04 Î06 2008
© Mi Ran COLLIN
EUROPE TALKS TO BRUSSELS
Sport in Europe: profit or values?
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Profit or values? Mi Ran COLLIN
Symbols in sport
E Online betting Breaking the in Europe boundaries of communication
FIFA: football for change
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04 Î06 2008
[N°6] EUROPE TALKS TO BRUSSELS
Sport in Europe: profit or values?
© Mi Ran COLLIN
EDITORIAL “Faster, higher, stronger.” “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part.” Aren’t these two messages a little confusing? What are we supposed to do: strive for ever-increasing performance or just be happy to take part? SHIFT Mag EUROPE TALKS TO BRUSSELS Avenue de Tervueren 270 1150 Brussels – Belgium www.shiftmag.eu
Victor Fleurot SHIFT Mag Editor Brussels
Publisher: Juan ARCAS email@example.com Editor: Victor FLEUROT • T. +32 2 235 56 21 firstname.lastname@example.org Contributors to this issue: Juan ARCAS (Brussels), Daniel CADE (Biel/Bienne), Florian CARTOUX (Brussels), Frédéric DARMUZEY (Brussels), Simone DIGENNARO (Rome), Shaju HENDRIKX (Gent), Rolf SCHWERY (Biel/Bienne), Usha SELVARAJU (Biel/Bienne), Laurent VAN BRUSSEL (Brussels) Illustrations: Pieter BRUEGEL (Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna), Mi Ran COLLIN, Brieuc HUBIN, François TACOEN, Roberto TRIOSCHI, Christophe WANLIN Photography: FIFA, Brieuc HUBIN, IRIS Euro Tournament, Philippe and Jean-Michel SAIVE, François TACOEN Special thanks to David MARQUIÉ and Daniel MILLER for editorial and linguistic support Production & coordination: Mi Ran COLLIN, Brieuc HUBIN email@example.com Design & Graphics: Tipik Studio Printed by: Gérard PRINT, Brussels Administration & subscription: Gabriela OLSSON • T. + 32 2 235 56 44 firstname.lastname@example.org To advertise in SHIFT Mag contact: Guy DE SAN • T. +32 2 235 56 75 email@example.com SHIFT Mag • 2008
Interestingly, both quotes are attributed to one and the same person: Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympic Games. Talk about a blurred vision... The sixth issue of SHIFT Mag aims to address this inherent tension in sport: between competition and cooperation, confrontation and teamwork, individual glory and mutual respect – and, in the professional era, commercial gain and fair play. As usual, we ask the people involved at the local level to tell us about their experience, whether they work on humanitarian projects or for an online betting association. More money, less hooligans, less match-fixing by dictators, more doping… sport is a mirror of our society and follows its evolution, for better or for worse. But at the end of the day, there is perhaps one crucial thing we should always keep in mind: sport is about playing, and playing is about fun. Even for those grimacing athletes sweating it out on the Beijing tracks, with the weight of their nations’ expectations on their shoulders. They were all once playful children learning rules in a fun way with their friends. So, enjoy the read over the summer break and drop us a line at www.shiftmag.eu
Tipik Communication – A SWORD Group Company. Avenue de Tervueren 270 – 1150 Brussels – Belgium. Free quarterly publication (cannot be sold). Published by Tipik Communication. Reproduction in any form is prohibited without prior consent. The views expressed by contributors are their own and do not necessarily represent those of SHIFT Mag.
[ N°6] > SHIFT mag
SYMBOLS IN SPORT
The dual nature of the symbolon is at the heart of sports competition. A black leather fist rising in the Mexico sunset. A pale blond man kneeling in tears on the Wimbledon grass. A boxer voodooed by a collective trance in the Kinshasa night. An athlete putting a dictator to shame in Berlin. Back to Mexico, years later, a football genius coining the Hand of God. Everything in sport comes down to powerful, unforgettable images: the stuff that dreams are made of. Sports competitions are based on, and produce, symbols that link together good and evil, the profane and sacred worlds. In ancient Greece, a traveller would find hospitality in a new town by carrying a sun-bolon, a symbol. The person who recommended him gave him one half of a torn object, while the other half was in possession of his future hosts. A symbol thus originally put together two parts that had been separated: the symbol completes something. Perfect athletes do not exist Much has been said about the inner tension between money and the “real values” in sport. Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern-day Olympic Games, dreamt of athletes as so virtuous, so disconnected from their human nature, in a word so perfect, that one could argue they could not be effective role models. Such individuals never existed in ancient Greece and they cannot exist today. Which is, incidentally, good news, as the ideal of a perfect breed of men led humanity to the brink of complete destruction some 60 years ago.
