Starting signal for SUPPORTER

On April 19, 2023, 11 partners, including 8 sports higher education institutions from Central and Eastern Europe and 3 expert organisations met online to mark the formal kick-off of SUPPORTER: SecUring sPORTs Education thRough innovative and inclusive Gender Equality Plans”

The EU-funded project will span 36 months (April 2023 - September 2025). Through mutual learning, horizontal capacity building and informed by an intersectional approach, eight sports institution partners will design or enhance their Gender Equality Plans, advancing gender equality among their students and staff with specific attention to addressing gender-based violence and sexual harassment.

The kick-off meeting represented an opportunity to:

  • Introduce partners and particularly the implementing organisations’ involvement in sports education
  • Get to know better the wider team members involved in the project
  • Remind about respective contributions, coordination mechanisms
  • Give partners an overview of the project and plan the next steps

Despite the seriousness of the issue, the atmosphere was collegial, permeated by ice-breaking yet informative interludes about for instance the meaning of “gender equality” in the 11 languages of the project’s implementing partners or the occurrence of a gender-based violence incident ….

SUPPORTER’s main deliverable will consist of 8 “intersectional, innovative, inclusive and impactful” Gender Equality Plans. Other equally relevant and actionable knowledge deliverables products are in the pipeline, to inform similar efforts, transfer the knowledge produced and exploit the project’s achievements beyond its lifespan.

In addition to the GEPs, SUPPORTER partners will produce the following tools:

  • A mapping of relevant best practices, training materials and institutional sports environments in addition to identifying and documenting systemic challenges faced by sports higher education institutions in advancing gender equality and eradicating gender-based violence.
  • Training material and resources tools for institutional transformation when it comes to gender inclusivity
  • Policy briefs (2) featuring a general state-of-the-art as well as recommendations regarding the implementation of gender equality plans in CEE sports universities

While initially partnering with eight institutions, the SUPPORTER project aspires to target and reach the wider sports ecosystem and its various organisations in CEE and beyond, and in the long run contribute to wide societal changes.