 2019 the pilot initiative that is aiming to empower sport leaders from Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Italy and it delivered by Bulgarian Sports Development Association, Bosnian Representative Association for Valuable Opportunities (BRAVO), Rijeka’s Sports Association and L’Orma SSD.
Sport Diplomacy Academy /SDA/ project is legacy of recent First Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU 2018 and is focused on Western Balkans lot as a logical follow up of all implemented #EU2018BG activities: prioritizing the European perspective and connectivity of the Western Balkans, referring to the Sofia Declaration and Sofia Priority Agenda. #SportDiplomacyAcademy project ensure the educational mobility of coaches and other staff of sport organisations (incl. volunteers) linked to professional and grassroots sport. Learning mobility is an investment in human capital and a contribution to the capacity building of sport organisations with clear focus on building a network of well-trained sport diplomats.
Learning mobility as an investment in human capital and a contribution to the capacity building of sport organizations with clear focus on building a network of well-trained sport diplomats included the following educational modules:
- Module 1 (Bulgaria): Sport diplomacy, EU foreign policy, EU values, Policy dialogue and international relationships;
- Module 2 (Bosnia and Herzegovina): Good governance in sport;
- Module 3 (Croatia): Campaign creation, Successful communication (verbal & non-verbal), Public speaking, Protocol and etiquette;
- Module 4 (Italy): Working with media, Working with specific target groups, Sport diplomacy for development.
#SportDiplomacyAcademy main outputs: EU network of sport diplomats for WB’s sport development
- Project includes also the following concrete results:
- – 80 “diplomats in sport suits” /20 per country/, focused on delivering EU integration in the countries of WB area;
- – Local dissemination events (400 pax) – snowfall effect of the acquired skills and knowledge;
- – Platform for WB sport development https://www.eusportdiplomacy.info/– practical tool for resources and EU sport values with accent on Sport diplomacy and GoodGovernanceSport. Sport organizations from all over Europe are invited to join the platform and find easily their new partners in sport.
#SportDiplomacyAcademy Module 1
Sofia – 11-17/10/2019
Outstanding launch of Sport Diplomacy Academy in Sofia
In the period October 11-17, 2019 in Sofia was held the first module under the Sport Diplomacy Academy project, which brings together 80 sports administrators, coaches and volunteers from 4 countries. The first module of the Sport Diplomacy Academy has been focused on building knowledge and skills for the participants in the field of: The structure and values of the European Union and the European perspective of Western Balkans; National policies in sport; International sports structures; Power of diplomacy; Sport policy in our municipality; Horizontal character of sport; Political dialogue in sport; Economic dimension of sport; Complex security environment; Erasmus+ Programme.
The first module of the Sport Diplomacy Academy has been focused on building knowledge and skills for the participants in the field of:
- The structure and values of the European Union and the European perspective of Western Balkans (Monika Panayotova, Former Deputy Minister for the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU 2018, МEP (2012-2014));
- National policies in sport (Viktoria Slavkova, Director of European Programmes, Projects and International Cooperation, Ministry of Youth and Sports);
- International sports structures (Dobromir Karamarinov, President of Bulgarian Athletic Federation and Balkan athletics Federation, First Vice President of European Athletics and World Athletics council member);
• Power of diplomacy (Yasen Georgiev, Executive Director Economic policy institute);
- Sport policy in our municipality (Lubomir Drekov, Mayor of Lozenetz district, Sofia Municipality);
- Horizontal character of sport (Prof. Dr. Plamen Dimitrov, MD Deputy Director of the National Center of Public Health and Analyses);
- Political dialogue in sport (Christo Velkov, Policy director Special Olympics Europe – Eurasia);
- Economic dimension of sport (H.E. Konstantin Saute, Deputy Chief of Mission, Counsellor – Embassy of Austria in Bulgaria);
- Complex security environment (Yordan Bozhilov, President Sofia security forum);
- Erasmus+ Programme (Petyo Kanev – Executive director of Bulgarian Erasmus+ National Agency).
During the module in Sofia, participants had the opportunity to work in mixed groups and express their views on the functioning of the sports ecosystem, the opportunities for the development of sports and diplomacy in the daily activities of sport structures.
#SportDiplomacyAcademy Module 2
Sarajevo – 03-09/12/2019
Inspiring second module of Sport Diplomacy Academy in Sarajevo
In the period 03-09 of December 2019 in Sarajevo was held the second module under the Sport Diplomacy Academy project, which brings together 80 sports administrators, coaches and volunteers from 4 countries.
The second module of the Sport Diplomacy Academy has been focused on good governance in sport for the participants in the field of: Olympics legacy – infrastructure, emotions and people (Winter Olympic Games ’84 and EYOF 2019); Transparency in Sports with accents on values of good governance: transparency, accountability, integrity, solidarity, courage, justice, democracy; Anti-Doping – WADA code application, fundamental aims and values of anti-doping policies, good practices in the anti-doping fight; Business instruments that can be transferred to sport organizations in order to achieve proper development and sustainability; ErasmusPlus project management from the NOC of Bosnia and Herzegovina perspective; Paralympic sport – empower life-changing opportunities; Motivation for development; Testimonials and perspectives of good practices in sport sector; Woman in Sports; Legal safety in sports; Business perspective and the economical dimension in Sports.
