27 Oct 2022

EOC President Capralos addresses Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Sport

Categories: EOC

President of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) Spyros Capralos spoke at the 17th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Sport, which took place from the 25-27 October, in Antalya, Turkey.

Organised by the Council of Europe Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS) in co-operation with the Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Turkey, the conference brought together ministers responsible for sport of 54 countries with representatives from the sport movement, intergovernmental organisations, international bodies and other key stakeholders to actively discuss the benefits of sport from a mental, physical and societal perspective.

The conference was split into two themes focused on “Sport for all: Uniting Us for Stronger Societies” and “Rethinking Sport: Leading the Way for a Healthy and Sustainable Future”.

During his speech on the theme “Rethinking Sport: Leading the Way for a Healthy and Sustainable Future”, President Capralos spoke on the challenges facing Europe at this time, including the effects of conflict and war, climate change and a global energy and food crisis and the cost-of-living crisis, all of which are having an impact on sport in many ways.

He highlighted the commitment of the Olympic Movement to enable more active and healthy communities. From an EOC perspective he shared the EOC’s efforts in promoting the values of sport and healthy lifestyles across Europe through initiatives organised for the European Week of Sport (EWoS). One such activity was the participation of Members of the EOC Executive Committee in a relay as part of the #BeActive campaign in Ancient Olympia, Greece. The objective was to encourage the continents youth to be more active, and this was shared across the EOC’s social media channels.

President Capralos then spoke about the IOC’s commitment to make the Paris 2024 Games the first fully gender-balanced Games. He also highlighted the European Games taking place next year and said, “I am delighted that the third edition of the European Games next year in Krakow, which will feature many Olympians seeking to secure their place for Paris 2024, will be gender equal for the first time.”

Additionally, President Capralos stressed to representatives the importance of Sustainable Development – which is one of the Key Strategic Priorities for the EOC – in building a better future for the next generation and explained innovative approaches that could be activated to utilise sport as a driver for long-term sustainability. He informed participants of the EOC’s intention to become a signatory of the UN Sport and Climate Action framework, which would see the organisation adhere to a set of five principles that will be incorporated into the EOC’s strategies, policies and procedures for the foreseeable future.

A panel discussion then took place, during which, President Capralos answered questions on how economic sustainability and good governance can be best enhanced. Other speakers on the panel included Paralympic Gold Medallist in Archery Gizem Girişmen and silver medallist at the Olympic Games Beijing 2008 in sailing Marcelien Bos-De Koning.

“The IOC is already a climate-neutral organisation and aims to be climate positive by 2024. Leading by example, sports organisations can inspire not only those involved in sport, whether professional or grassroots, but also the general public who can be made aware that every small environmental gesture helps the planet. Regarding good governance, sports organisations, as values-based organisations, have the duty and responsibility to ensure that the principles of good governance are upheld in all their activities. The IOC has been closely cooperating with the Council of Europe and other partners through the initiative International Partnership against Corruption in Sport (IPACS) to address the importance of strengthening good governance as a mitigating factor of corruption,” said President Capralos.

You can read more about the programme of the conference here.