EU Athletes is a partner to ‘Strengthening Athlete Power in Sport’ (SAPIS), a project co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union. SAPIS strives to strengthen athletes’ influence and representation in sport through increasing the democratisation of sports governance and management. This is important considering that athletes are often not allowed to participate effectively in decision-making processes within their own sport.
The project, which runs from 1st of January 2020 until 31st of December 2023, is coordinated by Play the Game. Project partners include both athlete representatives and academic researchers coming from the Netherlands, Finland, Spain, Wales, and Slovenia.
When asked about EU Athletes expectations on SAPIS back in 2020, Paulina Tomczyk, Secretary General of EU Athletes, expressed:
“The importance of athlete representation in sports governance cannot be overstated. By working in partnership with athlete organisations, sports bodies can assure that the rights and interests of key stakeholders are respected so sport is being developed in a way that is beneficial for athletes and all involved. I believe the SAPIS project can help athletes realise the potential of their collective power to stand up for their rights and improve sports governance.”
On 26th of June, the SAPIS steering group met in Odense, Denmark, for a 7th meeting. The steering group meeting was arranged in connection with Play the Game 2022. During the meeting, the steering group looked over the progress of the project and discussed the outputs that are still to be developed. At current, the project partners are writing a report on a survey conducted of representative organisations for athletes. A session about SAPIS will also be held at said Play the Game conference.
More information about SAPIS is available here.