GSD – Grassroots Sport Diplomacy

  • Promoter: International Sport and Culture Association (ISCA)
  • EOSE role: Contribute with expertise to IO 1 with collaborative development of definitions, theories and typologies + Leader on Intellectual Output 4: Recommendations for EU, governments and civil society to use grassroots sport diplomacy
  • Duration: 2 years (January 1st 2018 – December 31st 2019)
  • Partnership: 10 partners from 8 countries (including Brazil)
  • EU programme: Erasmus+ - Sport Chapter
  • Scope: Grassroots Sport - Sport for All

We often see diplomatic actions acted out on the international elite sporting stage: the most recent example being North and South Korea competing as one team again at the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. But what about the diplomatic gestures, partnerships and cross-border exchanges that happen in mass participation sport at the grassroots every week, away from the media spotlight?

ISCA and a cross-sector group of partners from two continents are set to explore this overlooked aspect of sport in a brand new project called Grassroots Sport Diplomacy.

The overall objective of the project is to develop the necessary foundation for a qualified and systematic role of grassroots sport in international relations, to ultimately enhance grassroots sports participation.

During the project, the partners will map grassroots sport diplomacy actions from around the world in theory and in practice, and this will include consultations with organisations who are engaging in these actions. The mapping will lead into seven pilot actions, where selected grassroots sport organisations will have the opportunity to test different approaches to diplomacy across sectors and across borders. At the end of the project the partners will propose recommendations for future work in this field and launch an online hub of new knowledge, best practices and networking opportunities for civil society organisations.

All project partners expressed:

  • A wish to be at the forefront of developments in the field of sports diplomacy as an up-and coming policy area.
  • An interest in positioning themselves and their organisations as experts and leaders in this field.
  • A wish to contribute to a stronger positioning of grassroots sports in general, and in external relations in particular.
  • A need to establish new international partnerships and networks within this topic.
EOSE – European Observatoire of Sport and Employment

A new wave for the sport and active leisure sector

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