European Seminar “Involving Young Migrants in Winter Sports”08 December 2011

A multipliers’ seminar, the first of its kind in Europe to address the issue of minority involvement in winter sport and the question of the exclusion of traditional immigrant communities, with a focus on the Alpine region and Scandinavia is taking place in Innsbruck on 12 January 2012, one day before the opening of the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck.

The Seminar will touch on questions of stereotypes and how winter sports can attract and recruit young talents from migrant communities.

It is very common to hear and see the involvement of minorities and people with migration background in summer sport especially football – albeit accompanying exclusion and discriminatory problems. The story is different when it comes to winter sport. This is the case at hobby, amateur and professional levels.

Minority involvement
This multipliers’ seminar is the first of its kind in Europe to address the issue of minority involvement in winter sport and the question of the exclusion of traditional immigrant communities, with a focus on the Alpine region and Scandinavia. It will touch on questions of stereotypes and how winter sports can attract and recruit young talents from migrant communities.

The seminar is an initiative by an independent group of organisations a day before the opening of the maiden Winter Youth Olympic Games (WYOG) 2012 in Innsbruck. The seminar will be attended by youth coaches and workers, sport administrators, and other multipliers and stakeholders in sports.

This meeting is part of the EU co-funded “Sport Inclusion Network (SPIN) – Involving migrants in mainstream sport institutions” (SPIN Project) which is designed to promote and share good practices across Europe on the inclusion and involvement of migrants and other third-country nationals (including refugees) through and in mainstream sport. The project aims to raise awareness about the potential positive role of sport in terms of social inclusion of migrants and intercultural dialogue.

This seminar is going to use this window of opportunity to discuss the issue of the under-representation and absence of immigrants in some of the traditional winter sports and the uniting, intercultural power of sports.

Raising awareness of exclusion
Among others, the main objectives of the seminar are raising awareness on the problems of exclusion and ethnic discrimination in European sport and foster equal rights in sport, to promote dialogue between various sport institutions and federations, migrant sport organisations and public authorities in order to make full use of the potential integrative and intercultural power of winter sports for young migrants and ethnic minorities, and to make mainstream sport institutions (clubs, associations, federations) more accessible and open to the needs and aspirations of young members of migrant communities.

Expected results from the seminar will include providing up-to-date training for youth coaches and youth sport administrators about intercultural methods, disseminating further what has been learnt by extending the experiences about best practices to other countries or sport federations, and adding to the fulfilment of the fundamental values of sports and highlighting the social responsibility of sports stake holders.

In addition to lectures, presentations and two plenary sessions, there will also be two working groups to be attended by all present.

Contact
Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation (VIDC)
Dr. Bella Bello Bitugu
Möllwaldplatz 5/3
A-1040 Vienna, Austria

e-mail: [email protected]
Tel. +43 1 7133594 – 27 or +43 650 6831842
Fax +43 1 7133594 – 73
www.sportinclusion.net
www.fairplay.or.at