The second module of the Sport Diplomacy Academy has been focused on good governance in sport for the participants in the field of:
• Nedzad Fazlija – Sarajevo City Council Administration Representative – Official opening and welcoming of the participants and highlighted that Sarajevo is the only city in the region who hosted two different Olympics (Winter Olympic Games ’84 and EYOF 2019);
• Peđa Đurasović – Transparency International Bosnia and Hercegovina – Transparency in Sports with accents on values of good governance: transparency, accountability, integrity, solidarity, courage, justice, democracy;
• Slobo Klačar – Fitness coach and sport scientist – Anti-Doping in the field of WADA code application, fundamental aims and values of anti-doping policies, good practices in the anti-doping fight;
• Elmir Ćera Ćerimagić – founder of the Novi Grad Sarajevo Athletic Club presented the development of Athletics in Bosnia and Hercegovina that transferred know-how on business instruments that can be transferred to sport organizations in order to achieve proper development and sustainability;
• Aela Ajdinović – Project Management from the NOC of Bosnia and Herzegovina perspective. During her presentation she pointed out that European funding in sport is crutual for Western Balkans countries and EU funded projects make a real positive change in the sports sector;
• Said Fazlagic – EYOF and NOC sports perspective of Winter Olympic Games ’84 and EYOF 2019 – Legacy (infrastructure, emotions and people) is what remains after each activity, so the sustainability need to be both planned and implemented;
• Paralympic round table with main focus “The real meaning in a sport is not the medals, the real meaning is to empower life-changing opportunities” with the participation of Ismail Zulfic – Paralympic swimming (an eight-year-old from Zenica, was born without arms and he represents the embodiment of the sporting spirit), Nermin Memic – Paralympic swimming (first representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the European Championship for persons with disabilities), Ermin Jusufović – Paralympic sitting volleyball (gold medal-winning 2004 Paralympic Team); Nijaz Memic – Paralympic skiing (first Paralympian representing his country at the Winter Paralympic Games), Amel Kapo – founder of the first Paralympic swimming club in Bosnia and Herzegovina;
• Ismir Jusko – Alpinism and extreme sport – shared his motivation that life begins at the end of your comfort zone and empowered participants to seek challenges that develop their personality, based on his huge experience, including US State Department Team Leader specialized in Anti-Terrorism and Minister of Inner Affairs, Minister for communications and traffic and Minister for veteran-related questions;
• H.E.Nicola Minasi – Ambassador of Italy in Bosnia and Herzegovina shared the perspective on sport in BIH and sport projects that the Embassy of Italy supported;
• Samir Avdic – the man that said “NO” to NBA in order to support his national team empowered #SportDiplomacyAcademy participants to take decisions that will be great for the future;
• Husnija Kajmović – Good governance in Judo Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, based on the main principles: politeness, courage, sincerity, honor, modesty, respect, control of oneself, friendship;
• Azra Numanovic – the secretary general of the most trophy and most successful women’s soccer club in Bosnia and Herzegovina, SFK 2000 Sarajevo presented – Woman in Sports – Female Football perspective: Show the greatness, power and professionalism;
• Nudžejma Softić started huge local movement URS “Trčanje i to” and shared with participants the challenges of woman management in sport during the organization of First Bosnian triathlon with the main message: “Set your goals and make the necessary steps to archive them”.
• Tarik Trbić – Football in Bosnia and Herzegovina highlighted that the the legal safety of everyone involved in sport is crucial and legislative challenges in sport in Europe are still vivid and there is a huge floor for improvement;
• Tarik Ajanović – FIFA perspective on Football presented the parallels of Europe – Asia sport governance and pointed out that governance is a very organized system of a long term project and balance of powers and key decisions has to be focused on organization benefit;
• Vedran Vukotic – KPMG in Bosnia and Herzegovina presented the business perspective and the economical dimension in Sports.
During the module in Sarajevo, participants had the opportunity to work in mixed groups and express their views on the different aspects of #GoodGovernanceSport – challenges and perspectives in sport.
#SportDiplomacyAcademy Module 3
Rijeka – 10-16/07/2021
In the period 10-16 of July 2021 in Rijeka, Croatia was held the third module under the Sport Diplomacy Academy project, which aims to bring together 80 sports administrators, coaches and volunteers from 4 countries. The first encountering of the sport diplomats after COVID-19 pandemic was emotional and desired event that was able to gather more than 50 participants from the original project group that are passionate to continue their diplomacy journey and to learn more about the module topics of successful verbal and non-verbal communication, as well the one with public authorities, public speaking and campaign creation, marketing in sports and as well – aspects of sport diplomacy, related to the forthcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo. During the module, the sport experts has discussed as well the effect of COVID on sport sector, ways forward and possibilities of providing wider place of sport in the political agenda of the recovery world.
