New Sports Governance Center in Colorado

Photo: Iris/Flickr

The University of Colorado - Boulder. Photo: Iris/Flickr

19.11.2015

By Madita Schröder
The University of Colorado - Boulder has set up a new Sports Governance Center aiming to facilitate communication of issues in sports multi-disciplinary and problem-oriented while creating closer connections between academics and athletics.

The new Sports Governance Center set up at the University of Colorado - Boulder (CU), is among the first of its kind in the US.

“The Sports Governance Center is an ambitious new initiative at the University of Colorado -Boulder. It is proposed to be an academic unit that focuses on teaching, research and service, […] hoping to implement a new model for closer connections between academics and athletics," said CU professor Roger Pielke Jr. about the new center in an email to Play the Game.

It is embedded within the Department of Athletics, which will further strengthen the integration across campus.

Along with the university’s Athletics Director, Rick George, Pielke has been working on the idea for more than 18 months. They both hope that the center will be able to use its expertise to address the many policy issues related to sport that currently fill the news, like the ongoing FIFA and doping scandals.

“It is an experiment - a highly visible one with potentially large impact,” Pielke says in his email.

The long-term goals of the project are to develop a teaching program that could evolve into a certificate students can earn while at CU, participate in collaborative research and become a source for the public for unbiased research on major issues in sports, the founders say in an article in local Boulder newspaper the Daily Camera.

A safe space for difficult discussions
Pielke and George have great plans and visions for the newly developed center, which they hope will be able to function as an 'honest broker' in a sports world where many of the people involved in public debates have conflicts of interest.

”The Sports Governance Center intends to create a safe space for difficult conversations, in which people do not necessarily have to agree on everything, but are willing to openly and respectfully share different points of view,” says Pielke to Play the Game. He is backed by George, who envisions the center as 'a worldwide leader in discussions about sports governance issues' that will one day hold an international conference on sports governance issues.

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