Educasport forum underway
Educasport forum underway
The official launch of the first Social Sport World Forum took place on Wednesday, an event attended by the French minister of sport, Valéri Fourneyron.
In a crowded room at the world famous Roland Garros tennis club, Thierry Phillip, president of the Agence pour L’Education par le Sport (APELS), welcomed everyone to the forum. “This is the first time the forum has had an international focus,” Phillip said, as previous Educasport forums were primarily concerned with France and Europe.
This new international focus was well received by all on the welcoming panel, including the adjoint to the mayor of Paris on sport, Jean Vuillermoz, who expressed his wish to see the international focus continue and suggested the forum could take place at a different location next time to encourage this.
Opening new horizons
The aim of the forum, according to Phillip, is to provide an opportunity to projects from around the world to share ideas and lessons learned. Jean-Phillipe Acensi, the general delegate for APELS, said the forum has become an important network of organisations united behind the idea that sport can achieve educational goals
“The hope is to take lessons learned from people on the ground and to share these with others who are facing similar challenges,” commented Thibaut Desjonqueres, the director of the forum’s technical committee.
Stéphane Mandard, head of the sport department at the French news agency Le Monde was also present. Mandard expressed his hope to see sport open up new possibilities for social development and challenged participants to think outside the box and to be creative in how they use sport to meet social goals.
The need at home
There was a clear message shared by some on the welcoming panel that there is a need also to promote the use of sport in France. Denis Masseglia, president of the French Olympic Committee, commented that “One in three young people in France do not participate in sport.” He continued, “It is the committee’s goal to make sure that more young people are taking part in sport for recreational purposes.”
Francis Parny, vice-president of sport and leisure in the region of île-de-France, talked about the power of sport to open new opportunities and to help overcome personal challenges. “There are a number of new organisations that have been created in recent years that are using sport,” he said. Jean Vuillermoz also shared his interest in seeing top-level athletes connect with the now estimated 3,000 sport-based organisations in France.