Fighting discrimination in and through sport: recommendations, tools and practices 

September 2023 – We are less than a year away from the Paris Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, a global event that conveys values of excellence, friendship and respect, as expressed in the Olympic Charter. This is a unique opportunity for countless sport clubs across the world as well as for the host local authorities and all other relevant actors to promote anti-racism and anti-discrimination. 

A collection of resources

Efus and its partners in the SENTRY SPORT European project, which was led by UISP ( Unione Italiana Sport Per Tutti, an Italian sports and social promotion association that aims to extend the right to sport to all citizens), have made available a collection of resources that public authorities and sports organisations can use to design or adapt their own anti-discrimination policies and actions. 

Inspiring practices and a toolkit

They include inspiring practices implemented by public authorities and sports organisations in several European countries on various types of discrimination, whether disability, gender, LGBTQI+, racial, religious or sexual. 

Furthermore, a toolkit features theoretical and practical methods to prevent and tackle discrimination in sports, for example how to act when assessing or identifying a discriminatory act or how to understand the victim and have an approach based on empathy by respecting key principles: confidentiality, safety, respect, honesty.

Policy recommendations

The project partners have come up with 8 policy recommendations, which can be used by authorities and amateur sport organisations as a basis for their anti-discrimination campaigns and actions, especially in the context of the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics to boost such efforts. 

A freely available publication gives information and insights on each of these recommendations, illustrating them with existing practices collected in the four countries represented in the project (Austria, Greece, Italy, and Spain) as well as by the International Sports and Culture Association (ISCA), which cooperates with 260 member organisations from 89 countries.

What hurts the most when you suffer discrimination is the lack of empathy from others, the referee, the public… This is why it is so important to work on training.”

Omar Daffe, Head of Anti-Discrimination at the Italian National Professional League Series A

Sport to foster inclusion 

Efus has been working for more than two decades on the prevention of discrimination and violence in and through sport, using its potential to foster inclusion, mutual respect and acceptance of diversity and to promote social integration.

More info on the SENTRY SPORT project website

📷 Photo/UISP, Saint-Denis, 2023

The SENTRY SPORT project final event in Saint-Denis – September 2023

Host city of the Rugby World Cup 2023 and of the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, Efus’ member city Saint-Denis, near Paris, hosted the SENTRY SPORT project final event on 19 September 2023. In the presence of Deputy Mayor and Delegate Councillor for the Department Oriane Filhol, it was an opportunity for local authority representatives and actors of the sports sector to discuss the results of the project, but also the organisation of large events and their impact on local safety and security. 

One of the highlights of the day was the testimony of several sports people on how they were impacted by discrimination, such as racism or transphobia. French athlete Catherine Moyon de Baecque, who is President of the Committee Against Sexual Violence and Discrimination in Sport at the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF),  said she had been excluded from French sport during 20 years for having dared to speak out about the sexual violence she had suffered in her sports environment.