The European Lotteries (EL) hosted today jointly with ENGSO and the support of the European Commission a policy discussion on grassroots sport as a tool for inclusion and empowerment. Following the presentation of some key relevant initiatives, major stakeholders, including the European Commission, the Council of Europe, the International Olympic truce Centre (IOTC) and UEFA, called for the further promotion of grassroots sport as a tool for social change.

Commenting on the event, EL Secretary General, Arjan van’t Veer stated: “Grassroots sport should be used to integrate and empower, especially youth. EL members have made a consistent effort towards this direction, by supporting numerous relevant projects across Europe. As highlighted today, lottery funding should be safeguarded not only for the sustainable financing of grassroots sport, but also for the power of sport to empower and inspire.”

The event, which gathered more than 50 participants, was held in the heart of the European Week of Sport (EWOS), an initiative of the European Commission seeking to encourage Europeans to be more physically active. As a partner of the EWOS, EL Members once again promoted the initiative across Europe. ENGSO and EL, along with other partners, including the CoE, also work together on the ASPIRE project, an ERASMUS+ co-funded initiative which seeks to make sport clubs in Europe more inclusive towards refugees and asylum seekers.