It may be so that in today’s politically correct image of competition, we struggle to admit that, athletic prowess aside, the brilliance as well as the darker side of our sports heroes fascinate us. We all agree that they create modern mythology: say, Mike Tyson as Icarus, David Beckham as Narcissus, Brad Gilbert a modern Ulysses, winning ugly against stronger opponents… yet we fail to admit that their dark side is an intrinsic part of their strength, and that it fascinates us as much as their more acceptable merits. I once came to interview Jean-Michel Saive, the Belgian tennis table champion and über-competitor. Dubbed “The Warrior”, Saive was, and still is, a lovable man and was taking part in a charity event along with his brother (editor’s note: see page 12 of this issue for a recent interview with the Saive brothers). I asked him about his feelings towards this younger, less successful brother, who was then a European club champion and a solid competitor. Not much came out of it, probably because I had not been very subtle on the matter. I remembered that Saive had started as quite a talented football player, so I asked him about that. Sensing an opportunity, he flashed a mischievous grin and told me: “we would play this tournament, my brother and I would be in the team, and I would be captain, and we would win it, and I would be voted most valuable player, and I would get to hold the cup, and you would think it is all perfect and… you
know what? I would have to share the bloody cup, and I hate to share. I switched to individual sports, and all the silverware I’ve got… it’s bloody mine!” He looked at me, winked, and the next second he was as charming as ever. That’s where his secret lies: he played his most and least likeable sides equally well. Mind you, he will take part in his 5th Olympic games in August… So is there anything new today that spoils the so-called pure substance of sports competition? Money? Well, the Olympic athletes in ancient Greece were already professionals. Cheating? Nothing new there either. Eupoles won the wrestling contest in 388 BC by bribing opponents. Nero took part in the horse carriage race, fell and failed to cross the line, but was proclaimed victor by complacent judges. Fred Lotz won the marathon in the 1908 Olympic Games, but had spent 6 miles of it in a car and was later disqualified. Money? Cheating? Nothing new So there is nothing new in this tension between unscrupulous motives or material interests, and superior moral values. It is at the root of competition. Moreover, the Olympic Games were originally presented as a substitute for war: you send your champions, we
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© Mi Ran COLLIN
send ours, and all will be settled in the arena. Civilians would be spared – as a matter of fact, they would enjoy the show – and disputes would be settled. The gods themselves, as in a Homeric battle, would descend into the field and help out their favourites. All would give their best, and do their worst. We must come to terms with this profoundly dual nature of competition; it brings out the best as well as the worst in us: effort, belief,
ambition, discipline, hunger for victory, but also violence, hatred, trickery, envy and desire. This is precisely why symbols become so powerful in the drama of sports competition. Gary Lineker, Mother Theresa of football four years after the war between England and Argentina over a small island – talk about symbols – a World Cup knock-out football game took part, and I hereby declare that not one person who saw that game has forgotten the six minutes between the Hand of God (copyright to Diego Maradona) and the Best Goal in a World Cup (copyright to any football pundit in the world). The stage could not have been set any better. The antagonism could not have been more palpable.
What happened next, everybody knows. In six minutes, all the symbolic material at hand was brought to boiling point in the cauldron of the Azteca Stadium. Chivalry, honour, trickery, dignity, pride, shame, courage in the face of injustice, courage in the face of violence – all qualities melted into one powerful, unforgettable symbol. To date, all who remember that day have the same symbol in mind, Maradona at his most admirable and most despicable. Powerful as symbols are, there can be no wonder that so many years later, the man who has been cursed with carrying this one oscillates between the grandiose and the pathetic before our very eyes.
We fail to admit that the dark side of sport heroes fascinates us as much as their more acceptable merits.
In Gary Lineker, England had the Mother Theresa of football, all virtues and blessed with a gift for the game. In Diego Maradona, Argentina had the ultimate trickster, an unpredictable yet fiercely competitive wildcat. Hatred oozed from both teams during the national anthems. The heat was asphyxiating. Twenty-two warriors were dying to get at each other’s throats, and one can imagine what they would have done to poor old de Coubertin if he had tried his “l’important c’est de participer” fair play routine on them. Yet nobody had money in mind. What they all coveted was infinitely superior, purely symbolic and therefore dual: victory.
> Juan Arcas SHIFT Mag publisher Brussels Spanish
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PROFIT OR VALUES?
The notion of using sport as a tool for reaching development and humanitarian objectives is still fairly new.
I must say that I feel slightly awkward writing this article as I do not consider myself an expert either on sport or Europe. I will, however, share some of what I have noticed in dealing with the tension between ”profit and values” in sport. Some of these experiences are relevant to the situation of sport in Europe as well as globally. The sporting pretext – making profit and doing good The sports sector is strange in many ways: merging both commercial and non-commercial activities and sometimes appearing to ”hide” behind one or the other. For example, many international sports federations are legally registered as non-profit organisations but have a clear commercial and
on sports bodies for not considering the social impact of their activities. On the other hand, sports federations have had difficulties working with corporate sponsors who may not reflect the health-conscious image of sport, e.g. regarding the sponsorship of sports events by tobacco companies. Protecting the grounds – sport & the environment Recently, the sports sector has become more attuned to listening to the bitter grievances of civil society when it comes to environmental concerns. The International Olympic Committee and the United Nations Environment Programme have been working together since 1994 to use the power of sport to raise awareness
The use of sport as a tool to nurture individuals and communities is an approach that has been n embraced by a number of European stakeholders, including the Norwegian an Olympic and Paralympic Committee ittee and Confederation of Sports, ts, the Dutch National Committee forr International Cooperation and Sustainable inable Development, the Swiss ss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and UK Sport. There is a strong sense of complicity and d involvement between these organisations sations when it comes to sporttfor-development activities. For example, NIF and UK Sport, together with Commonwealth Gamess Canada, have been col-laborating since 2001 on the “Kicking AIDS Out!” initiative tiative in southern Africa – widely ly considered a pioneering intervention rvention in HIV prevention through h sport. That is not to say that there here is no competition in the field d – many involved in sport-for-developevelopment compete for meagre agre funds to continue theirr work. The notion of using sport ort as a tool for reaching developelopment and humanitarian n CO E N
I’m tempted to say that sports federations seem to end up with the short straw when it comes to defending sport from criticism from either the profit or non-profit camp. The nonprofit camp usually come down hard
Using sport to help elsewhere
Mr Platini’s statement sums up the most fundamental ability of sport to act as a unique commercial and profitmaking machine, as well as a powerful force for contributing positively to society. The short answer to the question embedded in the title of this issue of SHIFT Mag is: both. Sport in Europe (and sport in general) is both about profit and inculcating positive social values.
on environmental concerns. The coordinating committees for the 2008 European football championship have signalled their attempt to plan and administer the games in an environmentally sustainable manner, by issuing the Charter for Sustainability UEFA EURO 2008. The charter not only states a commitment to addressing environmental concerns but economic, social and cultural issues as well.
Michel Platini, President of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) on the EURO 2008 championship.
business interest in selling their sport to the public through e.g. the sale of television broadcasting rights, match ticket sales and merchandise - whether football, basketball, athletics or other sports. But apart from the profit to be made from sport, a great deal of altruism is inherent in the ways sport is practised. For example, many youth sports associations rely heavily on the hundreds of hours put in voluntarily by amateur coaches, parents and older youth in teaching sport to young athletes and organising games, tournaments and other sporting events.
