The Leadership in Sports Conference took place on Monday 24th October in the EESC. This was the result of a partnership between the Center for Creative Leadership and the European Economic and Social Committee. This very successful event brought together around 60 participants from different professional and academic backgrounds with a strong interest and passion for sports.
I addressed the participants highlighting the value and commonalities of leadership, sports and entrepreneurship - I praised the organisers for their inclusive approach, not only in terms of diversity but also social inclusion in reviewing the areas of migration, immigration and refugees. Focussing on the added value of the inclusion of all dimensions of civil society I encouraged the participants, mainly young men and women to actively engage in both leadership roles and policy to promote the positive impact of sport on societies in Europe.
A range of speakers covered wide topics providing different perspectives and opinions as well as concrete examples of how sports can be used to improve our own life and that of others living in difficult conditions.
The Conference kicked off with a brief introduction of CCL’s work which was followed by two very dynamic and fascinating speeches by CCL’s Dave Altman and Jeneva Patterson. Claire Michel, an Olympian who participated in Rio’s Olympic Games as a Triathlete, closed the first session with a really powerful and moving life story.
The second part of the conference focused on concrete examples of sport projects that are running across the globe to help people living precariously to improve their lives and that of their relatives. Lars Koenig, who works in Development and Cooperation, presented on volunteering and sports projects running in South Africa that aim at improving the life of people in disadvantaged areas. Emanuele Angioni, another CCLer, spoke about a project that he ran in a penitentiary in Luxembourg which used Rugby and Leadership to re-integrate and re-socialise inmates in view of their return to society. Miguel Gallardo, who also uses rugby as a integration and inclusion tool, spoke about how sports can be used to spread a message of tolerance and respect for all diversities.
The project has inspired participants to get involved or launch projects that use sports keeping in mind that these are more successful when coupled with leadership development components.
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