SWoSt - Sport without Stereotypes 15.12.2020.

LSIIDP is involved in a collaboration partnership of Erasmus+ Sport "Sport without Stereotypes" with the beneficiary from Italy. Priorities of the project are: 1) to combat violence and tackle racism, discrimination and intolerance in sport and 2) encourage social inclusion and equal opportunities in sport. Main task to accomplish within the project life cycle is to design, test and disseminate at European level a set of online tools aimed at providing self-assessment and guidance for sport clubs and sport associations to improve their gender policies and awareness. On the 15th December prior to the official beginning of the project all the partners participated in an online initiating meeting.

Rationale of the Project

In the field of youth sport education the reasons behind the selection of sport activities by the children and young people is often unlinked from a deep evaluation by parents and families about the actual advantages of sport itself. Indeed, the gender-based thinking and the gender stereotypes are usually some of the main criteria that limit the range of sport for males and females. A gender stereotype is a set of preconceived ideas or beliefs, usually negative, over-generalized to all or most members of a group based on their membership in that group. This happens in sport when an activity isn't actually accessible to all people due to differences in terms of gender. Female sport and male sport are subjected to a strong stereotype that increases a false interpretation of the added value of sport.

Besides a widespread awareness concerning the role of sport to tackle the gender issue, there isn’t a significant practical approach in terms of standardized methodology to reduce the risks of gender stereotypes within the European local sport associations and sport educational entities, which should instead transfer the possible good practice to the final beneficiaries (children, young people, parents). Although there are some pilot cases, also financed by EU, it is still crucial to strengthen the sensitization of all stakeholders in order to combine all the positive previous experiences with an aimed standardized approach.

The most of tools and measures, adopted in sport at international and national level until now, focuses on gender equality mainly at top level management or in executive boards and committees of sport governing bodies. Similarly, it’s usually highlight the need of gender balance in the management of professional sport administrations and governing bodies, as well as gender equality in coaching. These measures are a good starting point to guarantee the diffusion of gender equality aspect into the sport, since they act on the “head” of the system; nevertheless an effective change in sport approach by the final beneficiaries is nowadays compulsory as the unavoidable next step of problem’s fighting.

Families, parents, coaches and also young people should be involved into a new bottom up approach oriented to other values than common gender stereotypes behind sport selection. As a matter of fact, it is not so usual that female don’t play some sport activities generally considered “for male only” and vice versa even because the sport association background isn’t ready to welcome untrendy sport request. On the other hand, the ones who would want to pursue different sport experiences are actually the target of homophobia and discrimination, preventing therefore the free selection of sport by young people and their families.

Target Area & Beneficiaries: young people, parents, sport associations, trainers, sport educational entities, schools.

Overall Goal

The main goal of the project is to tackle the gender stereotyping and any discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in sports. The objective of the project is to create whole-sport change in Europe sport associations, that will impact on young people’s expectations of gender roles and challenge gender stereotyping through the creation of a set of online tools aimed at providing self-assessment and guidance for clubs and sport associations to improve their gender policies and awareness. These tools also represent a first approach for the subsequent definition of a “quality label” and a related “charter mark” for organizations that meet minimum standards.

These tools will enable sport association to measure progress in tackling the effects that gender stereotyping still has on athletes, young people and families, in relation with sport practice and clubs sporting choices.

The key approach consists in knowing the existing tools to prevent gender stereotype discrimination in other fields than sport, and to transfer them, after proper fine tuning, in the sport framework.

Specific outcomes are: increasing the participation of male and female in sport typically categorized like “gender based sport”; to underline successful cases; to create a self-assessment tool able to guide sport association through the improving of practical gender equality.

36 months 01.01.2021. - 31.12.2023.