Sport for All and Rethinking Sport were the two central themes of the 17th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Sport that was held on 26 October in Antalya, Türkiye. Organised by the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS) in co-operation with the Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Türkiye, the Conference brought together representatives of over 50 countries.
Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić opened the event together with the Minister of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Türkiye, Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoğlu. A video address was delivered by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Two main themes were on the agenda:
- Sport for all: uniting us for stronger societies, and
- Rethinking sport: leading the way for a healthy and sustainable future.
Football Icon and Board Member of the UEFA Foundation for Children Clarence Seedorf was one of the keynote speakers for the Sport for All theme.
Ministers exchanged views on three topics:
- Gender equality: ensuring women’s equal participation and involvement;
- Sport as a means of inclusion: its role for disadvantaged groups;
- Sport for children: education, prevention and development.
Paralympic Gold Medallist in Archery Gizem Girişmen was one of the keynote speakers for the Rethinking Sport theme.
Ministers’ contributions focused on three priorities:
- Addressing the emerging challenges to sport policies;
- Facilitating access to sport and encouraging practice as part of healthy lifestyle;
- Boosting the return to sport activities and events.
Deputy Secretary General Bjørn Berge closed the conference with Minister Kasapoğlu.
A side event on the inclusion of migrants and refugees through sport took place on 27 October. The event was opened by Leyla Kayacik, Special Representative of the Secretary General on Migration and Refugees.