“The European Championship is a sporting and media event with global exposure and it is important to use it to transmit strong social, civic and humanitarian messages.”
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For more information, visit: EUROPE TALKS TO BRUSSELS
objectives is still fairly new, with only a small number of stakeholders committed to exploring the potential of sport to instigate positive social change. This has developed over the past few years, and led to the UN declaring 2005 the International Year of Sport and Physical Education, indicating how awareness has now reached international policy level. Three years on, there is some anxiety among interested parties that the focus on the benefits of sport might have only been a passing fad and that the international (including European) community will move onto the next ”big thing”.
Is it about sport at all? At times, I get the impression there seems to be confusion regarding how sport is perceived. Is sport about teamwork or competition? Is it about creating winners and losers or reaching the same goals? Is it about partnership or creating opponents? But these contradictions are inherent in sport. From where I stand, the issue is less about sport itself and more about how we conduct business, how we teach the next generation positive social values, how we protect our environment (on, as well as off, the pitch) and
how we help others who don’t have as much. To ignore these issues and focus solely on what we think sport does and doesn’t do is to miss a golden opportunity to improve ourselves and use the platform that sport provides to help us do just that. > Usha Selvaraju Web editor, International Platform on Sport and Development Switzerland Swiss/Singaporean
[ N°6 ] > SHIFT mag
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ONLINE BETTING IN EUROPE Perceptions on betting vary greatly across cultures and countries, giving rise at times to moral and legal concerns. But leaving aside ethical considerations, the fact is that there has always been betting where there has been playing, and vice-versa. Society (and sport actors in particular) can benefit from having this widespread practice properly channeled and regulated.
While online gambling is indeed a successful and fast-growing market, it is important to point out that it still remains a negligible part of the overall European gaming market in which the traditional land-based offer represented € 80 billion in GGR in 2007, thus keeping the lion’s share of the market with 94.2% of the total market (Source: Global Betting and Gaming Consultants, May 2008).
For a couple of weeks in August, the world will be turning its attention to the 2008 Summer Olympics in China. While millions of people will be switching on their TVs to watch their nations take part in this celebration of sports, millions of Europeans will also be connecting to the internet to enjoy another popular form of entertainment: online sports betting.
Denying consumer access to online gaming and betting will cause the underground market to flourish.
The European online sports betting industry is made up of operators that are established, licensed and regulated in the European Union, some of which are grouped under the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), the leading industry body representing online gaming and betting operators in Europe. The internet has enabled this young and dynamic e-commerce sector to grow in recent years and rise from a market value in GGR (Growth Gaming Revenue: stakes minus winnings) of €1.6 billion in 2004 to €4.9 billion in 2007. This growth highlights the importance of this fledging, risk management, IT-driven industry in which EU-licensed operators develop the latest technologies to ensure consumers can play in a safe, secure and reliable environment.
Online gaming operators offer services to customers ranging from online poker, casinos, and backgammon to sports bets. The latter has in recent years become a complementary and popular form of activity in the sports chain and enabled new sources of revenue to be generated (i.e. advertising, sponsorship and
commercial deals) for the benefit of sports at all levels. However, the different approaches to regulation across the EU mean that sources of income into sports vary enormously from one country to another. For instance, in countries where online operators are regulated at national level (i.e. the UK, Italy, Spain) and allowed to compete against state-run operators, they provide additional funding (via advertisement, sponsorship deals) to a wide range of premium sports (i.e. football, tennis, basketball, motor sports). Franz Beckenbauer, speaking in Bild on 8 November 2007 ahead of the introduction of the German Interstate Treaty on Gambling in January 2008, which bans all gaming services offered over the internet,
said that as a result sports in Germany would lose some €200-300 million. Hence the need for a level playing field across the EU to ensure that the sports sector benefits from this growing economic activity. Integrity in sports Online gaming and betting has grown in response to consumer demand. Denying consumer access will prevent legitimate and responsible EU operators from reaching a fair and equitable market and cause the underground market to flourish. EU-licensed operators have a zero-tolerance approach to any fraudulent behaviour and a genuine interest in keeping sports clean, as any match fixing causes them to lose money and damages their credibility. In addition, the leading online sports betting operators committed to founding ESSA (the European Sports Security Association – www.eu-ssa. org) in January 2005, following the Hoyser affair involving a bribed German referee. ESSA is a non-profit organisation whose early-warning system links all ESSA members and allows them to inform the relevant sports authorities as early as possible of any suspicious betting activities related to sports competitions. So far, ESSA has, for example, established close relations with UEFA, FIFA, EPFL, ATP, ITF, WTA and DFB and many other sports regulators. Cooperation has been made easier by the fact that online operators can record, trace and analyse
For more information, visit: http://www.eu-ba.org/en http://www.responsiblegamingday.eu http://www.eu-ssa.org
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each individual action taken online and immediately detect if an unusually high amount has been placed on an unexpected outcome of an event (e.g. an outsider wins). It is through initiatives and partnerships like this that ESSA believes it can be the solution to keeping sports clean.
clarity, consistency of rules across the EU and a level playing field for all operators.
The way forward EGBA operators believe that such industry initiatives, cooperation and partnerships are necessary when taking into account the rapidly developing nature of this sector. While these self-regulatory tools are important, EGBA believes in fair regulation across Europe, adapted to the cross-border nature of its activities to ensure legal
> Florian Cartoux Senior Advisor, European Gaming and Betting Association Brussels French
© Christophe WANLIN
However, more needs to be achieved. Increased involvement and cooperation between all stakeholders (players, sports bodies, regulators, industry, etc) are required. Among others, FIFA’s Early Warning System GmbH (officially
launched in July 2007), which monitors football betting activities in view of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, is testament to this.
