European Erasmus Program Promotes Mass Sports in Austria

Lifestyle & TravelMore+ ♦ Published: November 23, 2022; 23:38 ♦ (Vindobona)

Grassroots sport will be the sport priority in the EU's Erasmus+ program in 2023 and will be allocated budget funds accordingly. The focus will be on European knowledge transfer to strengthen fairness, values and cohesion in sports.

Ernst Gesslbauer (Director Erasmus+ & ESK at OeAD), Werner Kogler (Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister of Arts, Culture, Civil Service and Sports) and Jakob Calice (Managing Director of OeAD - Agency for Education and Internationalization) (l.t.r.). / Picture: © OeAD/APA-Fotoservice/Rastegar

Collaborative partnerships are promoted to enable broader access to the sports program. The promotion of dual careers of sportsmen and sportswomen is to be particularly emphasized. Ensuring the integrity of sports is to be achieved through the so-called learning mobility of personnel in grassroots sports abroad, cooperation between organizations and the development of policies in the field of sport and physical activity.

All organizations active in grassroots sports are eligible to apply during the call starting November 23, 2022. The budget amounts to around 168,000 euros. The online application form will soon be available on the Erasmus+ platform of the European Commission.

Werner Kogler, Vice Chancellor and Minister of Sport explained that "grassroots sport" is often the basis for a career as a competitive athlete. Moreover, it is to this base that athletes often return as coaches and officials. According to Kogler, the experience and learning opportunities abroad also promote "the exchange of experience among decision-makers, and additional knowledge is generated that benefits our athletes."

Starting in 2023, the OeAD, as the national agency for Erasmus+, will also coordinate the sports sector in Austria. In addition to the Erasmus+ areas of education and youth, networks, partnerships and stays abroad of people active in grassroots sports will also be supported.

OeAD Managing Director Jakob Calice: "The OeAD has decades of know-how in the coordination of Erasmus+ and its predecessor programs in Austria. It was obvious that this expertise would also be used in the field of sports. We are looking forward to the joint implementation of the plans and projects with the BMKÖS!" The Federal Ministry of Arts, Culture, Public Service and Sport (BMKÖS) is the national authority for Erasmus+ Sport.

Erasmus+ Sport also focuses on developing the European dimension of the sport by promoting fairness, values and cohesion as well as cooperation between organizations responsible for sport. Furthermore, there are small partnerships with shorter durations and simple requirements for less experienced organizations, for example. It also promotes specific objectives such as learning mobility of staff in the field of sport, as well as cooperation, quality, inclusion, creativity and innovation at the level of organizations and policies in the field of sport.

Erasmus+ supports international cooperation and collaboration between organizations active in grassroots sports. Funding is provided for cooperation partnerships that support organizations to work together across borders and jointly implement activities to promote sport and physical activity.