Promoting inclusion and combating discrimination in European grassroots sport.
Erasmus+ project led by EGLSF
The EuroGames Bern 2023 was the opportunity for us to host on July 27th the 1st hybrid partnership meeting of the project +PLUSS “LGBTQI+ Policy and Leadership in Sport and Society”,
It was the project's first opportunity to meet face-to-face, with most partner representatives attending in person, while others connected online.
The +PLUSS Erasmus+ project aims at promoting inclusivity and combating discrimination in European grassroots sport, bringing together other European partners such as the German Sport University of Koln, the International Centre of Ethic in Sports and 6 LGBTQI+ sport clubs (the Croatian “Queer Sport Split”, the Belgium “Out for the Win”, the Hungarian “Atlasz Sport Club”, the Slovenian “Out in Slovenia”, the German “Team München” and the Danish “Pan Idræt København”.
The project's primary focus lies in enhancing the inclusion and participation of athletes with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and sex characteristics.
This endeavour sets out to establish an inclusive sport culture that embraces the rights of LGBTQI+ individuals.
BUILDING COOPERATION AND UNDERSTANDING:
One of the specific objectives of the project is to foster cooperation and understanding among LGBTQI+ sports clubs in Europe. By establishing a network that offers support, motivation, and accountability, the project aims to empower sport clubs and their leaders to deliver impactful interventions for LGBTQI+ sport participation. Through collaboration and shared experiences, these clubs will work towards overcoming discriminatory practices and creating safe and inclusive environments for all athletes.
UNDERSTANDING MECHANISMS FOR INCLUSION:
A vital aspect of the project is to gain a comprehensive understanding of successful mechanisms and interventions to tackle exclusion and improve LGBTQI+ inclusion in sport. Through research and analysis, the consortium aims to develop a Research Report that will serve as an evidence base for effective interventions. Additionally, the project will establish Community Guidelines, providing principles and guidance for LGBTQI+ clubs and initiatives to thrive. This knowledge-sharing initiative will enable the growth of LGBTQI+ clubs and the creation of safe spaces within mainstream sport.
EMPOWERING LGBTQI+ SPORT LEADERS:
To ensure the long-term impact of the project, a key focus lies in empowering LGBTQI+ sport leaders and clubs. By increasing their capacity and ability to cooperate with mainstream sport, these leaders will be better equipped to provide inclusive and safe environments for individuals who have been excluded from existing sport structures. Through capacity-building activities, training, and mentorship, the project aims to create a network of empowered LGBTQI+ sport leaders who can drive change within sport and society.
ADVOCACY AND POLICY DEVELOPMENT:
Advocacy plays a vital role in promoting inclusivity, and this project recognizes the importance of advocating for policies and practices that accelerate the inclusion of LGBTQI+ people across Europe. The consortium will produce a Purple Policy Paper, offering policy recommendations to policymakers at local, national, and European levels. These recommendations will pave the way for an inclusive and accepting environment for LGBTQI+ individuals in sports.
EXPECTED OUTCOMES AND IMPACT:
Over the course of the project, significant outcomes and impacts are expected. In the short-term, the six sport clubs will implement anti-discrimination strategies, fostering change in practices related to growth, sustainability, and advocacy. These clubs will also develop a strong sense of community, supporting each other even after the project's conclusion.
In the mid-term, the project aims to empower individual clubs and sport leaders to establish new clubs or enhance existing structures by providing concrete guidance through the Community Guidelines. The LGBTQI+ Sport Leaders' Summit, an annual event, will further support regions and contexts where LGBTQI+ sport is still emerging, promoting knowledge exchange and addressing barriers to inclusion.
Ultimately, in the long-term, the project aims to establish a wider community of sport leaders who advocate for the rights and inclusion of LGBTQI+ individuals. By improving contextual structures and raising awareness through research, policy recommendations, and dissemination, this project strives for lasting change within sport and society.