What's up: EYSF2017 - Participant's point of view

What's up: EYSF2017 - Participant's point of view

For this month's student column, a participant of the European Youth Sport Forum 2017 reflects on his motivation to participate at the event, summarising the experience and the importance of the Pink Paper.

Let’s start at the very beginning; for me this story kicked off September 27th 2016 at the “Youth & sport: team-up for inclusive societies”, a public session in the European Parliament organized by ENGSO Youth together with the Youth Intergroup, Sport Intergroup and the European Youth Forum. The first time to hear about the so called “pink paper” and the trigger to become “an actor of change” (to quote the words of Mr Antonio Silva Mendes – former director for Youth and Sport at the European Commission).

At the European Youth Sport Forum

Maybe a word of explanation about the mentioned “pink paper” and the choice of color. Why pink? Simply to draw attention, make people curious and get noticed. After all the Pink Paper is a collection of recommendations, best practice examples and inputs composed by 120 young people from all over Europe. The composition of this Pink Paper was the goal of the European Youth Sport Forum and after 3 days of hard work the result is worth a view!

So this already gives you a picture about what the EYSF was about: 120 young people working together to shape this document. Off course this needs some planning and organization and this is where ENGSO Youth and SportMalta come in the picture. They took care of some essential ingredients - an attractive agenda, beautiful accommodation, impressive speakers and experts, visit to the House of Parliament, … to create the perfect setting for the participants. Contributions of high level speakers like Mr Yves Le-Lostecque (Head of Unit EAC Sport European Commission and Mrs Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca (the Maltese President) need special attention, therefore a big thank you to the European Commission and congratulations to ENGSO Youth and Sport Malta.

Socialising through sport at the Forum

Work had to be done and structure was needed, therefore the forum focused on three main topics: (1) Social Inclusion and Volunteering through sport, (2) Healthy Lifestyle through Sport and (3) Sport Diplomacy. A challenging cocktail to work on the three topics where the one topic was an opportunity to contribute on high level and the other was one to learn as much as possible and this in a continuous context of networking.

For me therefore the forum is easy to summarize:
3 Topics: Social Inclusion and volunteering, Healthy lifestyle and Sport diplomacy;
3 Focusses: Learning, contributing and networking;
3 Organizing partners: SportMalta, ENGSO Youth, the European Commission;
3 Days: work, sports, visits;
3 Pages: end result in terms of Pink Paper (if you print it recto-verso, and drop acknowledgements ;)

You might wonder: why Malta? From January 1st until June 30th Malta has the Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Simon Plasschaert

The author Simon Plasschaert obtained his masters degree in sport management at the University of Ghent, Belgium.

Are you a student with an opinion? We are looking for new contributors for our student column every month. Feel free to contact stc@eusa.eu to offer a piece or propose a topic.