What's Up: It’s all about the people
There is a first time for everything. The beginning of 2014 was highlighted as the first ever meeting of ENGSO Youth Young Delegates. European Non-Governmental Sports (ENGSO) Youth organization focuses on getting the youth voice heard in the field of sport and physical activity. It is our turn now, you and me, we are advocates of this inspiring network and happy to play on the ENGSO Youth level.
Within the organization, there are several structures where volunteer activity happens constantly throughout the year. Aiming to further develop this structure by including young people in project activities and continuing to build up a database to encourage more volunteerism in member organizations structures and in more parts of Europe, Young Delegates Network is enabling access of activities and experiences to wider groups of young Europeans. Believing in voluntarism and motivated youth, ENGSO Youth Committee agreed that one of the priorities will be empowering and including ENGSO Youth Young Delegates in most of the activities. Call for new Young Delegates has been launched and among number of applications, ENGSO Youth committee voted 12 young professionals to join the team.
Coming from all over Europe, the delegates joined together in Berlin to meet and get to know each other as well as to exchange, explore and define together some pathways for collaboration. Not only are their different background and cultures, they are all sharing a common passion about active lifestyle to the rhythm of sport and physical activities. The thorough discussion we had led us to realize to what extend ENGSO youth can be a collaborative platform to nurture relevant networks and projects but also to test ideas. Offering a good mix of formal and informal sessions, the first of its kind meeting allowed each participant to express his/her will and wishes. We all felt comfortable to express contradictory ideas, give critical feedback and raise hot issues from sport as a tool to raise youth employability to the impact of mega-events, from Olympism bright and dark sides. Through this constructive dialogue, we got the chance to discover we are all animated by a will to learn and share but also an ambition to contribute as much as we can to the recognition and development of sport and physical activity as a global culture where movement and play are the focal point.
Interesting enough to be noted, in what is still consider as a male bastion -in the world of sport- there were more ladies attending than men. This is for sure not the only reason why I am convinced that these meetings and kind of platform contains the fruitful roots necessary for the future of sport but it rather highlights some refreshing winds. The most promising part of this group is the certainly that it gathers committed young sport advocators and workers with transversal skills. The future of sport will certainly not be only built by the young generation but it will get a chance to be brighter if their voice can be mainstreamed and if opportunities are given to them to learn from experienced leaders while in the same time contributing to the reflection and action frameworks.
“It’s all about people” as we said in Berlin. No doubt this group of responsible young people is ready to take over challenges, inspiring each others as never before and together having the potential to contribute to the reflection on sport and physical activity. We believe sport and physical activity can be part of a “happiness therapy” for the whole society and it is of high importance in time of crisis to stand up and speak up for it…. Just think of the potential of sport tourism... or sport's role in increasing employability & health care savings... not to forget the simple joy of play! It is our responsibility to contribute turning the tide of inactivity. Let me remind a quote by Vincent Van Gogh: “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together”. This first meeting with ENGSO Youth Family was undoubtedly a small thing which will hopefully lead to many others. Ready, steady, go!
The author Carole Ponchon is an ENGSO Youth Young Delegate and EOSE PR & Project manager; she obtained an East/West European Business Studies Degree from the University of Vaasa and afterwards graduated with a double master in Marketing (Business School) and in Engineering & Sport Management (University of Technology of Troyes).
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