Tune into the Integration of Refugees Through Sport Network conference live

9am CET Tuesday 17 November

Posted November 16, 2020

The Integration of Refugees Through Sport (IRTS) Networking Platform Conference will be opening its virtual doors on Tuesday 17 November at 9am CET on ISCA’s Facebook page. We invite you experience a taste of this online event by tuning into our live stream of the Plenary Session and MOVE Beyond Workshop, featuring speakers from the European Commission, the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR, the Council of Europe, Save the Children, the Red Cross and FARE Network.

The IRTS Networking Platform Conference will be attended online by 127 participants from 39 countries and 76 organisations who are working in different sectors – from sport to humanitarian organisations, international institutions and refugees support services. The conference had originally been planned to take place in Copenhagen and online as a hybrid event, but was moved completely online to ensure the safety of all participants.

The full programme of the conference, including four workshops conducted via Zoom, is therefore only available to those participants who are part of the IRTS Networking Platform project.

But moving the conference online enables us to share part of the experience! So the following presentations will be publicly available to watch live on ISCA’s Facebook page:

9.00-10.30 CET: Plenary Session

Welcome: Mogens Kirkeby, ISCA President, and Antoaneta Angelova-Krasteva, Director for Innovation, International Cooperation and Sport at DG EAC European Commission

Keynote: Sport is a Universal Language, Nick Sore, Senior Refugee Sports Coordinator, UNHCR

Panel: How can international cooperation strengthen solidarity with refugees and how can sport contribute to integration? Featuring:

  • Rolf Schwery, SchweryCade
  • Adnan Abdul-Ghani, Save the Children
  • Stanislas Frossard, Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS), Council of Europe
  • Piara Power, FARE Network

11.00-12.00 CET: MOVE Beyond Workshop (presentations only)

Topic: How to establish partnerships between sport and non-sport organisations and use them for the successful integration of refugees

Presentations from 4 partner pairs:

  • Beatrice Agostini, UISP Trento and Silvia Volpato, ATAS, Italy 
  • Peter Bennett, DGI and Alexander van Deurs, Danish Red Cross, Denmark 
  • Sara Stigzelius, Save the Children and Hanna Johansson, RF-SISU Västra Götaland, Sweden 
  • Lucie Vickers, StreetGames and Suvi Rehell, SPARC Social Enterprise and Devon & Cornwall Refugee Support, UK 

MODERATOR: Zachary Whyte, University of Copenhagen, Advanced Migration Studies, Denmark 

Only the beginning for the IRTS Network

The IRTS Network conference marks the beginning of an active network of people working in the refugee integration and inclusion field. More events are planned for 2021 and 2022 – including the MOVE Congress in 2021, where we hope to be able to bring together as many participants in-person as possible. The IRTS Mentoring Programme will also continue next year with the intention to facilitate more in-person meetings.

ISCA Head of Projects and IRTS Network coordinator Saska Benedicic Tomat explains that it was in all of the participants’ best interest to move their first meetings and conference online in 2020.

“Due to the highly active and unpredictable Corona virus pandemic, we have decided to hold the Integration of Refugees Through Sport Networking Platform conference in an online format. We believe that right now the most important thing is to organise an event that is safe and enjoyable for all,” she says.

But this will only strengthen our capacities to deliver more inclusive online or hybrid events if we still face challenges next year, she adds.

“With this MOVE we're taking care of all participants’ safeties and keeping full responsibility in a situation where we are all together – while we continue to master the art of organising and attending online events, providing and contributing to the creation of a good, interactive and productive networking environment, where we all share the same goal.”

Find out more about the IRTS Network, Mentoring Programme, Awards and Online Learning courses at the official website

The IRTS Networking Platform is co-financed by the European Commission under its ‘EAC Sport as a Tool for Integration’ funding stream.