• ENGSO Youth

Day 3 EYSF & the visit to the House of Parliament

The last day of the European Youth Sport Forum was dedicated to the topic sport diplomacy. In this regard the young leaders in sport had the honour to visit the Maltese House of Parliament in the capital, Valletta.

In the morning two panel debates were held. In the first panel there was a debate on the role of ambassadors for sport. Mr. Fenech (wheelchair dancer), Ms. Kravchenko (Paralympic athlete) and Mr. Portelli (director of programmes SportMalta) agreed that ambassadors can have a great impact on the life of someone else through sport. Elite athletes can be a trigger, inspiration and motivation for grassroot sports. Paralympian Kravchenko said that especially Paralympic athletes can make a difference because they have to overcome barriers and show determination: “the most important organ in your body is your heart. Paralympians live their lives with passion”.

In the second panel the discussion was raised on the intercultural dialogue through sport. Mr. Chouhal (athlete), Mr. Stanisavljevic (former athlete) and Ms. Malikova (head of unit of International Cooperation in Sport at the ministry dedicated to sport in Slovakia) discussed the power of sport but also the abuse of sport for politics. Mr. Stanisavljevic said that athletes shouldn’t be abused as marionettes by the government for sport diplomacy: “Sport should be used to create bridges not to destroy them.” Ms. Malikova was very happy to see so many young people: “ the voice of EYSF 2017 will be heard! This forum is such a great initiative, I am very happy that this is reality.

After the panel debates it was time for the last day of working groups, to finalise the recommendations for the Pink Paper.

In the afternoon the participants visited the Maltese House of Parliament in the capital of Malta, Valletta. For many participants it was the first time to visit a national parliament and were honoured to be present at a special event in the House of Representatives. Honorary Farrugia and Honorary Busuttil debated on the importance of sport in Malta and the role of sport diplomacy. The participants got a chance to express their opinions, ideas and recommendations. They had statements about the importance of the recognition of extreme sports as leisure activities, the challenges that athlete students face and also about the need for equal treatment of people with mental disabilities in the sporting world.

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