Global initiative to tackle extremism through sport


The European Union is financing a new project with the participation of the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) and the International Olympic Truce Centre (IOTC).

The two year projects aims to introduce 'fundamental changes' to tackle extremism through sport, in partnership with a number of international partners, including the University of the Balearic Islands in Spain and the European Multisport Club Association.

The project, with the contribution of ICSS's global program 'Save the Dream', aims to utilize the potential power of sport as a tool to empower young generations with the specific goal of preventing violent extremism among young people. This project is funded by the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture of the European Union, becoming the tenth project of the ICSS that was funded by the European Union.

The partners in the new project seek to develop a network of cooperation between institutions working in the field of sport for development and peace, as well as institutions specialized in the field of preventing marginalization and extremism.

The project will give priority to the societies of countries that still separate social integration and sport. The partners will work in five developed countries (Spain, Italy, Belgium, Greece and the United Kingdom) to transfer best practices in the field of sport for development and peace and draw conclusions to treat manifestations of violent extremism in the rest of European countries. 

Over two years, the partners are looking to achieve a set of goals, including groups of experts from multiple nationalities in the field of preventing violent extremism through sport and the establishment of working groups with the participation of experts from civil society organizations, related to community integration through sport in order to build and enhance capabilities related to stemming violent extremism and treating this phenomenon through the power of sport.

The partners will also seek to develop a comprehensive guide with the participation of all specialists to set for the first time general rules and guidelines related to preventing violent extremism through sport, as well as building a cross-border network that contributes to supporting communication between governments, non-profit institutions and private sector institutions in all European countries.

Director-General of the International Olympic Truce Centre Constantinos Filis stated that extremism is a complex problem due to multiple reasons and different dimensions and results, and although it is not a new phenomenon, the new trends, patterns and types of extremism mean that it is necessary to adopt and search for non-standard solutions.

He added that they are pleased to work with the International Centre for Sport Security, and they are to benefit from the power of sport and educational programs and make them easier for children to learn from.

He said that their goal is to make sport and the culture of peace a part of daily life, especially among the younger generation, and if it seems easy in societies that have gone through conflicts on the basis that there is more room for peace, it seems more complicated in emerging societies where peace is taken for granted. In any case, there remain many challenges such as racism, exclusion and lack of cultural understanding, he pointed out.

International Centre for Sport Security CEO Massimiliano Montanari said that sport plays a decisive role in global societies regardless of what these societies are.

In this sense, if we benefit from all the positives that have been achieved in the field of sport for development and peace, then the project to cure violent extremism will benefit urban areas in European countries, he explained, adding that they, through the 'Save the Dream' initiative, are ready for the next challenge, hoping to make a difference in the lives of youth at risk. 



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