[ N°6 ] > SHIFT mag
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FIFA: USING FOOTBALL AS A POSITIVE FORCE FOR CHANGE
Football undeniably has a universal appeal and core values that reach across generations and cultures. It comes as no surprise that it has become fundamental for the work of hundreds of organisations and local communities worldwide as it offers common ground for engaging in social and human development. Through the Football for Hope Movement, FIFA, in strategic alliance with streetfootballworld, aims to support these efforts and contribute concretely and positively to using football as a positive force for change. The Football for Hope Movement was established in 2005 by FIFA, in its capacity as football’s world governing body, and streetfootballworld, as the driving force behind a global network of non-governmental organisations implementing social development projects on the ground. The aim of the movement is to inspire and advance the use of football as a tool to achieve sustainable development in five areas: Health Promotion, Peacebuilding, Children’s Rights & Education, AntiDiscrimination & Social Integration and the Environment.
transforming the lives of tra homeless and dispossessed ho people. The game is used pe to bring them together and offer them support to an ta tackle everyday challenges es. In Germany, football is used to promote the so social integration of im immigrants and create le learning environments ffor young people. IIn involving them in tthe design of activities with ith and around football, theyy acquire the skills necessary for a positive and independent lifestyle. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, football is used to bring together youth from different ethnic and religious backgrounds. Since its inception, the Football for Hope Movement has continuously grown and, today, supports over 70 projects in 47 countries. It is the most expansive network for social development through football in the world. In addition to the ongoing activities, FIFA and streetfootballworld launched “Football for Hope - 20 centres for 2010”
as the official campaign of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. The aim is to build 20 centres for education, health and football in underprivileged communities throughout Africa. This campaign will culminate in the 2010 Football for Hope Festival, which will take place in South Africa during the last week of the World Cup. It will showcase and promote best practice in the field of development through football and encourage exchange and intercultural dialogue among 32 delegations of young people from social projects from across the globe.
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Football can be used in various ways to achieve social and human development objectives. In the UK, football is
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Laurent van Brussel
© Roberto TRIOSCHI
P.-S: An American bog. A dollar crisis. A blessed black ace kicking a level-headed lioness out. Swimmer Milorad Čavić’s remake of “Tommie Smith and the protest salute” with his “Kosovo is Serbia” T-shirt. The flame’s fervour and the return of the “Polympic Games”... Here is the verdict: the “man of 68” is still alive! He was born in pain and violence – a birth always is a revolution. Fourty years later, he is going through a serious midlife crisis. From Vietnam’s scorched earth, a tree of creation sprouted. Its grapes of wrath nourished the minds of protesters for years. But today Iraq remains a desert where the “consciousness generation” has fast become a horse with no name. If the dollar has always been their currency and our problem, since then, the euro has become our currency and our problem too. Barack is not Bobby. He didn’t win the California primary but he can dream something that never was and say, “Why not?”, unless verbal attacks have become more lethal than Sirhan Sirhan. The “man of 68” is still alive but seriously ill. When he was ten, he realised he suffered from mass amnesia. When the Bohemian rhapsodist went on tour to give Europe some news of the world, he had no other choice but to admit that his “We are the champions” was about football, not freedom or human rights. And when Videla’s Argentina won the 1978 World Cup at home, what was left of 1968’s hope for change? Then, his 21st spring saw autumn 1989’s revolution coming into bloom. But how could he be optimistic when liberty rhymed with HIV? The “man of 68” is still alive but he has got his father’s main fault, thinking that a good exchange is always better than a good change. He will never be a true revolutionary because he only accepts to make sacrifices looking down the barrel. Fourty years ago, he shouted: “Run, comrade, the old world is behind you”. After running for so long, he is now back to where he started.
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SHIFTING WITH H
PHILIPPE AND JEAN-MICHEL SAIVE
© Philippe and Jean-Michel SAIVE
that things are a bit more difficult now…maybe I’m just a bit more sensitive with age – I’m almost 39! But as competition gets tougher, things are getting harder as time goes on. PROFESSIONALISING SPORT, COMMERCIALISING IT, STRIVING FOR BETTER PERFORMANCES AND BREAKING RECORDS, DOPING – HAVE YOU EVER ENCOUNTERED THESE IN TABLE TENNIS AND HOW DO YOU SEE THINGS EVOLVING IN THE FUTURE? J.-M. Saive:
For Fo or this sp sport port issue of SHIFT Mag, we met Jean-Michell and and Philippe Saive on the day of their departure to Beijing. The Saive brothers, two of the most prestigious Belgian sportsmen in history, have put their stamp on the world of table tennis over the past twenty years. Jean-Michel, former world number 1, will take part in his sixth Olympic Games in August at the age of 39. Philippe, two years his younger, just put an end to his career this year with the second best record in Belgian history – behind his brother. Here is their take on the evolution of sports in general and their sport in particular, on the Olympic Games and on China, a country and culture which they have explored throughout their careers. DO YOU THINK THAT TOP-LEVEL SPORT IS MORE DEMANDING TODAY THAN WHEN YOU STARTED OUT? WHY? Philippe Saive:
Well we’re lucky that table tennis is not like football, cycling, golf or athletics – there’s a group of players out to enjoy their game but they never get into the ‘mega bucks’. Obviously the best can earn a living but it’s nothing compared to the more hyped-up sports. So at the moment there’s no huge financial incentive in table tennis – which safeguards it against unscrupulous deals. And in any case table tennis has it all: sometimes we’re playing 3, 4, even 5 matches a day. So we need as much stamina as any marathon runner. And then there’s speed, as it can get quite explosive, with the need for sharp reflexes, tactics and intelligent play – the ability to anticipate your opponent’s moves. So getting doped for a specific area would have negative effects in other areas. But let’s not be naïve – obviously there are shifty characters everywhere you look. However, I still believe that it’s not as alluring as other sports where the stakes are so high that there are people lurking behind every corner ready to spoil the show. Philippe Saive: Yeah, we’ve been lucky in our sport to escape the scourge of doping. Table tennis requires physical prowess, technical skill, tactical vigilance and indefatigable awareness. Most players are not convinced of the benefits to be gained by enhancing their physical performance, and don’t think it’s worthwhile taking the risk.
I don’t think it’s harder now; what matters is the demands you put on yourself. What have changed are the training methods and the physical preparation and that means that players can get ever-closer to realising their true potential.
