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Resolution 27 (1996)1 on sport and local authorities

The Congress,

on a proposal from the Chamber of Local Authorities,

1. Having taken note of the report on the European Conference on Sport and Local Authorities held in Gödöllo (Hungary) from 1 to 3 February 1996, presented by Mr Meintz, Rapporteur on behalf of the Working Group on Sport;

2. Considering the important role played by local and regional authorities in improving living standards, economic progress and cultural development;

3. Considering that sport forms an integral part of local cultural activities, it is therefore vital that local authorities have an active, conscious attitude and approach as to how involvement in sport can be integrated into local policies in general;

4. Considering that sports and physical activities must not be the exclusive preserve of certain age groups and special categories of persons but should be accessible to the general public in the framework of the "Sport for All" concept;

5. Calls on local and regional authorities

a. to make available appropriate support and resources from public funds for the development of sport;

b. to co-operate with the commercial and the voluntary sectors and to encourage mixed public and private support for sport;

c. to diminish the financial inequalities with regard to the needs of top-level sport and those of sport for all;

d. to promote the health and well-being of all groups and individuals wishing to undertake sporting activities;

e. to encourage and support a greater participation by older persons in appropriate sporting and other physical activities;

f. to provide opportunities for all young people to become involved in sport, and to emphasize the value of physical activity rather than the technical or competitive element;

g. to take all appropriate policy measures to encourage greater involvement of women in sport;

h. to facilitate the access of the least privileged groups to the practice of sport and physical activity;

i. to create a welcoming climate for disabled people, recognising their right to be helped and improving their position in society;

j. to promote measures in the fields of physical, health and safety education to advertise sports and other suitable physical activities for their beneficial effects on health;

6. Invites the Bureau of the Congress

a. to regularly examine the role and responsibilities of local and regional authorities in relation to sport, and to re-establish the Working Group on Sport in due course;

b. to support concrete action aimed at providing sport for all;

c. to reinforce European co-operation in this field between local and regional authorities;

d. to deepen the dialogue with other bodies of the Council of Europe having responsibilities in the area of sport.

 

Appendix

Final Declaration of the European Conference on Sport and Local Authorities (Gödöllo, 1-3 February 1996)

The participants at the European Conference on Sport and Local Authorities, held in Gödöllo (Hungary) from 1 to 3 February 1996,

1. Thanking the Council of Europe and in particular its Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe for taking the initiative of organising this conference;

2. Thanking the Mayor and the Municipality of Gödöllo for their warm welcome and hospitality;

3. Underlining the important role played by local and regional authorities in improving living standards, economic progress and cultural development;

4. Emphasising that sport forms an integral part of local cultural activities, and therefore it is vital that local authorities have an active, conscious attitude and approach to how involvement in sport can be integrated into local policies in general;

5. Stressing that sport, being a school for democratic ideals, social participation and integration, plays an important role in promoting international understanding;

6. Considering that sports activities are beneficial not only for the development of personality but also for the attainment of good health, the improvement of physical qualities, greater personal fulfilment, a better and more wholesome use of leisure and the improvement of the quality of life;

7. Considering also that sports and physical activities must not be the exclusive preserve of certain age groups and special categories of persons but should be accessible to the general public in the framework of the "Sport for All" concept;

8. Acknowledging the vital role played by the Council of Europe in the promotion of sport as an important factor in human development, in particular by setting international standards through such instruments as the European Sports Charter and Code of Sports Ethics;

9. Call on the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe to regularly examine the role and responsibilities of local and regional authorities in relation to sport, to support concrete action aimed at providing sport for all, and to reinforce European co-operation in this field between local and regional authorities, and between the Congress and other bodies of the Council of Europe;

10. Adopt and commend to the favourable consideration of the Congress the Final Declaration of the Gödöllo Conference as follows.

