PtG Article 09.11.2021

Free webinar: Are sports federations fit for society’s demands?

Join our webinar on 23 November, as we release governance data from more than 100 federations in 15 countries. Meet the researchers and discuss with international experts like Sarah Lewis and Miguel Maduro whether sports federations are fit for society’s demands.

As many national sports federations struggle to win participants, audiences, revenues, and power back after the pandemic, it is time to stop and ask if their governance standards are at a level that make the federations able to solve the challenges.

That question will be easier to answer when Play the Game releases governance data from more than 100 federations in 15 countries on three continents. It is the second round of research using the National Sports Governance Observer tool which was originally developed with support from Erasmus+ in 2018.

Three years later, researchers from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Georgia, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Lithuania, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Ukraine and the US are ready with new data that can inform the ongoing debate on sports governance. The data has been reviewed and analysed by PhD Candidate Sandy Adam from Leipzig University who has been working part-time for Play the Game since 2020.

Play the Game now invites everyone interested in sports governance to join an online webinar entitled “Are sports federations it for society’s demands?” where the new data is launched, and a panel of international experts will debate the findings.

The webinar takes place on Tuesday 23 November from 14.00-16.30 CET, and you will receive a link to free participation if you register.

In the panel, former Secretary General of the Federation Internationale du Ski, Sarah Lewis, Professor Miguel Maduro, European University Institute, and a sports representative will discuss the findings and focus particularly on the relation of sports federations to the surrounding society.

Following a summary by Sandy Adam, four of the researchers will introduce their findings and experiences, and they will discuss the impact their studies had or is expected to get.

Last, but not least, on the same day Play the Game will launch an online version of the benchmarking tools Sports Governance Observer and National Sports Governance Observer. The online tool will enable anyone with an interest in sports governance to analyse his or her federation and compare the result with other countries or sports.

Facts about the National Sports Governance Observer, round 2

The NSGO tool was authored by Dr. Arnout Geeraert, KU Leuven, in cooperation with sports leaders and academic experts from ten countries as part of an Erasmus+ project in 2017-2018. The first report is published at

The second round of research was launched in 2019 and delayed due to the pandemic.

The lead researchers in this round are:

Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia: Marko Begović, PhD, Associate Professor, on behalf of University of Travnik, Bosnia and Herzegovina and University Union - Nikola Tesla, Serbia

Bulgaria: Petya Koseva, PhD, Ministry of Youth and Sports of Bulgaria, Sofia

Canada: Ryan Gauthier, PhD, Associate Professor, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops

Colombia: Ana María Arias, Master of Sport Sciences, Lecturer, University of Environmental and Applied Sciences (UDCA), Bogota

Georgia: Anatoli Korepanov, Co-Founder and CEO, “Sport for Development – Georgia”, Tbilisi

Iceland: Garðar Óli Ágústsson, M.Sc., Molde University, and and Jón Reynir Reynisson , M.Sc., Molde UniversityIndia: Deiphibari Lyngdoh, MBA Student, Tamil Nadu Physical Education and Sports University, Chennai

Indonesia: Renata Melati Putri, MA, Research Associate, Ganesport Institute, Jakarta

Lithuania: Irena Valantine, PhD, Professor, Lithuanian Sports University, Kaunas

Portugal: Luiz Haas, PhD Candidate, University of Lisbon and Assistant Professor, Universidade Europeia, Lisbon

Slovenia: Rožle PrezeljAthlete Rights Ombudsman, Slovenian Olympic Committee, Ljubljana

Spain: Alberto Carrio Sampedro, PhD, Assistant Lecturer, Universidad Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona

Ukraine: Olha BorysovaPhD, Professor and Vice-rectorNational University of Physical Education and Sport of UkraineKiev 

USA: Spencer Harris, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

Researchers from six of the above countries presented preliminary findings at Play the Game 2019 in Colorado Springs, USA.

Watch the webinar:

Download the report

Grass. Photo: GettyImages/Jurgita Vaicikeviciene/EyeEm
PtG Publication November 2021

National Sports Governance Observer 2: Benchmarking governance in national sports organisations

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