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Olympism 365: Strengthening the role of sport as an important enabler for the UN Sustainable Development Goals

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The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today endorsed the Olympism 365 strategy. It aims to strengthen the role of sport as an important enabler for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (UN) and to connect people with the Olympic values everywhere, every day. 

Olympism 365 will be the engine behind Recommendation 10 of Olympic Agenda 2020+5, which commits to this strengthening of the role of sport as an important enabler for the UN SDGs. With this strategy, the IOC reaffirms its commitment to build on the momentum created by the Olympic Games to promote the Olympic values and the role of sport in society 365 days a year.

Olympism 365 applies the Fundamental Principles of Olympism and aligns with local aid investment plans, development plans and other initiatives that are aligned with the SDGs. Through its impact in the areas of access, belonging, benefits and connection, Olympism 365 has direct alignment with 17 targets in 10 SDGs. The SDGs and targets are:

  • SDG 3 Good health and well-being (Target 3.4)
  • SDG 4 Quality education (Targets 4.4 and 4.5)
  • SDG 5 Gender equality (Targets 5.1, 5.2 and 5.5)
  • SDG 8 Decent work and growth (Targets 8.3 and 8.6)
  • SDG 10 Reduce inequality within and among countries (Target 10.3)
  • SDG 11 Sustainable cities and communities (Target 11.7)
  • SDG 12 Sustainable consumption and production patterns (Target 12.5)
  • SDG 13 Take urgent action to combat climate change (Target 13.2)
  • SDG 16 Peace, justice and sustainable institutions (Targets 16.2 and 16.7)
  • SDG 17 Partnerships for the goals (Targets 17.3, 17.14 and 17.16)

Olympism 365 accounts for the progress that has been made by the IOC and its stakeholders over the last 20 years to contribute to a peaceful and better world through sport. It also positions the Olympic Movement’s ambitions to remain relevant in the current global context, which has been exacerbated by the global pandemic.

“Sport has great social significance by being the glue that bonds communities together,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “The Olympic values that are enshrined in the Olympic Charter and drive the work of our Movement are more relevant than ever. They not only come to life during the Olympic Games, but every day, everywhere. It is our duty to ensure that governments and the entire international community continue to invest in sport and its irreplaceable values. With the adoption of Olympism 365, we will create and strengthen partnerships that will allow us to further contribute to building a better world through sport, together,” Bach concluded.

The importance of sport and its values has been demonstrated more than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sport has played an essential role in helping people to remain physically and mentally healthy throughout this difficult period. Governments, UN agencies, development banks, NGOs and other commercial organisations all recognise that sport can drive social change. Olympism 365 will aim to build innovative and effective partnerships using sport to impact people’s lives in all spheres of society, including education, health and inclusion.

Olympism 365 will work towards creating change in four interconnected areas:

  • Improving access to sport: Olympism 365 will gather and leverage a network of diverse partners that will create new opportunities for underserved communities to play sport; 
  • Creating a place to belong: through innovative partnerships, Olympism 365 will create safe, inclusive and equal sports communities;
  • Ensuring opportunities to fully benefit from sport: Olympism 365 will endeavour to leverage the full power of sport, including physical and mental well-being but also new prospects related to employability, such as networking and leadership training;
  • Strengthening local and global connection: Olympism 365 will allow
    diverse groups of people and organisations to connect, share best practices and experiences, and collectively solve problems.  

In order to deliver on these objectives, Olympism 365 will follow four working principles: 

  • Quality delivery and advocacy partnerships are at the centre of the delivery
  • The approach will consider the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Safe, inclusive, accessible, sustainable organisations are a pre-requisite to enabling more equal opportunities
  • Human rights-based and sustainable environmental, social and economic practices are applied across all mechanisms

Over the next four years, Olympism 365 will aim to build eight intersecting portfolios, which include over 45 strategic partners and more than 200 implementing partners. Each portfolio has the opportunity to include the Olympic Movement stakeholders, athletes, NGOs, TOPs, young leaders, government departments, UN and development agencies and programme delivery organisations.

The original article can be found here.

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