ENGSO Youth is on fire
After being involved in the organisation for many years, Paolo Emilio Adami was elected president of the youth umbrella of ENGSO during the last year's GA. Hence the perfect time to discuss Paolo’s first year in his new role. How does it feel after a year of leading youth in sports? It feels good! I am very satisfied with how things are going and have developed during this year. This feeling is entirely due to the exceptional group of individuals that are part of our organisation, I am referring to the committee, the staff and all other volunteers. Working with such group of highly motivated and goal oriented people is a continuous stimulus to improve and work harder. If I were to describe this year using only one word, I would say PASSION. The reason for that is because I have really experienced how passionate all ENGSO Youth members are about their work and what it means to be enthusiastic for the things you do. St. Augustine of Hyppo said: "What you wish to kindle in others must burn within yourself", and I can confirm that ENGSO Youth people are on fire! Where ENGSO Youth is heading? One year ago we have identified and established very ambitious objectives. Some were in line with the previous strategy, while others were completely new to our Platform but considered as key by our Members for the development of the organisation. These include ensuring the representation of all young people that practice sport and physical activity in Europe, through our National Member Organisations, advocating towards Institutions to guarantee an equal access to basic and fundamental rights despite the country of residence. We indeed believe that practicing physical activity or a sport should be included among those fundamental rights, considering the tight connection to health, mental health, self development and social improvement. As I said these are very ambitious goals but we are working hard to move in that direction. ENGSO Youth is the only European youth organisation focusing on sport in Europe. How is that globally? Globally the situation it's extremely heterogeneous. That is based on countries' priorities and the internal organisation of the sport sector. In the vast majority of cases Youth Sport is one of the many areas on which sport organisations worldwide are working on, constantly challenged with limited resources and dedicating to the development of the area the not-so-specialised staff available, which in some cases is "age-wise" very far from the target group. ENGSO Youth is a youth-led youth organisation, which means that we are targeting our peers and that gives us a different perspective, compared to other organisations, and a great advantage. Plus it makes perfectly sense! We have established in the past some contacts with other international non-European sport organisation, interested in developing the field of Youth Sport, but it's not always easy to translate and adopt a model in a different context. I can anyway confirm that this is an area we are strongly looking into. You joined ENGSO Youth several years ago, do you have the feeling that sport and youth have a higher place on the agenda nowadays? Yes, I have the feeling that the European youth sport sector is taken into higher consideration than previously, especially by European institutions. In these past years we have worked hard to be recognized as reliable and valuable interlocutors and partners by institutions and other organisations. Finally we are starting to see the results of that hard work and that encourages us to continue our work with revived enthusiasm. Which organisation is your “dream organization” to collaborate in the future? I have to admit that we have several times "dreamt" of exporting our vision of Youth Sport and the instrumental role of sport for social change in the Olympic movement. Therefore, I believe that establishing a cooperation with the International Olympic Committee, could represent a great leap forward for the entire youth sport sector.