The Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) held, with resounding success, its third Regional Summit on Sport Integrity and International Cooperation, the second in the Balkan region.
Hosted by the Kosovo National Olympic Committee (KOS NOC) in Pristina, this thought leadership event brought together influential leaders in sport, government, law enforcement and civil society to address the most pressing governance challenges facing sport in the region and foster collective action.
During the Summit, the President of the KOS NOC, Besim Hasani, officially pledged to be the first sports organisation from the region to implement the SIGA Universal Standards and go through the SIGA Independent Rating and Verification System, commonly known as SIRVS.
The pilot phase of SIRVS will kick off in January 2020 with a dozen sports organisations that will test the rating system managed by an independent third party, the British Standards Institution (BSI).
SIRVS will perform the first ever independent assessment of sports organisations and rate their level of compliance with integrity standards. This. in turn, will provide sponsors, governments and fans with the certainty that the sports they invest in and support are governed and operated under the highest standards of integrity: the SIGA Universal Standards.
Panel discussions focused on “Championing Integrity on the Field of Play,” “Sports Integrity and Regional Cooperation – Walking the Talk,” “Preventing Child Trafficking and Abuse in Sport” and “Gender Balance, Diversity and Inclusion in Sport.” For more information on the agenda, please click here.
One day prior to the SIGA Regional Summit, on International Anti-Corruption Day, 9 December, SIGA launched its global campaign “#SIGATalks” to encourage the youth and athletes to “Speak Up for Sport Integrity” and take action against corruption. This included a very dynamic social media campaign and the active engagement from SIGA Champions, including Olympian Judo Gold Medallist, Majlinda Kelmendi, Professional Women’s Basketball Player and Olympic and Pan American Games Medallist, Kelly Santos Muller, legendary Olympic Marathon runner and Gold Medallist Rosa Mota, MotoGP racer, Miguel Oliveira and first ever British woman to win the Commonwealth Boxing Champion, Stacey Copeland, amongst others.
An interactive session involving athletes and young people was simultaneously live streamed on the SIGA website from the iconic National Library of Kosovo.
To view the montage of the video campaign of the SIGA Champions, please click here.
Opening the Summit, Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, CEO of SIGA, stated: “Yesterday, we encouraged the youngsters to speak up for Sport Integrity. They are not happy to see sport’s reputation being dragged through the mud with so many scandals. They want real change and accountability, and so do we. Today, we continue pressing for that change and greater cooperation with the SIGA Regional Summit. We look forward to working hand in hand with Sport and the wider industry, in this region and beyond. Strong regional approaches are key to drive regional solutions for pressing regional problems. And this is what we are doing.”
Besim Hasani, President of the National Olympic Committee of Kosovo, stated: “The Kosovo National Olympic Committee has embraced Sport Integrity as a principle towards a more fulfilling life in and out the field of play.
We believe that the SIGA Regional Summit and SIGA’s Universal Standards on Sport Integrity will bring a more solid base for the development of Sport and Good Governance. We will transform our advocacy on this issue to meaningful implementation when we become one of the pilot organisations to go through the SIGA Independent Rating and Verification System (SIRVS) in 2020.”
Viron Bezhani, President, National Olympic Committee, Albania, stated: “No matter how successful an organisation is, there is still room for improvement. Internal democracy, transparency of activities and funds together with separation of powers must be upheld. Good governance is an ongoing responsibility and we support SIGA in this important work.”
Krisztian Kulcsar, President, National Olympic Committee, Hungary, stated: “If you look at the dual purpose of the Olympic movement: to unite the world through sport, and to promote the Olympic values through sport, it is apparent that we must safeguard these values and fight against corruption in Sport. We are all responsible for what happens within our organisations.”
Mihail Claudio Covaliu, Gold Olympic Medalist and President, National Olympic Committee, Romania, stated: “We have to start with education. Without education we cannot speak of integrity, good governance or transparency, in society or Sport. Educations starts at grassroots, schools, clubs and family. Sport is the common language for everyone. Through Sport we become better people. Today’s SIGA Regional Summit is important to address the critical issue of Sport Integrity in the region.”
Dusan Simonovic, President, National Olympic Committee, Montenegro, stated: “I congratulate SIGA for all they are doing to promote regional cooperation. I feel very welcome and comfortable speaking about regional issues when I come to the SIGA Regional Summit. We will follow in the footsteps of the Kosovo National Olympic Committee and go through the SIGA Independent Rating and Verification System (SIRVS). We want to lead by example.”
Njomza Emini, President, Paralympic Committee, Kosovo, stated: “I call for the youth to accept and see people with disabilities as an integral part of society. I will, in my position as President of the Paralympic Committee of Kosovo, continue to push for inclusivity and gender balance. I support SIGA’ Universal Standards that promote equality, diversity and inclusivity in the boardroom.”