A. Sport for all: The role and responsibilities of local authorities

11. Sport shall be acknowledged as an important factor in human development and appropriate support shall be made available out of public funds. Encouragement of physical and sports activities should be the task of every local and regional authority;

12. Sport, being an aspect of socio-cultural development, shall be related at local, regional and national levels to other areas of policy-making and planning such as education, health, social service, town and country planning, conservation, the arts and leisure services;

13. An effective sports policy can only be determined and put into operation through co-operation by all private and public agencies concerned either directly or indirectly with sport, both voluntary and compulsory;

14. Local and regional authorities should foster permanent and effective co-operation between public authorities and voluntary organisations active in the field of sports;

15. Since the scale of participation in sports depends on the extent, the variety and the accessibility of facilities, public authorities shall take account of local, regional and national requirements, and incorporate measures designed to ensure full use of both new and existing facilities;

16. Public authorities should provide sufficient sports grounds and installations for the needs of the people, readily available to all at affordable prices;

17. The construction of local sports facilities should be based on present and future needs in various sports activities, taking into account population and socio-economic trends. The facilities should be easily accessible for users of all ages, irrespective of their state of health, e.g. the disabled or the elderly;

18. Encouragement must be given to the provision of facilities which can be used for both school sport and voluntary sport and, whenever possible, to the combination of cultural and sports facilities, without compromising on the interests of sport;

19. As far as possible, local sports facilities should be adapted to the needs of special groups, such as the very young, adolescents, school leavers, isolated and elderly people, and the disabled;

20. Local authorities should aim at promoting the health and well-being of all groups and individuals wishing to undertake sporting activities;

21. Local authorities should encourage and support efforts to promote a greater participation by older persons in appropriate sporting and other physical activities;

22. In particular, they should stimulate the development of a policy on sport for older persons and to encourage a wider knowledge and awareness of the beneficial effects of regular exercise. They should also develop an adequate range and variety of programmes designed to preserve fitness and to improve health through regular sporting activity, paying attention to the social needs, motivation and physical potential of different age groups;

23. Appropriate and well-balanced programmes should be made available to provide opportunities for all young people to become involved in sport and physical activity. Local authorities, together with the sports organisations concerned, are responsible for providing the necessary leadership in the development and promotion of a sports policy for young people;

24. Physical education should be a part of every school curriculum, placing emphasis on the physical and mental health of pupils. Stress should be laid on the value of physical activity rather than on the technical or competitive element;

25. Local authorities should take all appropriate policy measures in their countries to encourage greater involvement of women in sport. In particular, they should encourage sport federations and other parties involved to recognise and accept their individual responsibilities in facilitating a fundamental attitude towards women’s participation in sport;

26. They should promote a greater use by women of the existing opportunities available to them to take part in sport. The position of women in the promotion and administration of sport as a public service should be reviewed. The organisation of programmes and facilities to enable all members of families to participate in sport together should be encouraged;

27. The principles of sport as an important means of bringing about greater participation in the life of the host society should apply to everyone, and, in particular, to the least privileged groups. Immigrants’ access to the practice of sport should be facilitated. They should be able to join sport clubs to help bring them out of their isolation;

28. Local authorities should encourage the building of sports facilities in areas which have a high concentration of immigrants and which are particularly deprived. They should increase their efforts to launch specific action programmes to foster participation by immigrants and other socially marginalised groups;

29. Sport and physical recreation has an important role in helping alleviate poor living conditions. Local authorities should carry out comprehensive policies with special emphasis on the needs of those living in areas of deprivation.

B. The financing and management of sport

30. Sport is an integral part of society which provides significant positive economic effects. The economic stimulus generated by sport contributes to consumption, income and employment, as well as to local, regional and national economic development;

31. Sports facilities and amenities have wider effects in terms of job creation. There has been a manifold increase in the number of employment opportunities opened up by sport and allied sectors;

32. The growth and increased variety of sources of funding for sport are helpful to its development. There are considerable differences existing between the countries of Europe regarding the proportion of sport funding coming from the public sector, consumers and private sources, the role of central, regional and local authorities;

33. Sports activities are largely financed by private households, local and regional authorities, private sponsors and contributions from the voluntary sector. In the vast majority of European countries local authorities are the biggest public financial partner of sport, far ahead of central governments;

34. Appropriate support and resources from public funds (at local, regional and central levels) shall be made available for the development of sport. Local authorities should facilitate the direct and indirect public financing for sport in general and sport for all in particular, both in current and capital expenditure;

