To describe the first day of Sport Integrity Week in one word is a hard task. Emotion, however, may be one of the best.
The opening ceremony of the third edition of SIGA’s flagship event was moderated by former CNN news anchor Pedro Pinto, now CEO & Founder of Empower Sports. Franco Frattini, SIGA Chair, joining live from Italy, where he was forced to stay due to Covid-19, joined on video the more than 200 people that made NOVA SBE Grand Auditorium look full.
He spoke of emotion. The emotion he felt watching Italy men’s team become volleyball World Champion, the emotion of being unanimously elected president of the Italian Supreme Court, and the emotion of a decision he shared live for the first time:
“Being chairman of SIGA represents the supreme values of honesty and transparency. Having the increased responsibility of defending my country as president of the Supreme Court, I feel I can’t continue to be SIGA Chair. I am not worried with SIGA future, as I know almost everything will continue to fall on the shoulders of my good friend Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, who is the CEO. When accepting to be the president of the Supreme Court, I decided to serve my country. It is a strong commitment, not compatible with having other roles. I will keep supporting SIGA every day, and always be ready to say the right words to help SIGA. Those are principles that will never change”.
TELMA MONTEIRO BECOMES SIGA CHAMPION
Sport makes Champions, and Champions are responsible for public perception of sports… This is one of the reasons behind the creation of SIGA Champions programme, a programme aimed at letting athletes be ambassadors of Sport Integrity.
The already significant list of athletes and former athletes championing integrity in Sport just got bigger. Portuguese Judoka Telma Monteiro, 6 time European champion, 4 time World vice-champion, was called on stage and handed an award by SIGA Global CEO Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros.
“Telma Monteiro is one of the great athletes of contemporary Portugal. She now stands on this group of SIGA Champions with legends like Portuguese runner Rosa Mota [Olympic Champion, Seoul, 1988; who was present in the ceremony), a tru example of modesty and integrity. What a great champion we have in Telma, a woman that never feared an obstacle and stands for Integrity!”, Macedo de Medeiros stated.
Telma Monteiro, on her side, smiled, and said a few words in English: “I am honoured to be here and to be a SIGA champion. I hope I can spread the values of integrity and of my Sport, Judo, as those should be the base of any life, be it an athlete or not.”
Telma Monteiro’s speech was followed by a video message of Louis Saha, also a SIGA Champion. Former France and Manchester United football legend spoke briefly about SIGA, and welcomed Telma Monteiro to the group.
SPORT AS A RELIGION?
José Manuel Constantino, president, Portugal National Olympic Committee, addressed the audience in Portuguese, and made a pertinent reflection about Gillaume Martin, cycling athlete and philosopher, proclamation of sport being a religion, as other forms of art, because all are based on transcendency. “To achieve transcendency”, Constantino added “athletes must win without cheating – with fair-play”.
Portuguese Olympic Committee president used the moment to praise SIGA for defending Sports values, namely the ones touching “education and culture”.
Daniela Bas, Director, Division for Inclusive Social Development, United Nations took on Constantino’s words to mention that Sport touches all areas of life. UN’s director stressed the importance of working together, with integrity and trust, in order to harness the potential of sport to reduce inequalities and create jobs.
In her speech, Daniela Bass highlighted the importance of youth, emphasizing the creation of SIGA Youth Council. She also took the opportunity to leave a message of inclusion, reinforcing that “people with disabilities are athletes that never retire”.
VISION, AMBITION, ACHIEVEMENT
In his second appearance on stage, Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros highlighted the importance of SIGA Sport Integrity Week as the triumph of resilience over complacency. In his message of recognition for all the work done – “together we have transformed vision into ambition and ambition into achievement” – he also highlighted the importance of the work that still needs to be done.
He was then followed by João Paulo Correia, Secretary of State of Youth and Sport, Portuguese Government. Speaking in Portuguese, Correia stated tha Portugal is strongly committed to Integrity in Sport, ensured he is aligned with SIGA vision and mission, and also made public note of a series of measures he plans to implement in the following months to promote Sport Integrity and gender equity in Sport.
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SIGA is the world´s leading organisation for Sports Integrity. Supported by more than 200 international multi-industry supporters, we are creating a whole new landscape for the global sports industry by promoting the implementation of the highest integrity standards and delivering independent global rating and certification for Sport.
Funded by its members, SIGA is the only organisation to bring together all key stakeholder groups – Sport, Government, International Organisations, Global Business and Civil Society – from every region in the world, around one critical, fundamental Cause: to foster greater Integrity throughout Sport.
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