Final Day of the European Youth Sport Forum: OUTCOME OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS

sportmt March 14, 2017 0

Her Excellency, the President of Malta, Marie Louise Coleiro Preca addressed the European Sport Forum as it was brought to an end through a round table discussion.  The President stressed on the importance of sports being accessible to everyone especially those families living in poverty. She also remarked that sport should be used as a tool that unifies people.

The outcomes of the forum were presented together with the recommendations to the European Union Commission, representatives from the Member States, the Sport Movement and other stakeholders.

The main recommendations that derived from the three day forum focused on:

Healthy Living through regular physical activity, whereby facilities should be increased and already existing potential locations used as sports facilities so as to maximise all resources available.

Social Inclusion was identified as the second recommendation and focused on the participation of volunteers to work in this field in the light of the migration influx. An appeal to the European Union was made to embark on a promotional campaign.

Finally the third recommendation in view of Sport Diplomacy suggested that exchange between European citizens should be increased. Moreover it was also proposed that elite athletes should share their experiences at grassroots levels.

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Day 3 of The European Youth Sport Forum: SPORT DIPLOMACY

sportmt March 13, 2017 0

The theme of Sport Diplomacy was central to the third day of the Forum. The participants were engaged in the presentation as the forum kicked off with a panel discussion with the participation of panellists hailing from different walks of life. The members of the panel were Steven Fenech, who is a professional local wheelchair dancer, Vlada Kravchecko, a Maltese Paralympian and Ambassador of SportMalta in the European Week of Sport and Mr Robert Portelli, Director of Programmes at SportMalta. All three gave their input on how throe backgrounds and experiences contribute to establishing sport diplomacy and highlighting the real meaning behind this theme.


The day was then characterised by another panel discussion concentrating on intercultural dialogue through sport which is so vital for Sport Diplomacy. The panel discussion was this time made up of three participants: Rachid Chouhal who is an Athletics National team Athlete, Milos Stanisavljevic, a former Handball Serbian National Team player and Elena Malikova, Head of Unit of International Cooperation in Sport from the Ministry of Education, Science, research and Sport of the Slovak Republic. The discussion underlined the integration of athletes through sport in any society and how sport can bring together different cultures. All three speakers spoke about their personal experiences.

At the end of the forum the participants again participated in a number of workshops and gave their input in the drafting of recommendations in the field of Sport Diplomacy. Following this the participants were given a unique opportunity to visit the Maltese parliament and actively contribute to a debate with the Maltese Members of Parliament on the theme of Diplomacy.

Day 2 of The European Youth Sport Forum: HEALTHY LIFESTYLE THROUGH SPORT

sportmt March 12, 2017 0

The day kicked off with a Zumba and Piloxing session for the young participants of the Forum in line with the day’s theme: Healthy Lifestyle through Sport. This session was greatly appreciated by the Forum members and set the tone for the day’s discussion.

The first keynote speech was delivered by veteran Dr Simone Digennaro form the University of Casssino and Southern Lazio. Dr Digennaro who is also an EOSE member talked about Fighting Obesity through Physical Activity. He was followed by Dr Charmaine Gauci; Director General at the Ministry of Health gave a presentation on Nutrition and its impact on Public Health.

Again the participants were grouped for workshop to discuss and give recommendations on healthy lifestyle through sports.


sportmt March 11, 2017 0

Yesterday marked the beginning of The European Youth Sport Forum organised by SportMalta as over 120 young participants from different countries met and discussed a number of issues affecting the field of Sport. The first day of the Forum was characterised by the theme Social Inclusion and Volunteering through Sport which is one of the priorities of The Maltese Presidency.

The opening of the Forum was addressed by Mark Cutajar, Director General, Hon Luciano Busuttil , Chairman of SportMalta, Mr. Paolo Emilio Adami from ENGSO Youth, Mr. Yves Le-Lostecque, Head of Unit, EAC Sport European Commission and Hon Chris Agius Parliamentary Secretary for Sport.

The topic in discussion was aptly analysed through the keynote speakers of the day. Mr. Tobias Staebler who is the Unified Sport Coordinator Special Olympics Europe Eurasia spoke about Sport as a Catalyst for Social Inclusion. Whereas the theme Volunteers in the Centre of the World was presented by Ms. Lara Tonna, lecturer at The University of Malta.

Nevena Vukasinovic gave an overview of the Pink Paper, which is a document containing recommendations drawn from previous forums and spoke about what is being expected of the three day forum.

Finally the participants were able to give active input as they took part in interactive workshops discussing various themes.


sportmt March 9, 2017 0

The second day of the Forum had two very important plenary sessions. The day commenced by an introductory speech from the Sport Unit of the European Commission Yves Le Lostecque. In the morning good governance and integrity in Sport was the main theme where Malta was represented by MEP Marlene Mizzi. The discussion focused around a pledge board signed by major European Stakeholders including SportMalta and the Maltese Olympic committee, giving emphasis on the integrity of sport and values of good governance.

