Third educational seminar of the POINTS project in Lisbon

Third educational seminar of the POINTS project in Lisbon

With the support of the Comité Olímpico de Portugal the POINTS project organised on 21 to 23 May the final session of its educational programme for Single Points of Contact for Integrity (SPOCs) in Lisbon. The third educational seminar gathered 25 participants from 16 partner organisations. The main objective of the seminar was to provide skills and competences needed for the SPOCs to fulfil their respective tasks and to prepare future activities.

Furthermore, the participants discussed their expectations regarding their future position as a SPOC and received tools and practical advices on potential ways to handle their responsibilities. The seminar was also the last opportunity for the full group to exchange before the first national workshops will start in September 2019.

João Paulo Almeida, Director General of the Comité Olímpico de Portugal and Folker Hellmund, Director of the EOC EU Office, welcomed the participants by recalling the importance of the POINTS initiative. Both emphasized the relevance of the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sport Competitions, which will enter into force on 1 September 2019, for the POINTS project.

The first day was dedicated to the cooperation of the SPOCs with international stakeholders. Following a short discussion on the relations with the Council of Europe, Friedrich Martens and Jonne Silonsaari from the IOC Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions (OM Unit PMC) underlined their intention to organise cooperation activities between the interested SPOCs and the IOC. These activities would include a support for education and rules implementation in the field of Manipulations of Competitions.

Then, the participants discussed the creation of a European network gathering interested SPOCs from the partner organisations. To shape the discussion Leigh Thompson, from Sport and Recreation Alliance, presented concrete elements and activities of the UK Sports Betting Group. The project management and the interested partners will further explore the different options in the upcoming months.

The second day focused on practical skills which can support the activities of the SPOCs with a mix of presentations, practical exercises and good practice examples. The day started with a session on reporting activities and mechanisms. Ronan O’Laoire from UNODC and Pim Verschuuren from University of Lausanne made a presentation on the detection of corruption in sport and linked it to whistleblowing and reporting. They underlined several aspects such as the necessity to protect whistleblowers, the question of confidentiality as well as the steps to build strong reporting mechanism and policy. To conclude this session, Miriam Reijnen from NOC*NSF explained the impressive system in the Netherlands, within the Center for Safe Sport.

The afternoon session was dedicated to communication, risk assessment and compliance. Britta Warner, from Warner Communicatons, shared insights of their long experience in the field of sport communication and gave several tips and advices to handle crisis communication and to improve SPOCs’ communication with the different departments of the organisation. The day was concluded by two good practice examples on risk assessment and compliance from Ricardo Andorinho, Chief Financial Officer of the Portuguese Handball Association and Marco Befera, CONI.

Three more activities were conducted during the final day of the seminar. The session started with a presentation made by Valentin Capelli, POINTS Project Manager, of the next activity to be organised by the SPOCs: the national strategic workshops. Then, Heidi Pekkola, Deputy Director of the EOC EU Office, conducted a group simulation with three cases dealing with the topic of harassment and abuse. The objective of the simulation was to enable participants to use all tools presented in the previous sessions.

The final part of the meeting was dedicated to an assessment of the educational programme made by Aurélien Favre from European Observatory for Sport and Employment.

 The EOC EU Office would like to thank all participants for their commitment to the project as well as all speakers for their inspiring contributions. The POINTS project will continue with the organisation of 14 national workshops in the upcoming months before a final conference will take place at the end of 2020 in Brussels.

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