The third module of the Sport Diplomacy Academy has been focused on public presentation and the main messages that the expert speakers, joining the sport diplomats sent was:
• “Do not limit your dreams in sport” – Zdravko Ivankovic, Head of Rijeka municipality department for sports and technical culture during the official opening of the Academy;
• “Sustainability is the key in communication with public authorities” – Luka Dobrovic, Secretary General, Rijeka sport association for persons with disabilities;
• “Sport represents one of the foundations of our society, including wide societal effect and in this aspect – the powerful tool of sport diplomacy cannot be ignored as well. European Commission strongly supports the development of European sport sector, understanding the potential of sport in our communities” – Ognian Zlatev, Head of the European Commission Representation in Croatia
• “Communication should be a win-win situation, adding value to all participants in this process” – Vitomir Maričić, High level athlete
• “First impression is emotional, not rational. Dress, behave, and communicate in a way that reflects the audience.” – prof. dr. sc. Zlatan Car, University of Rijeka – Faculty of Engineering Professor;
• “Spoken words have much more power than written speech. Good presentations might look informal, but they are mostly highly organized” – Zdravko Ivankovic, Head of the city administration department for sports
• “Marketing is not only business function – it is a way of thinking, business philosophy, a part of everybodies business. It is creating valie for potential customers, satisfying the customers needs. Sport is not exemption in this process” – Sanda Čorak, President of Croatian judo federation
• “Japan’s Ping-Pong diplomacy is one of the first platforms in the history of modern times, revealing the power of sport. When political power, when diplomatic power are limited, power of sport still can go further. Positive power of sport should be used in all its aspects.” – Prof. Dr. Zubaidullo Ubaidulloev, Sport Diplomacy researcher, Japan
During the module in Rijeka, participants had the opportunity to work in mixed groups and express their views on the different aspects of communication and as well – to organize a public campaign in Trsat Stairs, raising awareness of the power of sport in daily life through #StreetSportCare activity that involved the citizens in the city.
#SportDiplomacyAcademy Module 4
Milan (online) – 09-11/2021
In the period 15th of September – 21th of November, 2021, the online module of the Sports Diplomacy Academy took place. The online lectures were delivered with various speakers and experts in the field of media, sport for development, social entrepreneurship in sport, policy development and more. The module was originally planned to be implemented in Milan, Italy.
The fourth module of the Sport Diplomacy Academy included the following speakers and topics:
- Access to public funds for sports stakeholders, EU Regulatory matters that have an impact on sports and institutional relations – Valerio Giovannini: Public Affairs Specialist, Executive Office/ National Governance & Global Institutions of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
- Inclusive design of sport with the concrete example of Baskin (a new sport invented in Cremona in 2003 which objective is to create an activity literally for everyone) – Alexy Valet: Consultant in Training Processes and Project Design (Sport, education, inclusion & innovation).
- Social entrepreneurship in sport in action through the sustainable model of Play More (social enterprise, based in Milan) – Luigi de Micco: co-founder of the organization presented the long path to create meaning through sport, ensuring that participation of everyone is granted, aiming to reach sport, wellbeing and integration in local community.
- How to make #SportDiplomacy more concrete and tangible? Paolo Bertaccini: the founder of “Sport4Impact” FORUM, highlighted the evidence that “sport is not good for itself: it depends on people and how they use make of it”. Ronan O’Laire, representing United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime UNODC mentioned that Governments are getting involve to tackle crime in sport, developing cooperation and coordination mechanisms.
- Didactic Communication in the School and Sport Sector – Maurizio Mondoni: Professor and researcher at the Catholic University of Milan, Meritorious National Federation Coach, Meritorious National Instructor Minibasket.
- Fundraising in Sport – Benedetto di Blasi: Fundraiser at Fondazione Milan. The main insight that Mr. di Blasi shared with the diplomats in sport suits was to “show the IMPACT of what they are doing and to do it through EMOTIONS as in sport we are “selling” dreams.”
- Promotion of Fair Play principles in sport – Gabor Deregan: Head of Presidential Office at “International Fair Play Committee”.
- European Sport Diplomacy policy development – Prof. Thierry Zinz: Faculty of Sports Sciences of the Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium. Prof. Zinz highlighted that ‘’Sport Diplomacy promotes a sense of identity, belonging and unity beyond citizens” and inspired the participants to become even better ambassadors of their sport and country.
- Working with media in Sport – Ivan Boyanov: sports journalist with more than a decade of experience in the field of broadcast media industry. He included multiple practical tips&tricks on how to be prepared for different kind of media participation, how to behave during an interview, what to consider when transmitting your message to the audience.
- Working with specific target groups – Diego Capuzzi & Bice Saccò Technician and Athlete of ASD No Limits. They included multiple practical aspects of working with persons with disabilities. No Limits is an organization affiliated with Special Olympics, who have actively participated for some time in competitions, tournaments and matches organized by the Federation.
Sport Diplomacy Academy is a pilot project co-funded by the European Union.