The 4th Transnational Project Meeting of the GAMES project (Guidance to Achieve More Equal Leadership in Sport) was hosted by the Czech Olympic Committee in Prague on 14-15 November 2023.
The meeting gathered representatives from the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) of Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, North Macedonia and Turkey, experts on gender equality and sports governance such as Professor Kari Fasting (Equal Rights in Sports) and Rowland Jack (I Trust Sport). By pairing scientific knowledge with practical experience, the GAMES project aims to support NOCs in creating concrete strategies to promote gender equality in leadership and decision-making positions.
The EOC EU Office and the Czech Olympic Committee opened the two-days meeting by thanking all participants for their attendance. The scope of the meeting was to review the progress of NOCs in the implementation of their National Action Plans (NAPs) and National Launching Events (NLEs), as well as to initiate the discussion on the legacy of the GAMES project beyond March 2024. After which, a brief overview of the status of the project was provided; accordingly, the consortium was thanked for the timely and valuable contributions in ensuring that the activities and deliverables were duly and timely carried out and submitted, so far.
In a roundtable setup, each NOC showcased the execution of their NLE to the consortium. They addressed crucial aspects such as the NLE's goals, program structure, participant involvement, communication strategies, impact, and legacies, encountered challenges, and lessons acquired, fostering mutual feedback and reflection. After which, partners engaged in an open discussion in relation to the implementation of their NAP in 2023 and 2024, first addressing the good practices and common challenges and second, focusing on the foreseen next steps and necessary resources.
On the second day, the consortium welcomed two guest speakers who shared their experience, activities, and achievements in promoting gender equality in leadership positions within their NOC and beyond: Maja Poljak, Project Officer at the Croatian Olympic Committee and Amélie Fabre, Gender and Diversity Officer at the French Olympic Committee. Maja Poljak presented the activities and initiatives of the Gender Equality Commission of the Croatian NOC while highlighting the importance to support local programmes aiming at increasing the visibility of sports women on the pitch and at the workplace. Amélie Fabre provided a detailed roadmap of the programme “Club des 300”, an initiative launched by the Gender and Diversity Commission of the French NOC. The two-years training programme consists in supporting 300 women to acquire skills in various areas, such as project and financial management, leadership, public speaking, or event organisation, and thus create opportunities for women to be onboarded across national, regional, and local sports governing bodies.
An open-group discussion was then held among the consortium regarding the legacies and sustainability of the project. This exchange constituted an opportunity for partners to discuss project proposals in the continuity of GAMES, as well as to reiterate the intention to preserve GAMES consortium and sustain GAMES network beyond 2024. Therefore, the meeting represented a valuable opportunity for partners to exchange ideas and good practices whilst laying the foundation for the establishment of a lasting network committed to tackling gender equality in sport.
The EOC EU Office and the Czech NOC concluded the meeting by reiterating the importance of cooperation between NOCs to advance the project; accordingly, the Czech Olympic Committee was warmly thanked for their hospitality and outstanding organisation whilst the entire consortium was thanked for their time and contribution to boosting gender equality in sports leadership.
The next in-person meeting is the Final Conference to be held in Brussels on the 7th and 8th of March 2024; meanwhile, GAMES consortium will continue meeting online on a regular basis.
The GAMES project is a 24-month project co-funded by the European Commission through the Erasmus+ Sport Programme 2021 and coordinated by the EOC EU Office. It promotes integrity and good governance in sports by advocating for structural and cultural changes regarding gender equality in leadership and decision-making positions among NOCs and their member federations. The EOC EU Office is implementing GAMES together with 8 NOCs (Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, North Macedonia and Turkey) and renowned experts in the field of gender equality and good governance, including Professor Emerita Kari Fasting from Equal Rights in Sports and I TRUST Sport. Furthermore, the GAMES project is supported by the International Olympic Committee.