NATURALLY, ANY SPORTSPERSON’S DREAM IS TO TAKE PART IN THE OLYMPICS – A UNIQUE CHANCE. TELL US ABOUT YOUR OLYMPIAN EXPLOITS. WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT THIS COMPETITION? WHAT VALUES ARE PROMOTED IN IT?
It’s not always easy to compare different time-periods, but I think that at the end of the day, everything has changed, whether equipment, rules of the game, facilities or footwear. I started out young, about 25 years ago, and I think
These’ll be my 6th games. It’s always a dream to be able to take part in the games as an athlete, journalist or spectator. Maybe even the old grannies watch the games even though they couldn’t give tuppence ha’penny for sport! It’s a real
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EUROPE TALKS TO BRUSSELS
focal point. The things that the Olympics promotes have changed over time, as once the most important thing was just to take part, but then people quickly got the idea that if you’re not seen by the media on the podium you’re seen as something of a dunce. Maybe the ethical values that were there at the outset are still with us but with all this hype and the fact that so many sports have become professionalised, there’s a much greater weight on the participants’ shoulders.
At the world champs, you haven’t got all the security measures to deal with. You can still prepare, train and rest how you want to. The original values of the Olympics were just to participate, but this is not completely true, as a win for you is much more than if you’d just taken part. This is the crème de la crème so the idea really is to win. SEEING AS YOU KNOW CHINA QUITE WELL, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE DEBATE SURROUNDING THE GAMES IN CHINA? DO YOU THINK POLITICS AND SPORT SHOULD GO HAND IN HAND? Philippe Saive:
© Philippe and Jean-Michel SAIVE
Well no, obviously. Apart from that I know China through my sport and my travels. I went to China for the first time in 1986 and I’m going back there again. I’ve been about ten times, and there’s a definite positive movement in China. If you’re asking whether they have problems: yes! But who are we to go moralising when we can’t even sort out something like Bruxelles-Hal-Vilvorde. J.-M. Saive:
Philippe Saive: What’s special about the Olympics in comparison to other competitions is the media impact whereby the Olympics become something special in the collective unconscious. You get caught up in the whole event when you get there. But things are a bit different (from a negative point of view) when you live them from the inside. I experienced Barcelona, Atlanta and Sydney and the picture is not quite as pretty from the inside out, as naturally you get a huge crowd, a group of athletes, their entourage, spectators, security concerns and you end up adopting a totally different manner of behaving. And when you add to that the pressure to perform, the original competitive aspect of the games gets a bit disfigured. I’m not saying I’ve been put off the Olympics, as it’s a truly exciting adventure, but I much prefer playing in a world championship than the Olympics.
Well, in any case I think that politics and sport are inextricably mixed. As a country, you can’t be candidate to host or organise the Olympics without politics following close by. Just think about building the facilities, stadia, etc. So the two go together. My position on a possible boycott of the games is that the question is not irrelevant but very focused on the games themselves and only when they actually happen. I’ve been going to China for 22 years now, and no-one has ever asked me about human rights or boycotting China, and I don’t think come October we’ll be asking the athletes the same questions. I think that China is undergoing a real boom period. Sure, as regards human rights things are not going smoothly but just the fact that they’ve got the games and all eyes are on them means they’ll mature a bit. Having visited the country for the last 22 years I can assure you that things have changed since back then. It’s taken time in Europe and other countries. China is growing up, getting better and a boycott, knowing that the Chinese don’t like to lose face, would have the opposite effect.
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MOVING FORWARD: SPORT FOR YOUTH IN EMERGENCIES AND NATURAL DISASTERS
These figures provide us with some information on the immediate impact of the destruction caused by this earthquake, just as figures representing the more recent and larger-scale tragedies in China and Myanmar have done. But those of us not personally implicated in the recovery process following emergencies and natural disasters are rarely informed of the psychological trauma that survivors in those communities undergo over the months and years following the initial impact. In fact, many survivors are ill-equipped to find the strength and resilience they need to get back to a state of normality. These survivors are often children and young people who must build their future anew. Sport as a tool for psychosocial recovery In the immediate aftermath of an emergency, humanitarian agencies will send relief teams into communities to provide food and essential items for survival. However, there is growing recognition that the psychological, social and mental stability of children and the young requires more than proper nutrition, clean water and the prevention of deadly diseases.
Despite the relative success of projects that use sport as a tool for psychosocial recovery, they are often regarded as a component of education or psychosocial programs. However, sport and play activities have yet to be
issues at play and other local concerns. Next is a planning phase that tackles the selection of mentors and participants and is followed by suggestions for monitoring and assessment, once a programme is underway. The last
Sport and play activities can be used to teach life skills such as coping, resilience, selfesteem, conflict resolution and leadership.
mainstreamed and their value remains potential, while there are no broadly accepted models for using them as a psychosocial tool. A toolkit to boost humanitarian efforts In 2006, a Nike initiative – with support from two large international NGOs: CARE and Mercy Corps – formed a working group to develop a “toolkit” to assist humanitarian agencies in creating a sport and play programme in the aftermath of a natural disaster or emergency. This would complement traditional relief programming and promote the notion that sport, games and play-based activities have a positive role to play in helping alleviate the trauma experienced by children and the young by restoring normal coping abilities. It also provides organisers of a sport and play programme with a practical guide to each phase of the process. There is a preparation phase, which begins immediately after the emergency and leads to an evaluation of the cultural
phase deals with the transition of the post-emergency sport and play programme, which can last anything from three to nine months, to long-term, sustainable community project if it is deemed valuable for the community. The toolkit was first tested in Peru following the earthquake described above. A programme was developed by the working group, in cooperation with local experts and mentors. Many interviews conducted with parents indicated that the school performance of the participants either improved or remained the same. One mother stated: “At the beginning of the program my husband was against the idea of our son participating because he feared that it would negatively affect
© Schwery Consulting
On Wednesday 15 August at 6:40pm, an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter Scale hit the Pacific coast of Peru, 148 kilometres south-west of Lima, decimating the cities of Pisco and Chincha and surrounding communities. Over 40,000 families were affected while 71,726 homes were destroyed. Official figures report 1,844 seriously injured and over 519 killed.
