From 2011-2014 the EC funded eight projects to help strengthen the organisation of sport in Europe, one of which was the Better Boards Stronger Sport project that the Federation was a partner on. We have compiled a list of all the projects that have been developed to assist sporting bodies in developing good governance practices. These include Guidelines for good governance in sport and a self-assessment toolkit for sporting bodies. Read More Here


Project 1: Sport for Good Governance

There were four main objectives for the Sport for Good Governance project:

  1. Analyse and elaborate on the Basic Universal Principles of Good Governance of the Olympic and Sports Movement. Research publications as well as principles on good governance in sport have been produced in sufficient numbers over the last years.
  2. Research and analyse the implementation of the Basic Universal Principles of Good Governance by sport organisations in the EU-27 (identify good practices). Sport organisations across the EU will be asked to fill in a questionnaire on how they have implemented the principles of the aforementioned document.
  3. Organise peer review meetings to get in-depth knowledge on governance and good practices. Contacts to the corporate world, who have been dealing with this issue for a much longer time, shall be established to probe how good governances principles are implemented there.
  4. Design educational tools to promote good governance and provide support for implementing good governance principles. Educational material (e.g. toolkit including a self-evaluation tool) shall give support to implement good governance principles. It shall assist members of boards, chief executive officers and sport leaders to develop, implement and maintain a robust system of good governance.

For further information see here

Click here for Self-Assessment Toolkit


Project 2: Good Governance in Grassroots Sports

The main objective for this project was to increase the capacity of non-governmental grassroots sport organizations in Europe to govern in a transparent and accountable way. Specific Objectives also include:

  1. To increase the evidence – and knowledge base for good governance in grassroots sport in Europe by researching, compiling and disseminating existing principles of good governance in European grassroots sport.
  2. To build capacities in key national non-governmental grassroots sport organizations though targeted learning opportunities by designing and implementing a sustainable, state-of-the-art European non-formal education for “Good Governance in Grassroots Sport”, targeting organizational top leaders, and based on the results from the above mentioned evidence- and knowledge base.
  3. To increase awareness and outreach on good governance to a broad target group in grassroots sport by testing and providing a consultancy function for grassroots sport organizations on good governance.

For more information see here

Click here for: Guidelines for good governance in sport


Project 3: Better Boards, Stronger Sport

The Better Boards, Stronger Sport toolkit has been launched to help sport and recreation organisations improve their governance across Europe. It comes as part of a European Commission project, which the Federation of Irish Sport was a partner in, with the Irish Sports Council also supported. The Better Boards Stronger Sport project has been carried out by the Sport and Recreation Alliance in partnership with seven other countries to improve governance across Europe. The group has produced a toolkit to empower European sports organisations to take responsibility for governing their future successfully. It has been built on three underlying principles:

  1. The board is the key: The board is the core from which all good governance flows.
  2. Sports governance is unique: Any lessons learnt from corporate governance need to be adapted for sport’s specific needs.
  3. Governance is not a tick box exercise: Real improvement will only be achieved if the sports movement is allowed to drive themselves forward.

The toolkit is available here 


Project 4: Action for Good Governance in International Sports Organisations

Originally, the project set out to produce some reports on concepts of good governance, adding a set of guidelines to inspire sport. But from the first very intense meeting, it was decided to raise the stakes and the ambitions. This is why they were able to develop a new measuring tool in the world of sports governance:

  • The Sports Governance Observer

This tool will enable not only ‘Play the Game’ and our AGGIS partners, but any person with a serious commitment to sports governance, including people in charge of sports organisations, to register and analyse the quality of governance in the international or major national sports organisation they are related to.

Read the final report here


Project 5: CoachNet: The further development of a coordinated network for Sport Coaching in Europe

The CoachNet project aims to further develop a structure for the co-ordination of sport coaching at a European level.  The project has been granted a financial contribution from the EU, and has been recognised as a priority of the European Commission Sport Unit within the framework of the Preparatory Action in the field of sport. This network will strengthen cohesion within Sport Coaching with an enhanced emphasis on the ‘voice of the coach’. It will also build on the existing reference points for the education, and development of sport coaches, as well as providing a focal point for representation, research and communication on sport coaching issues at the European level.

The main outputs of the project are:

  1. Research of current engagement levels within the European Coaching Council and mapping the position of coaches associations in partner states
  2. Identifying models of best practice in the development of coaches associations; Developing operational guidelines and templates for the optimal development of coaches associations
  3. Developing a revised structure, to include lead national organisations, international federations, coaches associations, higher education and employers.

For more information see here


Project 6: Improving Football Governance through Supporter Involvement and Community Ownership

The project followed the development of a European-wide network of fans organisations trying to be involved in the decision-making processes at their clubs, and the support given to them by Supporters Direct Europe. It also tied in with the European Parliament report that set out the European Dimension in Sport, the 2007 White Paper for Sport, and 2011 Communication on Sport issued by the European Commission. All four documents expressed their support for the drive towards good governance in football and supporter involvement in particular.

Read the Final Report here


Project 7: European Academy for Billiard Champions on the way to sport excellence

Young sport organisations often face difficulty being commercially viable to investors for various reasons. Often times this affects many aspects of a sporting organisation (such as training or grassroots). However this can be overcome by key principles of good governance. The objective in this project was to research experiences in sport organizations management. On top of this – implement a pilot model for increasing institutional capacity through establishing/promoting transnational network for best practices/innovative approaches exchange.

For more information see here


Project 8: European Rugby League Governance Foundation Project

The Governance Foundation Project [GFP] created a tiered Membership structure of the RLEF – Bronze [Observer status], Silver [Affiliate Member], Gold [Full Member] – where best practice and the principles of good governance will be promoted, and the cooperation between partners will develop the European dimension throughout rugby league, itself a young sport on the Continent. There were ‘identified problems’ which this report looked at – Convincing rugby league enthusiasts, who may choose to get involved initially primarily due to their love of the sport on the field, of the importance of governance as a fundamental foundation stone of their operation. It is an area in which the newer members have only very limited experience. These are in contrast to the more established partners who possess a sophisticated appreciation of governance. Therefore, acknowledging that our NGB staff / volunteers’ skill sets need to be developed is one identified problem.

For more information see here