Sport is synonymous of multiplicity: multiplicity of disciplines (both professional and grassroots), multiplicity of actors (athletes, trainers, managers, supporters), multiplicity of outcomes (in terms of health, social inclusion, education, growth, employment, etc.). In the European sport system a significant role is played by multisport clubs (i.e. clubs that promote several sport disciplines, both professional and grassroots, within the same organization and denomination), who – through their multiple involvement on a large variety of sports – understand better than anyone else the different dimensions, impacts, needs.
In order to focus their efforts into a common direction, Società Sportiva Lazio and other 14 multisport clubs created a pan-European network associating top clubs who dedicate their energies to both professional and grassroots sports: the European Multisport Club Association.
The 8th January 2013, SS Lazio, together with the other 5 founding members (Ferencvaros, Panionios, Olympiacos, Racing Club de France and Sporting Clube de Portugal), signed the so-called “Multisport Declaration”. In this document, the clubs shared the EU Priorities encompassed in the EU Work Plan for Sport 2011-2014, intending to support the European Commission and the EU the Member States in their activities.
The EU context in the field of sport has immensely changed during last years. The Treaty of Lisbon gave the EU a specific “sport” competence. Article 165 TFEU opened the doors to a European Sport Policy, that began in 2014, with the inclusion a specific “Sport Chapter” in the omni-comprehensive Erasmus+ Programme.
Through Erasmus+ Sport, the EU Commission aims to enhance social inclusion, volunteering and participation in sport, in order to promote the good values of sport in Europe. Moreover, a particular stress is given to sport seen as physical activity, a perfect way to prevent health problems for the European citizens. Finally, the EU encourages the good governance of sport and fights against menaces such as doping, match-fixing, racism and violence.
In this context, Multisport clubs created their Panel in EMCA, fixing almost the same Commission’s targets. That is why the idea of presenting a common project to the European Institutions came out. After all, the Multisport Declaration signed in 2013 was clear:
“The Association may also encourage the submission of projects in line with its objectives in international institutions, the European Union and the countries of origin of the national Multisport Clubs”
So, the 24th and the 25th March 2014, EMCA organised a meeting in Rome, with a seminar held in partnership with the Italian Government, office of the Prime Minister, the European Commission, the Region of Lazio, the Municipality of Rome, the European Olympic Committee and the Italian National Committee. During the event, Multisport Clubs exchanged their ideas on how a targeted activity on schools, non-national residents communities and weak categories together with the vast amount of stakeholders in the sport system can develop a model, coherent with the EU policies and beneficial for the participants and the target groups.