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ON THE GROUND In 2007, the Open Fun Football Schools project, organised by CCPA, worked with 89 schools and 289 municipalities in South East Europe to use football as a means of stimulating the process of democracy, peace, stability and social cohesion in previously warring and currently antagonistic population groups. the boy’s schooling. But later when he saw how much our boy’s marks had improved he changed his opinion.” Teachers also confirmed a positive relationship between the program and the school marks of the participants. Deploying well-trained mentors The most important stakeholders in sport and play programmes are undoubtedly the participants themselves: the children and youth in communities affected by a disaster. Yet crucial to the success and continuation of the concept is being able to deploy well-trained mentors with similar backgrounds and experiences to the participants and an understanding of the way in which sport and play activities can be used to teach life skills, such as coping, resilience, self-esteem, conflict resolution and leadership that help children and youth to recover from the trauma. The approach places a great deal of emphasis on the staging of mentor workshops. The effective organisation and execution of these workshops is essential to laying the
A Serbian girl living in Foca, Bosnia-Herzegovina had this to say about her experience: “We’re not only here to play matches and try to win to be happy. I have learnt that the most important thing is to be with your friends and have a fun time. We do not hate somebody because they have a different skin colour or religion. We are all equals.” In March 2008, after the political turmoil in Kenya, CARE initiated a two-day workshop in Nairobi for youth mentors to support children and young people to overcome the scares of the conflict. A debriefing session followed with practical contributions from a medical doctor on first aid and an experienced psychotherapist on the symptoms of a psychological trauma. At the same time different games and activities were put on show, with the focus on mutual understanding, conflict management skills, and the development of trust.
> Rolf Schwery
foundations for a successful programme. Under the guidance of proficient role models and structured programmes, children can tackle the stress of recovery with a greater sense of hope and self-confidence.
Executive Director, Schwery Consulting Biel/Bienne, Switzerland Swiss
> Daniel Cade Project Manager, Schwery Consulting Biel/Bienne, Switzerland British
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© Brieuc HUBIN
WELCOME TO RESERVOIR BLOGS - EUROPE’S WEIRDEST BLOG REVIEW, GATHERING, JUST FOR YOU, ALL THE STRANGEST TIDBITS FOUND ON THE EUROBLOGOSPHERE. FOR THE SECOND TIME, MR SHIFT WILL WHIP OUT HIS FINGER AND STICK IT ON BLOGS TO SQUEEZE THE JUICIEST AND CRACK OPEN THE NUTTIEST FOR YOUR DISCERNING PALATES.
Best historical comparison And the award goes… once again to the prolific Gawain Towler, for having named Nicolas Sarkozy a “jumped wannabe Napoleon” on http://englandexpects.blogspot.com. In the first edition of Reservoir Blogs, he received the prize for the best original insult to an MEP. This time, Mr Towler thinks Sarkozy is trying to “bully the Irish” and Europe as a whole, as Napoleon did in his time. After Ireland’s “no” to the Lisbon Treaty, Sarkozy called for a second referendum. Sarkozy’s entourage recalled the dates of 1993 and 2001 when the Irish voted a second time for the Maastricht and Nice Treaties. For the third time in European history, the Irish could be asked to vote again. Gawain does not agree with this imperialistic attitude: “Well Nicolas my dear chap. If you are so keen on second referendums, you can make your wish come true by offering your own people one, rather than by trying to bully the Irish, you jumped wannabe Napoleon.”
The thing is, Mr Shift thinks Sarkozy is scared of his own people and doesn’t want his government to be disapproved of by a second French “no”. He nevertheless needs to demonstrate his “influence” on other countries… Now that’s smart! However, Gawain’s comparison is brilliant: Napoleon was short; Sarkozy is short. Napoleon wanted to conquer Europe… Sarkozy would like to rule Europe. Napoleon got married twice. Sarkozy as well. But Mr Shift is afraid the comparison stops there. Napoleon was Corsican; Sarkozy is French of Hungarian origin. Napoleon’s first wife was French from Martinique; his second one was Austrian. Sarkozy’s first wife was French from the Paris region; his second one is Italian. Last but not least, Napoleon lived two centuries ago but Sarkozy is still alive! Sarkozy’s world is not the same as Napoleon’s; the 21st century is a little more democratic than the 19th century was… thank God!
“Political bullshit” Talking of the Irish “no”, Hugues Serraf vents his spleen on Publius (http:// publiusleuropeen.typepad.com/). “The Irish said no. We have to accept the voice of democracy […]: This is the political bullshit those like me that are in favour of the Treaty are supposed to use regarding the results of the Irish referendum […] But the Irish voted like egoists with short memories”. Mr Serraf continues by saying “the European Union is a sort of teenager, grown up too fast, going through one of these disordered crises that spoiled children are accustomed to […] Asking people to pronounce themselves on a complicated text that they haven’t even read but that they have heard of in a pub is no democracy but demagogy.” Hugues Serraf thinks democracy would have been better served by letting the Irish members of Parliament vote instead of the Irish citizens. To
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him, this is maybe the end of the European Union but he still has hope and thinks “growth crises always end up by going away.”
I don’t see the relevance e of their existence.”
