Multiplier Sport Event, Sakarya (Turkey), 02. December 2022

In the scope of the SONKEI project, with the help of our Turkish partner – Kargenc Club – we organised the Final Conference for sports professionals, teachers and other stakeholders in the field of sport. The conference was organised at the local University’s Sports Faculty in Sakarya.

The conference was opened by the project manager of Kargenc Club, Elif Kayhan, the project manager of Sports Society GIB (the coordinator), Katja Rudaš and the Director of the Sakarya Provincial Directorate of Youth Services and Sports, Nevzat Inanç. Berat Ezel from Kargenc Club was the moderator of the panel.

The first part of the conference was a panel discussion on violence and discrimination and its prevention in sports. The panellists were:

Bruno Avelar Rosa – Tackling Violence in Sports.

  • Partner of Qantara Sports and a visiting Professor at the University of Coimbra and Lusofona University, both in Portugal. He is a multidisciplinary professional with extensive sports policy and education experience. He’s the author and co-author of several technical and scientific documents in the field of ethics of sports.
  • Among other sports sector topics, he has been dedicated to safeguarding children in sports, having been co-responsible for the design of the Portuguese Roadmap for Effective Child-Safeguarding in Sports Policies in the last few years. He is now developing the same process in Bulgaria as a consultant for the Council of Europe/Enlarged Partial Agreement in Sport.
  • He is an external expert of the European Commission for sports matters and a member of the roster of consultants of the World Health Organisation for physical activity matters. With a PhD in Educational Psychology and a Bachelor’s in Sports Science, Bruno is also a certified coach in Judo in Karate and a regular recreational runner.

Magali Baton – Safeguarding and Supporting sports professionals.

  • Magali Baton is World and European Judo Championships medalist. Since November 2020, she holds the position of General Secretary of the French Judo Federation. She is also the head of the working group created to tackle violence (and all kind of excesses) in Judo.
  • After several violence cases in the French Judo world and because of a strong »me too« movement, President Stephane Nomis has decided that tackling excessive behaviour in judo would be a priority of the current governance mandate. With her training in psychology and her experience as a business coach, Magali Baton understands the mechanisms of the emergence of violence. It also allows her to talk empathetically to victims when necessary.

Aydan Demiröz – Perspectives of a Young National Athlete about violence in sports and the expectations of young athletes for professional guidance.

  • She is a young Turkish National Modern Pentathlete aged 15 and a high school student. She started her sports life by swimming when she was nine years old. She has been actively doing sports for six years.
  • In 2021, she attended the elimination of the national team, and she became the champion of Turkey at her first race; then, she became a Turkish national athlete. She attended World and European Championships in 2021 and became the World Champion and won third place at the European Championship. Currently, she does her swimming and running practices six times a week and is preparing herself for the Turkey Championship.
  • Even though her young age, she faced violence and pressure from her peers and her parents. At the panel, she shared her experiences and emphasised the importance of support from sports professionals in an athlete’s career.

Their interventions remind us of what the sports system should do to create a safe environment for athletes from childhood. The main expectation during a sports career, beyond the results, is to gain support and respect as a person.

The second part of the conference was more practical in nature. The facilitators, Gianni Maman, Milena Lovato, Iris Spanjol and Jaka Kovac, presented some practical tools (exercises and games) from the Educational kit to the participants (students at the Faculty of Sports, teachers and trainers), which can be used for raising the awareness among children and youth about violence and discrimination in sports.

The response from the participants who lent themselves to the test is decidedly good, even if the debriefing-analysis part would require much more time to dissect everything they would like to share thoroughly.

Violence is not a game, but we hope a playful and active component will make a slight difference in some people’s lives.

*The panel discussion of the Final Conference was recorded and will soon be available for the general public.

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