The highlight of day two was the presence of the European Commissioner for Sport Tibor Navracsics who alongside with Parliamentary Secretary Agius, Santiago Fisas, co-chair of the Intergroup of the European Parliament and Susanne Erlandsson, vice-President of the Swedish Sport Confederation conducted a high level debate of the future of grassroots sport.

Delegates also had the opportunity to appreciate Malta and the Maltese culture as a folklore gala dinner was organised in Rabat.

1st day of The European Sport Forum: VOLUNTEERING AND SPORT DIPLOMACY

sportmt March 8, 2017 0

The first day of The European Sport Forum opened with an introductory welcome session by Mark Cutajar, Director General for Sport followed by interventions by the Deputy Director General Education, Youth, Sport and Culture of the European Commission Jens Nymand Christensen, Petra Kammervert, chair of the CULT committee in the European Parliament and by European Olympic Committee acting President, Janez Koclijancic. Cutajar said that it is with great pleasure that the European Sport Forum will give an onset to a series of events here in Malta as it will be followed by the European Youth Sport Forum and the Director Generals’ meeting that in all will unite more than 500 delegates to our island to discuss sport. He also highlighted the work that is being done under the Maltese presidency in particular the EU Work plan for Sport and the council conclusion on Sport as a platform for social inclusion.

Various current topics where discussed during the sessions on the first day, mainly sport diplomacy, gender based violence in sport, employability, inclusion and the role of volunteers, digital technology in sport, Anti-Doping, environmental impact of sport and social platform for sports. Amongst the Maltese speakers Hon Chris Agius who is the EU representative on anti-doping was involved in a panel debate discussing what needs to be done in order to restore trust in the anti-doping system. Michael McNamee from the Swansea University in Wales and former Slovenian high-jumper Rozle Prezelj who is the Chair of IAAF athletes’ commission also took part in this debate. The session was moderated by German Station ARD presenter Hajo Seppelt.

On the other hand the Malta Basketball President Paul Sultana participated in the panel debate focusing on the possibility of having more inclusive societies in particular through the role of volunteering. This session which was all focussed around the Maltese Presidency priorities was introduced by Mark Cutajar. Cutajar highlighted the rationale behind the priorities and various best practices that Malta adapted successfully in the last years to include vulnerable members in local communities most importantly the On the Move programme, Move 360 and the horse racing academy. The European Parliament representative Bogdan Wenta, David Evangelista from Special Olympics Europe and Raimonds Elbakjans from the Ghetto Games 2016, gave their input during this session as panellists. The session was moderated by Agata Dziarnowska, Policy Officer of the European Commission. Sultana argued that in these days it is not very easy to find volunteers, and some sort of motivation and certification should be given for volunteers to be kept on board. He praised SportMalta first ever certification platform for volunteers.

SportMalta’s official EU2017 Presidency kicks off with ‘Engaging Skillful Volunteers’ Seminar

sportmt November 30, 2016 0

“Volunteers should be recognized for their work, whilst the government does its utmost to provide them with the necessary skills that are recognized and certified” said Chris Agius, Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth and Sport during the official opening of the seminar Engaging Skillful Volunteers. The seminar marks the opening of the series of events related to sports for the Maltese Presidency of the European Union.


The Parliamentary Secretary stated that although a lot of progress has been made in this sector we are still a long way in reaching our goal of having full-timers working with sports associations. He insisted that such courses are thus very important in giving the opportunity to our volunteers to be acknowledged for their work. He mentioned that this seminar precedes the HR Expert Group meeting to be hosted by Malta the following day. The experts forming part of this group are discussing important themes such as sport diplomacy, dual careers and the voluntary sector.


The one day seminar tackled a number of issues related to volunteering in sport such as good governance and the role of the volunteer. There were also a number of workshops during which participants could learn more about good practices that already exist in other countries and topics such as the role of the parents as volunteers, volunteering that leads to a career in sports and volunteering during mega events.


During his speech Mark Cutajar, Director General of Sports and the Chief Executive of SportMalta said that it is an honour for SportMalta to be entrusted by the Ministry of Education to organize all the work related to sports in relation to the Presidency. Social inclusion and volunteering are Malta’s priorities for the Presidency and so this seminar represents the first initiative in a wide and long process leading to conclusions at the end of the term. Mr. Cutajar mentioned also the authoring of Sports Work Plan of the European Union entrusted to SportMalta that presents numerous challenges as it needs to bring together the ideas of the 28 member states. Moreover he said that March will certainly be an eventful month as Malta will host the European Sports Forum, The European Youth Sport Forum and the Directors’ General Meeting amongst other activities.


The seminar was attended by over a hundred participants hailing from local sport associations, SportMalta employees and foreign guests. Professor Thierry Zintz from the University of Louvain in Belgium and Dr. Geoff Nichols form the University of Sheffield, UK were amongst the speakers. Representatives for the European Commission and the Slovak Presidency were also in attendance.


The official SportMalta website dedicated to the work related to the Presidency was officially launched during the seminar. The website also gives access to important documents to be used during the meetings that will be organized in Malta.

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Engaging Skillful Volounteer – Tweet with @SportMalta

sportmt November 30, 2016 0