ICC Europe highlights cricket's ability to unify divided communities at EU sports conference
Mon, Mar 11, 2013 10:32 AM
Cricket's ability to break down barriers and promote social integration was highlighted by ICC Europe at a major European sports conference held in Dublin, Ireland.
Nick Pink, Regional Development Manager for ICC Europe, told delegates at the EU Sports Conference of the game's unifying qualities, before calling for a greater partnership between commercial bodies and governments to develop the sport at grassroots level across Europe.
"Sport has the power to bring communities together, and we?re helping to do just that by developing participation in cricket throughout Europe," says Nick. "For example, the Irish Cricket Union has been giving Protestant and Catholic communities the chance to enjoy sport together through its development programmes, while the Israel Cricket Association's Cross Border project is helping to break down barriers between Israelis and Palestinians on the cricket pitch.
"Just as these projects have shown how working together can be beneficial for all, European governments and commercial bodies have the opportunity to work in partnership to make significant strides in developing the game of cricket across the continent.
"By working together, this can be done in a financially sustainable way, while promoting greater social integration, which can only be a good thing."
Held on 7 March at Dublin Castle, The EU Sports Conference brought together a host of sporting organisations to discuss sport financing as part of the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
A key Presidency objective is to make progress on issues highlighted in the EU's Work Plan on Sport. The Plan has identified the sustainable financing of sport at grassroots level as a priority theme for EU-level cooperation in sport.
The purpose of the conference was to consider the current funding mechanism for sport and to explore how sport can be developed within an economic and financial model that is both sustainable and practical.
An additional aim of the conference was to inform the Irish sports sector of the EU's role in future sports development.
Nick's presentation, Economic and Financial Models for Sport, highlighted the investment ICC Europe has made towards developing the sport in European member countries while providing an opportunity to talk about European cricket and the ICC Development Programme.
The conference also featured speakers from the International Paralympics Committee, Swim Ireland and European Rugby Cup, with topics covered including Perspectives from Irish Practitioners, Athlete Viewpoint, Challenging Issues and Sustainable Financing of Sport/EU Perspective.
The conference was organised by the Irish Sports Council on behalf of Ireland's Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.