However, Mr Shift suggests this “European growth crisis” might go on for long, as many are considering Europe a joke after the Council of Europe’s latest decision…
Do you mean that these European bodies deserve a good Irish spanking? r! Your euroscepBut careful, sir! ticism may soon oon be dampened by the new “euroscepticopessimism”. epticopessimism”
Don’t spank me mama, or you’ll go to jail! The Council of Europe wants to amend legislation in all its member countries, forbidding corporal chastisement. Yes, the Council of Europe wants to abolish spanking. “Raise your hand against smacking”: the no to the Lisbon Treaty is followed by a no to spanking! Joe Noory commented on this piece of news on http://no-pasaran.blogspot. com: “Didn’t they think of the impact it will have on the collective European sex-life?”. Mr Shift is not quite sure what this means. Joe either means this is going to depress all European couples as the partners won’t be able to spank each other anymore, or it will scare them and prevent them from having kids to avoid hitting them. Nevertheless, this news has not been well received by the public. On Authueil (http://www.authueil.org), a blogger asked: “Is that all Europe is about?!” He then says: “and afterwards we are surprised that the “no” wins in referendums on European issues […] If the European bodies are all about that,
“Euroscepticopessimism” On Bruges-Europe (http://brugeseurope.typepad.com), Henri Védas posted an article on the misfortunes of eurosceptics. He explains “the EU’s anti-democratic shift and the disinterest of the European citizens towards this drift seem to destroy all hope to fight against the federalist centralisation successfully”. Henri Védas goes on: “The eurosceptic blog “EU Referendum” declares Euroscepticism dead and thinks about stopping its activity: it considers that the anti-Lisbon fight is lost […] The failure of eurosceptics to present a serious alternative to federalists amounts to a federalist victory.” Other eurosceptics share this view. Euroscepticopessimism is a new tendency in Europe, one that may well put the EU back on track against all odds. But watch out! Football can still rescue the eurosceptics…
EURO 2008: Russia vs Turkey? (Editor’s note: as a model employee, Mr Shift wrote his column long before celebrating Spain’s win in the Euro Cup… which he did in style!)
If the final of Euro 2008 happens to be Russia vs Turkey, will the eurosceptics wake up and mobilise again? Mr Shift hopes not… but you never know these days. It’s true that such a final would be quite a surprise between two countries that are not members of the EU. Before this final actually takes place, though, let’s focus on a blogger’s post on Re: Europa (reeuropa.blogspot. com), written ahead of the Euro quarter-finals: “Although I have absolutely nothing against the Turkish team, I really hope that Croatia wins, because if it comes to Turkey-Germany, we are going to have a lot of street fights between the Turkish and the Germans in the major cities in Germany… (I’m sorry Turkish people, but it’s for the good of all of us).” Tough luck, it’s actually going to be Turkey-Germany… A piece of advice: flee from Germany; it will be dangerous! Mr Shift wonders if the people who write these kinds of comments are actually the Eurosceptics who don’t want Turkey to join the EU, or if they are pro-Europeans who don’t want Turkey to join the EU, or if they are just stupid… maybe all three? See you next time!
[ N° 6 ] > SHIFT mag
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LUDODIVERSITY: THE FORGOTTEN HERITAGE
he European Football Championship, one of Europe’s largest sports and media events, recently took place in Switzerland and Austria. It provides great entertainment to those who like the “football show” and delight in watching “playeractors” compete for honours. People who love the sport get to see athletic prowess and artistic flair played out by the best in the field.
and their respective subfields such as: games, sports, physical exercises, dance and acrobatic performances”. In short, play is to be understood as a cultural phenomenon; “play is older than culture” says Huizinga, “accompanying it and pervading it from the earliest beginnings”. Thus, games and folk games are like memories of transmitted traditions that can be repeated at any time and represent the heritage of
But if we focus our lens we discover that this big event holds something more. National teams involved in such international competitions exhibit specific features concerning their own tactic, strategies, and style of play. Thus, for instance, the Italians are notoriously slow starters who go on to “lose football matches as if they were wars, and wars as if they were football matches”, Germany generally fields a solid team with a midfield that is tireless and disciplined, the French tend to play with a flexible formation, while Romania often adopts a model of discipline representative of the former Communist block tradition. In other words, every national team displays specific, distinctive features that not only reflect strategic and tactical decisions, but also a specific cultural heritage. One that influences the way people play, perform the game, compete and follow the rules.
"Play is older than culture" The way each person plays is indicative of his or her cultural background, customs, values and origins. When we play we put our heritage, our ludodiversity on show. The neologism, a combination of the terms ludus (Latin for play) and diversity, was first coined by Ronald Renson to clearly identify “the variation among all movement cultures and movement expressions
rapid development of information and communication technologies and by the great appeal that certain kinds of sport can generate in the media. Football in this case can be seen as a negative example. While it is a good example of something which typifies cultural differences, it is at the same time one of the bigger threats for ludodiversity. Television is satiated with match broadcasts and newspapers are
Scenes like the one drawn by Bruegel in his Children's Games are becoming a thing of the past.
a specific culture. In the German game Schattengangen, we find the specific distinctive features of a culture; the same applies to Dutch Ana Maria Ku-Ku, the Spanish Sobre, and the Bulgarian Prekoci Kalila. Understanding ludodiversity means to understand cultures; preserving it means to preserve cultural diversity. Modern sport is dominating ludic cultures However, in our globalised world we are witnessing a process of greater homogeneity that is reducing the existing diversity and, as far as ludodiversity is concerned, decreasing movement cultures and movement expressions. Reasons underpinning this are various: for instance, we know of many old forms of children’s games and traditional folk games which have vanished or are struggling for survival mainly because public places like streets and squares are banned for children, and scenes like the one drawn by Bruegel in his painting Children’s Games are becoming a thing of the past. Moreover, the modern competitive sport is dominating ludic body cultures; this process has been facilitated by the
replete with news, information and statistics. The internet is another example: a Google search for “football” and “soccer” throws up 79,000,000 pages, “children games” returns 16,600,000 pages, “folk games” only 527,000 and “ludodiversity” a mere 98. This raises the following question: why do we need ludodiversity? Why should we preserve it? Why is it important? On 20 October 2005 the Unesco adopted the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CCD). The convention sets out common rules, principles and points of reference for cultural diversity at global level, stating that cultural diversity “creates a rich and varied world, which increases the range of choices and nurtures human capacities and values, and therefore is a mainspring for sustainable development for communities, peoples and nations”. The text makes a considerable contribution to recognising the need and the importance of protecting and promoting cultural diversity with appropriate public policies and intervention. Notwithstanding this considerable
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result, no reference is made to the importance of play in exhibiting cultural heritage. Regardless of this, it can be argued that the promotion of ludodiversity is to be part of the mentioned public policies and that much needs to be done to protect it. We need to preserve ludodiversity because we need to preserve cultural traditions and identities. In the words of sports sociologist Pierre Parlebas, “games are places for a culture’s expression, considering that to cultural characteristics correspond playful originalities. The "I" of each culture is shown in its games”.
