Lunch Panel Discussion - The United Sports Front for Inclusion
The lunch discussion panel included Karin Torneklint (who also joined us on Monday to share her experiences from a long career within sports federations) as well as Swedish Ski Association representatives Elisabeth Egnell (Head of Business Development and SSE alumni) and Petra Åkerblom.
They all three jointly engage in the EPOS network, which Sundström Safety and the Swedish Athletics Federation created in 2019 to support, inspire and connect female leaders in sports. Since then, more organizations have joined, such as the Swedish Ski Association, IFK Göteborg and Djurgården IF.
Torneklint began to present the EPOS network, when it was established and how it works. The initiator was Ivan Sundström from Sundström Safety, within the network, every sports organisation has its own projects, and the Board must adopt the goals.
Possibilities and Challenges of Swedish Sports
Next, Egnell gave a holistic picture of what they at the Swedish Ski Association "really do". She also highlighted the importance of sports (3.3 million members in Sweden, 90% of all kids, increased health, physically and mentally, increased productivity in school, work, less sick leaves, increased self esteen, social interactions, reduced costs on society etc.) and that it is about democratization, integration, participation, legacy and inspiration. But she also mentioned that the sports world is a movement in need, with an 18% decline of all activities, high drop out in the age 13-15, lack of leaders and deficincies in facilities and gyms. The problems lie within structure and history, leadership, lack of cooperation and the pandemic, according to Egnell.
Call for Research Proposals
The panel discussion was rounded off with a call for research proposals, both regarding Bachelor, Master Theses as well as PhD projects, among others: (1) social return on investment (SROI), what is truly the value of sports? (cost, activities, effects, impact = value). How can we measure the effect and impact of sport in our society? (2) The Swedish model: What is the cherry for leaders to be and/or stay involved? (3) Demographics and analytics: Who are we? Where are we?