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EU selects consortium for Safer GRASSroots project

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The EU has chosen a consortium including Qantara Sports for a sports-focused initiative co-funded by the European Commission. The ‘Safer GRASSroots’ project is designed to assist grassroots sport organizations in better offering opportunities for children and young people to participate in safe sports activities, with the aim of boosting social inclusion.

Qantara Sports, a European and Middle East consultancy dedicated to sports, has been brought in to help the initiative meet its goals of raising awareness and providing practical tools to the participating grassroots sports clubs and associations. The organisations involved are hoping to foster structural and cultural changes while boosting good governance in the area of safeguarding.

The project will run for two years and is a collaborative effort between seven different partner organisations in six different European countries, and is led by the Comite Olympico de Portugal.

Other partners include several national Olympic committees and universities, with support from the Enlarged-Partial Agreement on Sport of the Council of Europe.

“The Safe GRASSroots Sport initiative embodies our shared commitment to excellence and inclusivity in sports governance,” said Jordi Pinillos, CEO of Qantara Sports.

“This is one of several programs our expert team in safeguarding in sport has participated in the last few years, furthering our capabilities to help sport organizations in fostering a culture of continuous improvement in safe sport.” stated Bruno Avelar, partner in the Portugal business of Qantara Sports.

“This is one of several programs our expert team in safeguarding in sport has participated in the last few years, furthering our capabilities to help sport organisations in fostering a culture of continuous improvement in safe sport.”

Overall, the parties involved are looking to boost safety, inclusion, and empowerment in some areas of Europe that tend to be overlooked and underserved. Sports are a powerful way for communities to get together and for kids and adults alike to feel involved.

The project was launched under the auspices of Erasmus+ Sport, which is an EU programme that aims to support sports initiatives in Europe. The anticipated outcome of the Safer GRASSroots initiative will be: A better understanding of best practices and stakeholders safeguarding children and young people; development of an online self-assessment tool on safeguarding; and a digital toolkit for safer sports.

These tools will be designed with grassroots sport organisations in mind. They will then be launched for use by a selection of grassroots sport organizations in each of the partner countries, and then will later be available online to other sports clubs and associations.

The EU has been concerned about social inclusion in its member states, an issue which has prompted some action. For example, last year, the European Commission adopted its official Action Plan on ‘social economy’, which aims to boost equal opportunity, decent jobs, and the inclusion of all people.

The Commission also launched the EU Social Economy Gateway, an online portal where social economy entities can access information on funding, policies, training, and initiatives. It is all part of the EU’s plans to stay ahead of the curve with debt, inflation, low wages, and other issues that tend to lead to social exclusion, especially in the poorer member states.

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