© Children’s Games by Pieter Bruegel, 1560 (Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna)
EUROPE TALKS TO BRUSSELS
For more information on this topic, you can visit: http://www.euro2008.uefa.com http://www.tradgames.org.uk http://portal.unesco.org/culture/en/ev.php-URL_ID=29123&URL_DO=DO_ TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html (Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions) http://web.uniroma2.it
> Simone Digennaro
© Brieuc HUBIN
PhD researcher Rome Tor Vergata University Italian
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LET’S EDUCATE! Sport has become big business in the last few decades, but in an Olympic year this becomes even more apparent – especially when combined with a European Football Championship and yearly events such as the Tour de France or Wimbledon. The business side of sport can be measured by all the paraphernalia that goes with it. A few examples are the increasing number of sports pages in the newspapers, a more prominent place on television and radio shows, and the growing number of websites devoted to sport. I am sure plenty more examples abound, not least in the growing wages and sponsorship deals.
Therein lies a crucial difference: while success is easily quantifiable, there is no objective and universal indicator for values.
With all this cash floating about I have the distinct impression that education is not getting its just desserts. For sure, educating people in the technical, tactical and physical elements of sport is essential to train up sportspeople, both professional and amateur. Money is made available for that. Education is, however, also enabling the youth to develop values such as respect, fair play, concentration, dedication, sacrifice, flexibility, team spirit, etc. As a football coach I have noticed that these values are the hardest to “sell”. Not only to the players involved, in my case young footballers, but also to the parents, club, fellow coaches and others involved. And I suspect this to be the case in many other sports. Why values are harder to teach than skills It’s easy to tell your players you want to teach them how to win. That the only
thing that counts is winning, in some cases at all costs. Understandably it is also easy for the people involved: everybody knows what you mean by “I want my team or player to win the
title”. But if you tell the same team or player that your objective is to teach them values such as respect, fair play or team spirit, it will be much harder to explain and measure. Therein lies a crucial difference: while success is easily quantifiable (points, titles, etc.), there is no objective and universal indicator for values. Values can be interpreted quite differently from one person to the next. For instance, I have noticed that some parents and coaches hollering right next to the pitch at youth games have quite a different definition of fair play and respect. But what these parents and coaches tend to forget is the direct impact on the young players, who learn directly from their role models: peers, parents, idols, coaches or teachers. Tomorrow’s behaviours are shaped today, and there can be no complete sports
education without an emphasis on values. Why sport is a good vehicle for values Values are not something we can translate into rules or regulations. It’s a choice every individual, team, parent, and coach has to make. Once that choice is made, the added value is to be found in the individuals we nurture. Focusing on respect, fair play, concentration, dedication, sacrifice, flexibility, team spirit, etc., will not directly guarantee you either money or results. But the above values are not only useful in sports; we also use them in everyday life. This might be the main transferable benefit - using what one learns in sports at school, work and/or in family life. You must think I am going all soft and sentimental here for a competitor, maybe even esoteric. I might be treading on some fine line, true enough. But I believe that instilling values through sports is essential, both in professional and amateur sports. In professional sports there is a direct connection between result and income. And that probably puts a lot of extra pressure on the sportsperson to keep on promoting values. Professional sports is however only the
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top of the pyramid and therefore relatively small. The amateur base is enormous, and the link between result and income is not so evident. Furthermore, while at amateur level there is nothing wrong with winning, the main target is “fun” for 90 % of the players involved, whether tennis, athletics or football. Respect, fair play, and team spirit are all things we must link to ”fun” from an early age on in the minds of our youth. How do we do this?
© IRIS Euro Tournament
In this matter everybody has to take on their own responsibility. Parents and coaches have a bigger influence because they set the initial example for the budding sportsperson. This
influence cannot be underestimated; when an 11-year old sees his parents or coach giving negative feedback on other players, referees or spectators, it is bound to have an impact. But the responsibility cannot only be placed on the shoulders of parents and coaches. It is clear that adult players and all those involved in the organisation of sport have their part to play. This goes both for professional and amateur levels. After all we are role models, not only for kids, but also our own peers. And a final chunk of responsibility lies with the governments and sports organisations. There are already some efforts being made on fair play and discrimination issues. But so far, these efforts are always much too marginal: governing bodies should invest more
capital and involve more people in education. We also need to find other ways to reward players and teams who promote values. The extra UEFA cup ticket for a few teams based on good behaviour in European football is a good example. There, fair-play has become measurable and positively compensated for in terms of income. It’s a challenge we all have to work on, in view of creating a long-term result. But I believe it’s worthwhile investing our time and money: let’s educate! Shaju is a 33 year old Belgian sportsfan, with a specific passion for football. He has 4 years experience as a qualified football coach and as sportsmonitor for children. He holds a degree in Sociology.
> Shaju Hendrikx Youth football coach Gent Belgian
These pictures were taken at the U12 Iris Euro Tournament (May 2008 in Brussels). The 2nd edition will take place on 23-24 May 2009 (http://www.whitestar.be/iriseuro-tournament/index.htm).
For more information, visit: http://www.uefa.com/uefa/keytopics/kind=8/newsid=581098.html http://www.footbel.com/nl/KBVB/test11/sociaal.html (NL) http://www.coe.int/t/dc/press/news/20080513_ecri_EN.asp http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/federation/mission.html http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/affederation/administration/code%5fof%5fethics%5fall%5f45.pdf http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/club/community.htm [ N° 6 ] > SHIFT mag
EUROPE TALKS TO BRUSSELS
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“Faster, higher, stronger”, “the most important is not winning but taking part”… Aren’t these two messages a little confusing ? The sixth is...