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1st June 2021 | 0 Comments

Launched in 2018 and managed by the EOC EU Office, the Single Points of Contact for Sports Integrity (POINTS) project came to a close with its online final conference held on May 31.

Co-funded by the European Commission through the Erasmus+ Sport Programme, the aim of the project was to help National Olympics Committees, European and national Federations to strengthen their governance and safeguard the integrity of their sport(s).

To kick-off the final conference, opening words were delivered by the EOC EU Office Director Folker Hellmund, who noted the great achievements of the project as well as the expertise and commitment of the consortium. EOC Acting President, Niels Nygaard, equally praised the EOC EU Office and project partners for their contribution towards improving the integrity of sport.

An overview of the project’s activities, achievements and future of the initiative was presented by POINTS project manager, Valentin Capelli. He described the various “stages” of the project as: 

  • Stage 1: Developing the concept of a Single Point of Contact (SPOC)
  • Stage 2: Paving the way for SPOCs through an educational programme
  • Stage 3: Becoming a SPOC through education activities for partner representatives
  • Stage 4: Setting up SPOCs national activities through strategic workshops

To conclude, he highlighted the different tools developed during the project, namely, the Guidelines and Booklet for SPOCs as well as the SIGGS self-evaluation tool 2.0.

Moderated by former Belgian tennis player Dominique Monami, participants then heard testimonies from POINTS project partners Matthias Van Baelen, Belgian Olympic Committee, Joana Gonçalves, Portuguese Olympic Committee, and Jean Gracia, European Athletics. The speakers shared their personal experiences with the POINTS project and whether the project, as newly made SPOC’s for their respective organisations, has impacted their daily activities and integrity strategy of their organisations. They also described how the tools developed in the project will be used with their national members in the future.

The second part of the event saw a discussion on the future of Integrity in Sport and the role of sport organisations. Pâquerette Girard-Zappelli, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer of the IOC, delivered a key note speech on the importance of integrity for the Olympic movement – referring to its newly set-up robust set of codes with a zero tolerance policy. She also highlighted the importance of a coordinated approach of sport organisations on topics such as integrity, describing the tools developed through POINTS as helpful in this regard.

Apart from Mrs Girard-Zappelli, the President of the International Biathlon Union, Olle Dahlin, and  Dieter Braekeveld, Integrity in Sport Training Officer, Anti-Corruption Unit, of INTERPOL joined the high level panel discussion. The exchange centred around the main challenges for sport organisations when it comes to integrity, and the potential impact of Covid-19 on the integrity of sport. Mr Dahlin opened the session by underlining the need for sport organisations to be proactive in working towards a change of culture in an organisation. It was underlined that Leadership must embrace such change as integrity of sport relies on the integrity of organisations. On his side, Mr Braekeveld stressed certain outstanding challenges preventing stronger cooperation between law enforcement and sport. Mrs Girard-Zappelli highlighted the priorities of the Olympic Agenda 2020+5 in the area of integrity, the IPACS, as well as the role of the EU and public authorities in protecting sports integrity. To finish the session, Mr Dahlin provided a brief outline of the main elements required for an efficient sports integrity strategy.

The POINTS project management would like to thank once more all its partners for the excellent cooperation along the course of the project, as well as the participants for attending the event.

All information on the developed tools and future activities can be found on the project website and its own twitter account.