35. A financial balance should be maintained between public and private (including household and commercial) expenditure in sport. Mixed public and private financial support for sport should be encouraged, including the generation by the sports sector itself of resources necessary for its further development;

36. Sports financing and management should be increasingly based on direct and ever closer relations between participants and local public decision-makers. The financial contributions of the state and enterprises, comparatively minor, should increasingly adapt to this "grass roots" dialogue between consumers and local public sports financiers;

37. Local authorities, in association with central authorities, the voluntary and the commercial sectors, should establish policies for recreational and competitive sport, aiming at co-ordinating their involvement in the running and the use of facilities;

38. Commercial sponsorship and marketing in sport are already recognised and accepted as an additional means of financing sport. Well-managed sponsorship agreements benefit both sport and the sponsor, therefore it should be encouraged and promoted by local authorities;

39. The voluntary sector plays a decisive role in sport and thus contributes in a major way to the balanced development of society in general and of sport in particular. Local policies supporting voluntary groups and volunteers (for example through tax measures) should be encouraged, thereby providing even more efficient support for sport;

40. Whilst taking due consideration of the importance of voluntary work, the creation of new jobs and further development of training for current and future employees in the sports sector should be encouraged;

41. Finance for sport is differently distributed between components of the sports sector. Local authorities should aim at diminishing the financial inequalities with regard to the needs of top-level sport and those of sport for all. In the interest of solidarity between sports, sports with less media appeal, which are thus unable to attract major funding, should be helped;

42. All taxpayers contribute to the financing of sports facilities. Nevertheless, consumers of sport can be called upon to contribute more through charges, commensurate with the type of activity pursued. Subsidies from public authorities may promote participation and benefit low income or needy groups, simultaneously achieving redistributive goals and healthier lifestyles;

43. Local authorities should understand the specific needs and difficulties faced by the sports organisations of the new member countries in Central and Eastern Europe in obtaining public and private financing for their activities;

C. Sport and health

44. Sport has a vital role in contributing to the adjustment and rehabilitation of the physically and mentally handicapped;

45. The promotion and development of sport and physical recreation for all disabled persons is an important means of improving the quality of their life, as well as contributing to their rehabilitation and integration in society. Local authorities should aim at creating a welcoming climate for disabled people, recognising their right to be helped and improving their position in society;

46. They should ensure that public sports facilities are accessible to and usable by disabled persons. In particular, public money should be set aside to help with the conversion of existing facilities and to familiarise architects and managers of sports facilities with the requirements of disabled people;

47. Local authorities should encourage and work closely with the sport organisations concerned in order to develop appropriate activities at all levels of sport for disabled persons and to ensure in particular that recreational participation in sport is adequately provided for;

48. They should consider ways in which disabled persons may be offered opportunities for integrating into traditional sport clubs and organisations. They should also encourage disabled persons to contribute directly to the development of sports policies which concern them;

49. Local authorities should develop policies designed to give the general public more information on sport for disabled people. They should do their utmost to introduce physical activities and sport in the education, rehabilitation and preventive treatment of the handicapped, and to better integrate handicapped persons into sports activities primarily aimed at the non-handicapped;

50. They should take measures to make sports facilities more easily accessible, encourage the training of specialist staff and support the setting-up of independent bodies responsible for the organisation of sports adapted to different kinds of handicap;

51. Local and regional authorities should encourage practice, teaching and research in the field of sports medicine. They should also promote measures in the fields of physical, health and safety education to advertise sports and other suitable physical activities for their beneficial effects on health;

52. The medical use of physical activities should be supported in order to gain, conserve and improve health at the level of "Sport for All" and to guard against possible hazards;

53. Local authorities should take an active part in educational campaigns to point out the risks involved in using or advocating the use of doping agents, in particular that many such agents present serious long-term dangers to health;

54. Local authorities should closely co-operate with bodies responsible for health education to advertise sport as a means of acquiring, conserving and improving physical and mental health and improving the quality of life in general.

1 Discussion and approbation by the Chamber of Local Authorities on 15 April 1996, and adoption by the Standing Committee of the Congress on 16 April 1996 (see Doc. CPL (2) 6, Part I Res, draft Resolution presented by Mr C. Meintz, Rapporteur).

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