Liège, Belgium, February 2020 – The partners in the Efus-led, MATCH-SPORT European project (Make Amateur Sport Tolerant by Eliminating Racism and Discrimination) took part in their third coordination meeting on communications and the upcoming pilot projects, on 27-28 February in Liège (BE).
The objectives of the meeting were to define the key messages and communications strategy; to prepare the pilot actions to be carried out by the partners, and to schedule the training sessions to be designed by the project’s experts.
> An online communication campaign
The communication campaign will be mainly disseminated online, in particular through Instagram and Facebook, and will start during the European Week of Sport, in September. It will consist in disseminating a new message every week up until Efus’ “Security, Democracy and Cities” international conference (25-27 November, Nice, FR), during which the campaign’s results will be presented.
In order to identify the key messages that the project partners want to advertise, Efus, represented by Martí Navarro Regàs, Programme Manager, organised a brainstorming session in small groups. Five topics came out of it: teaching life values through sport; the role of parents and other carers; sport as a way to unite people; how to prevent violence in sport, and combatting stereotypes.
> Field visits in Liège
Several field visits were organised during this event. Participants visited the Liège Fan Coaching service, with which Efus has long-standing relations. Created more than 25 years ago through a partnership between the City of Liège, the University of Liège and the Liège Standard Football Club, and with support from the Belgian Ministry of the Interior, it does social and educational prevention work with supporters. Its expertise is recognised by the Council of Europe and the European Union. It also received the UEFA-backed European Football Supporters Award in 2011.
The participants also visited the Standard’s stadium, prior to attending an action-theatre session whose purpose was to raise awareness among young sports people on the importance of preventing prejudice and intolerance in order to peacefully live together in society. This initiative is part of a range of actions implemented by the City of Liège to combat violence in amateur sport as part of the MATCH-SPORT programme and of a project supported by the Wallonia-Brussels Federation.
The last visit took place at the Liège skating rink. The MATCH-SPORT partners met with the facility’s managers as well as with members of the Liège Bulldogs ice hockey club and discussed the measures taken to prevent violence during matches.
> Preparing the pilot actions
On the second day, the representatives of the project’s partner cities presented their planned pilot actions, which all include training sessions to be designed by the project’s experts. The lessons learnt through these pilot projects will be widely shared, notably through the brochure that will be published at the end of the project.
This type of exchange enables cities to collaborate and establish links between their respective actions, in line with the project’s objective of creating a common prevention culture against discriminatory violence in amateur sport in Europe.