Is your country in need of better sports governance? Play the Game now opens its study to the world
14.03.2018By Christina Friis Johansen
With constantly accelerating speed, the issue of good governance in sport has climbed to the top of the international sports political agenda over the past few years. At the grassroots level, local, regional and national sports organisations are increasingly expected to deliver on larger societal objectives such as promoting sports participation, physical activity and health, social inclusion and gender equality in return for public support. It is becoming increasingly evident that behind the very different and complex challenges lies one common denominator: The need for better governance in sport.
To heed this call, Play the Game now opens up for including new countries across the world to join its National Sports Governance Observer (NSGO) project.
This project aims to benchmark sports governance at national level, assisting and inspiring national sports federations to raise the quality of their governance.
Furthermore, the data collection process enables sports leaders and experts to make comparisons between individual sports, countries and between the national and international level.
In a preliminary report, you will find a copy of the 'National Sports Governance Observer' benchmarking tool developed by Dr. Arnout Geeraert from KU Leuven in cooperation with other project partners.
The NSGO has taken off with support from the EU programme Erasmus+ and involved from the outset researchers and sports organisations from eight European countries: Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Romania.
Later, Brazil and Montenegro have been added to the group thanks to earmarked support from the Danish Parliament and the Council of Europe.
Although the project is still not concluded, the NSGO has drawn active interest from sports officials, government officials, and academic researchers in more than 30 additional countries around the world.
Open for new stakeholders
In an attempt to respond to the interest, Play the Game now opens up for admitting new stakeholders from new countries into the NSGO process.
“We are extremely encouraged by the outside interest and we believe we can manage the inclusion of quite a few more countries, so we can have an even broader foundation for comparing standards across nations through the National Sports Governance Observer”, says Jens Sejer Andersen, international director of Play the Game.
The terms for joining the project have now been defined and Play the Game is opening a procedure for allowing new countries into the National Sports Governance Observer group to become part of the international benchmarking efforts, with immediate effect.
New partners in the project will need to, among other:
- Secure and finance qualified research capacity equal to one full time researcher over 2-3 months,
- Apply the governance indicators on five compulsory sports (athletics, football, handball, swimming, and tennis). Verify data with the relevant national federations,
- Deliver a report including a summary of the results written in English on the basis of a standardised template,
- Delivery of a national report.
In return, new partners will have the right to:
- Utilise the tool of 274 indicators developed by Dr. Arnout Geeraert in cooperation with the existing NSGO group
- To use the scoring methodology for comparing national data with results from other countries,
- Following approval, to use the title of 'Official National Sports Governance Observer partner' and the NSGO logo in activities promoting the Project,
- To get its main results published on the communication platforms of Play the Game.
A modest administration fee will need to be paid by all new partners to Play the Game for coordination and assistance in the project.
If you are interested in applying for becoming a part of the National Sports Governance Observer project, please find more information on the NSGO project site.
For your calendar: The EU-supported part of the NSGO project concludes with a presentation of the final results at a public seminar in Leuven, Belgium, 13 November 2018. The entire NSGO project will continue in the years to come.