FORUMS on sports democratization and on governance are underway in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Cologne, Germany respectively.
In Argentina representatives from nearly a dozen countries are attending the sixth MERCOSUR Latin American Forum on Sport, Physical Education and Recreation, which will conclude on October 8.
The forum responds to the need of promoting the social and democratic spaces for people to participate, Forum Chairman Pedro Tavosnaska told Prensa Latina.
Tavosnaska underlined that the program includes the first Latin American Race in memory of Miguel Sanchez, a young sportsman who disappeared during the last Argentine military dictatorship.
Javier Sotomayor of Cuba, world record holder in high jump, said he was pleased to have been invited to participate in this event, highlighting that since the 1959 Revolution triumphed, sports is a right for every one in Cuba.
Sotomayor underlined that the 35th anniversary of the Cubana aircraft terrorist attack, which killed 73 people including 24 young fencers, trainers and sports leaders, will be recalled during the first working day of the forum.
The previous V Mercosur Forum was held in Cerrito Island, Province of Chaco – Argentina.
The main theme convening that forum was “Public policies for the democratization of sport, physical education, leisure and recreation.” Four round tables addressed the following topics:
- Public policies and the participation and coordination with civil society;
- Teacher training and scientific development;
- Laws of the sport. Humanization and democratization; and
- Sport, Physical Education, Recreation: social rights.
Meanwhile, the seventh Play the Game conference opened at the German Sports University in Cologne on October 3rd. Around 140 speakers are addressing the conference over the next four days, and with 330 participants it is the largest conference in Play the Game’s 14-year old history.
The conference ends on October 6th, and the main themes are:
- the legacy of mega-events;
- the need for anti-doping reform;
- the struggle to create growth in grassroots sport;
- the discrimination of women in sport;
- the use of hi-tech tools to optimise performance; and
- an international debate on the links between sport and the Arab spring.
Corruption in various forms is right now on top of the agenda of international sports which has become a huge business. Officials and experts are promoting the necessity of reform and democratic governance of the sports federations as a means to protect their integrity and credibility.
David Howman, Director General of WADA, calls for a government-sport partnership leading to a global anti-corruption body, which can benefit from the Word Anti-Doping Agency’s experiences: “Sport has needed the support of governments to continue the fight against doping, and it now needs similar help in the fight against corruption,” he states.
According to Howman, the two problems are closely interlinked, and it is for this reason that WADA has been promoting the need for an independent world body to focus on corruption, which many consider to be the biggest single threat to sport.
According to UEFA President Michel Platini match-fixing has become such a threat to football that the whole integrity of the global sport is at stake.
“Football, like most sporting disciplines, is in mortal danger,” Platini warned Thursday, speaking at the first-ever UEFA Integrity Officers’ workshop..
The website for Play the Game – http://www.playthegame.org – is replete with informative documentation both on the conference and in-depth articles on topical issues in international sports.