Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium – September 2023
The picturesque city of Louvain-la-Neuve played host to the commencement of the S2ABC European Advanced Course on Sport Administration. From the 20th to the 22nd of September, this was a hub for learning and networking for professionals in the sports administration sector, for a total of 27 participants, hailing from both the Western Balkans and the European Union.
The diversity of attendees underscores the growing significance and broad appeal of the S2ABC course.
Day 1 recap: S2ABC European Advanced Course on Sport Administration
The day kicked off with a heartfelt welcoming message from the host, Thierry Zintz. His emphasis on collaboration and knowledge-sharing served as a reminder of the course’s primary objectives.
Following Zintz, Aurélien Favre took to the podium to provide a comprehensive introduction to the S2ABC Advanced Course on Sport Administration. His insights shed light on the course’s nuances and its pivotal role in modern sports administration, preparing attendees for what to expect in the coming sessions.
The morning proceeded with Kirstie Simpson leading a refresher session. This session was specially tailored for those who attended the previous S2A course on sport administration. Simpson’s dynamic presentation style and deep expertise ensured that even seasoned participants gleaned new insights and perspectives.
Day 2 recap: A day of enriching visits and valuable insights
On the second day of the S2ABC European Advanced Course on Sport Administration, the participants, coming from Western Balkan and EU countries, were privy to a series of informative sessions and distinguished presentations that further broadened their understanding of sports administration.
The day began with a visit to the monumental European Parliament, where discussions revolved around the European Model of Sport and EU Policies. The participants immersed themselves in insightful dialogues about the priorities in sport, engaging with the renowned Sport Unit. This session allowed attendees to gain a deeper understanding of the intricate workings and policy frameworks that shape European sports.
After the enriching visit to the European Parliament, the participants delved into the existing EU funded programs, guided by EACEA representatives. This segment shed light on the beneficiaries of these programs and the procedural frameworks guiding their implementations, fostering a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter among the attendees.
Following the exploration of EU policies and programs, the participants directed their steps towards the Belgium Olympic Interfederal Committee. Here, an array of presentations awaited them, providing a closer look at the NOC’s functions and initiatives.
The highlight of this visit was a presentation by Jean-Michel Saive, the BOIC President and a former Olympic athlete, who enlightened the participants about the role of a National Olympic Committee (NOC) towards Olympic athletes. Saive’s unique perspective, derived from his journey as an athlete to his current presidential role, enriched the discourse, offering invaluable insights into the support structures and strategies deployed by NOCs for athletes.
Matthias Van Baelen, the External Affairs Manager, took the participants through the intricacies of the sport system in Belgium. His detailed exposition allowed the attendees to comprehend the structural, administrative, and operational aspects that define sports in the country, drawing parallels and learning from the Belgian model.
Day 3 recap: Integrity and equality in sport
The third day initiated a profound exploration into safeguarding values in sports with Tine Vertommen. The discussion unveiled strategic insights into establishing harassment-free sports environments. Tine’s expertise highlighted the importance of constructing and preserving secure, respectful spaces, ensuring the holistic well-being and unwavering integrity of every individual involved in sports.
Géraldine Zeimers illuminated the fundamental essence of equality within sports management. Innovative methodologies for endorsing inclusivity and equity were uncovered, emphasizing the crucial role of management in realizing gender balance and intensifying diversity within the sports domain.
A captivating dialogue led by Thierry Zintz marked the second segment, delineating the indispensable role of education in sculpting WADA’s anti-doping policies. Thierry’s elucidation on education’s impactful role was enlightening, reinforcing an atmosphere of fairness and integrity within the sports community.
The event concluded with reflective summations by Kirstie Simpson, encapsulating pivotal insights and orchestrating the route for forthcoming initiatives. The session was a thoughtful convergence on innovative strategies for continual advancement in sports management
The day’s final moments were dedicated to envisioning a European sports administration network. This prospective network is poised to become a vibrant conduit for past, present, and future S2ABC project participants to synergise, innovate, and elevate the realm of sports administration.
The first module of the S2ABC European Advanced Course on Sport Administration will start this November.
Gratitude extends to the European Union for co-funding this transformative project, enabling a journey of learning, growth, and development in sports administration. Special thanks also go to Université catholique de Louvain for hosting the event. Our appreciation further includes the European Parliament and Belgian Olympic and Interfederal Committee, along with all the participants and lecturers who were part of the enriching three days in Belgium.
Feel free to get in touch through the website if you want to learn more www.s2abc-sport.eu
Aurélien Favre, Executive Director of EOSE, said:
“It is an honour for EOSE to act as coordinator of such an ambitious EU-funded project with the main goal of enhancing the skills of the paid and volunteer sport administration workforce. The launch of the Course was a great success thanks to the strong commitment of the participants coming from Western Balkans and Europe/UK and the dedication of the project consortium.
We look forward to the next steps with the delivery of the 3 online modules focusing on Project Management, Finance and Human Resources.”
- European Observatoire of Sport and Employment (EOSE) – Coordinator
- Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) – Belgium
- National Olympic Committee of North Macedonia (NOC Macedonia)
- Sport University of Tirana – Albania
- National Olympic Committee of Albania (NOC Albania)
- University of Pristina – Faculty of Sport and Physical Education – Kosovo
- National Olympic Committee of Montenegro (NOC Montenegro)
Mr Aurélien Favre – EOSE Executive Director – Click here