Sport for all – far from a reality

"Sport for all is far from being a reality. Lack of physical activity, which is a growing trend, costs economies around 80.4 billion euros a year in the EU countries alone ", says rapporteur Carmen Quintanilla (Spain, EPP/CD). Her report "Sport for all: a bridge to equality, integration and social inclusion" is geared, among other things, to curbing young people's tendency to drop out of sport, by involving school and university sports, in conjunction with sports organisations, in promoting sport for all.

"We must adopt a different approach and refocus sports policies on two priority areas: public health and integration/social cohesion" she explains.

The starting point for her analysis was to identify three areas where significant problems of equal access to sport are evident: de facto gender discrimination, discrimination because of origin, and also barriers resulting from social vulnerability, including disabilities and cultural background.

"A recent BBC Sports study has revealed that 30% of sports reward men more highly than women, with the biggest disparities to be found in football, cricket, golf, darts, snooker and squash", she points out.

Accordingly, in the draft resolution presented by Ms Quintanilla and adopted unanimously, the PACE's Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media calls on the member States to reduce gender-based remuneration gaps and disparities in prizes, recognise women athletes’ achievements and significantly increase media visibility of women in sport, notably by devoting more public service broadcasting air-time to women’s sport and by promoting a non-sexist view of sport.

Backing a set of other concrete measures put forward by the rapporteur to make amateur sport accessible to all, the Committee also wants the member States to launch talks with sports organisations on a better way of redistributing revenues generated by top-level professional sport in order to allocate a percentage of that money to projects aimed at improving access to sport for all.