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Sport for all: a bridge to equality, integration and social inclusion

Resolution 2131 (2016)

Author(s):
Parliamentary Assembly
Origin
Assembly debate on 12 October 2016 (32nd Sitting) (see Doc. 14127, report of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, rapporteur: Ms Carmen Quintanilla). Text adopted by the Assembly on 12 October 2016 (32nd Sitting).
1. Sport is one of the most popular activities in our societies and is by far the most prevalent among associations. In addition to the improvement in physical and mental well-being brought about by engaging in physical activity, sport plays an important role for social cohesion by providing opportunities for people of different genders, abilities and nationalities or from different cultures to meet and exchange ideas, thereby strengthening the culture of “living together”.
2. The Parliamentary Assembly notes, however, that sport for all is not yet a reality and wishes to encourage the adoption of a more integrated and a more dynamic approach to promoting access to sport in the Council of Europe member States.
3. To this end, the Assembly recommends that member States:
3.1 refocus the priorities of their sports policies to highlight the contribution of sport to achieving the objectives of other policies, including those on health, social cohesion, education, youth, non-discrimination, and the reception and integration of migrants;
3.2 strengthen the collaboration of public institutions working in these areas, especially when they are in contact with young people and vulnerable groups, and increase the synergies between their activities and those of sports organisations so that the various stakeholders together play an active role in combating all forms of discrimination in sport.
4. In this context, public authorities should in particular:
4.1 involve school and university sports to a greater extent in the promotion of “sport for all”, in co-operation with sports organisations, especially in order to reach a younger population and reduce “dropping out of sport”;
4.2 support associations and organisations which promote activities that afford an opportunity, through sport for all, to bring together different sections of the population, in particular girls and boys, people with and without disabilities, people from different communities, people who are isolated and those who are socially integrated;
4.3 establish, in close co-operation with sports organisations, mechanisms for regular and systematic monitoring of discrimination in the field of sport, including incidents of discrimination based on a person’s disability, racial, cultural or ethnic identity, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sexual characteristics, in order to improve risk analysis in this area, explore targeted prevention strategies, facilitate the lodging of individual complaints and ensure that they are properly investigated;
4.4 involve equality bodies and national human rights institutions to a greater extent in combating discrimination in sport, promote their co-operation in running awareness-raising activities, and authorise these bodies to participate in legal action brought against perpetrators of discrimination;
4.5 initiate deliberations, together with sports organisations, on a better way of redistributing revenues generated by top-level professional sport – especially by the major sports events that attract large television audiences – in order to allocate a percentage of those revenues to projects aimed at improving access to sport for all;
4.6 pay particular attention to the gender dimension, and in this respect:
4.6.1 recognise women athletes’ achievements and encourage young women to participate in sports; seek to reduce the gender-based remuneration gap and award disparities;
4.6.2 significantly increase media visibility of women in sport, notably by devoting more public service broadcasting airtime to women’s sport and by promoting a non-sexist view of sport;
4.6.3 recognise the importance of increasing the number of women board members in sports organisations at all levels in order to remedy the current gender imbalance within these sports organisations;
4.6.4 ensure provision of “girl-friendly” sports facilities in disadvantaged neighbourhoods that would allow girls and young women to have access to sport without fear, free from violence or apprehension with regard to the way they are perceived in the neighbourhood;
4.6.5 encourage girls and women to become coaches and leaders in all fields of sport;
4.6.6 commit to eradicating all forms of discrimination and stigmatisation based on gender, gender expression or sexual orientation in all aspects of sport, including policies, practices, administration, funding, programming and training; in particular, hold individuals accountable for the use of sexist language in sports competitions;
4.7 intensify efforts towards the inclusion in sports activities of persons with disabilities and support a wider media broadcasting of sports events involving them;
4.8 seek practical solutions that enable irregular migrants to access sport, including by making sports facilitators available;
4.9 broaden the scope of action in all areas that have an impact on access to sport, making it more inclusive; in particular, encourage investment in accessible infrastructure;
4.10 include sports associations and non-governmental organisations in the decision-making processes that affect urban planning in order to enhance access to sport for all;
4.11 foster the establishment of sports clubs in rural and disadvantaged urban areas and take measures to provide accessible, affordable and youth-friendly public services in the field of sport, as requested by Committee of Ministers Recommendation CM/Rec(2015)3 on the access of young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods to social rights;
4.12 encourage the training of sports instructors in the principles and good practices of citizenship education, respect for diversity in a multicultural society, awareness of and ways of fighting all forms of gender bias and discrimination, and inclusion of people with disabilities;
4.13 promote the concept of “sport on prescription” at local level, in co-operation with local and regional authorities;
4.14 support wide-ranging research on sport and social inclusion, in order to promote evidence-based policies and well-informed decisions in the field of sport.
5. The Assembly calls on member States to support the work of the Council of Europe Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS) on access to sport for all and invites the countries that are not yet members of this partial agreement to consider joining it.
6. The Assembly highlights the benefits which could be gained from establishing a European “sport for all” label endorsing projects set up for the development of inclusive sports activities.
7. The Assembly recognises the fundamental role of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in fostering equal access to sport for all and in changing mentalities, and the roles of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the International and European Federations of Adapted Physical Activity (IFAPA and EFAPA) in co-ordinating research and information. The Assembly therefore calls on the IOC to develop a comprehensive programme for the promotion of sport for all and the fight against all forms of discrimination, in close co-operation with national Olympic committees, international sports federations, athletes and IOC-accredited organisations, also seeking the active involvement and support of media broadcasters and sports brands, through partnership agreements with them.
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