EOA Congress: Here’s what happened on Monday and Tuesday

After three years of digital exchange, the delegates finally got the chance to meet and exchange with each other again during the official congress opening on Monday. Biebrich Castle is located only a few kilometres away from the venue of the 2012 Conference of European NOAs, which took place in Eltville and which it said to be the starting point of regular exchange between NOAs in Europe. Here are a few impressions:

The 22nd of November marked the second day of the EOA Congress and concentrated on exploring and debating current issues in the Olympic Movement, which the NOAs are confronted with. The debates were held at the House of German Sport, the headquarters of the hosts, the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), the German Olympic Academy (DOA) and also of the EOA. Four sessions with different thematic focuses gave a platform for experts from various fields to deliver and discuss their opinions:

  • Perspective on politics & peace
    Prof. Dr. Juergen Mittag (German Sport University Cologne)
    Dr. J. Simon Rofe (University of Leeds)
  • Perspective on sustainability
    Jana Janotova (EOC Sustainability Commission)
    Bianca Quardokus (German Olympic Sports Confederation)
  • Perspective on integrity
    Baiba Veisa (European Fair Play Movement)
    Ingrid Beutler (Beutler International Sports Advisory)
    Kirsty Burrows (International Olympic Committee)
  • Perspective on credibility
    Stefan Klos (ProProjekt)
    Dr. Alexandre Miguel Mestre (Abreu Advogados)

The four panel topics and a very engaged audience ensured an intriguing conference day. The first two speakers allowed an in-depth insight into how sport can serve as a diplomatic instrument as well as the interplay between politics and sport and its dangers and potentials. The sustainability session provided a contextual overview and concrete examples of how NOCs and NOAs can address this matter. After lunch, the focus turned towards integrity in sports by hearing about fair play and safeguarding measures in three discerning and, at times, emotional lectures. The conference was concluded by two inspiring presentations on the awarding of Olympic Games and the implementation of human rights through the new respective strategic framework of the IOC.

Next up on Wednesday is the Fifth EOA General Assembly, followed by an afternoon social programme. The Congress will close with a workshop organised by the German Olympic Academy.

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