The 6th ASPIRE Sport training session was held at a special venue of the Olympic Velodrome in Athens. The training was co-organised by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sport and the General Secretariat of Sports.

The General Secretariat of Sport has invited representatives of all bodies active in sport to participate -  in particular the Hellenic Olympic Committee, the Hellenic Paralympic Committee, the Panhellenic Sports Journalists Association (PSAT), all sports federations and national coaches.

In the opening speech,  Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports, Giorgos Vassiliadis spoke about the importance of the program and the legislative initiatives, which provides full rights of integration in amateur sport for all those who legally reside in Greece.

ASPIRE Training Session

In addition to the Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports,  ASPIRE Sport training session was honored by the participation of the General Secretary of Sport Mr. Julius Synadinos, General Secretary of Immigration Policy Mr. Miltiadis Klapas, Special Secretary for Crisis Management Communication Ms. Fotini Pandiora, Head of Department of International Relations General Secretariat of Sport Greece Mr. Denis Karakasis, General Secretary of the Hellenic Olympic Committee Mr. Manolis Kolymbadis, the representative of the Hellenic Paralympic Committee Ms. Anastasia Goufa, representative of International Organization for Migration Office in Greece Mrs. Claudia Samara, representative of UNHCR Greece Mr. Petros Mastakasthe and the President of the Panhellenic Sports Journalists Association (PSAT) , Mr Yiannis Theodorakopoulos.

Miltiadis Klapas

The General Secretary for Migration Policy, Miltiadis Klapas, said:

"Sport is a basic expression of intercultural understanding and the main form of intercultural dialogue. It acts as a bridge between the native population and the refugees. Programs like ASPIRE are primarily initiatives to deepen integration. Participation in sports activities sets the foundation for creating a sense of belonging to the host society.

Julius Synadinos

A strong message was sent by the Secretary General of Sports, Julius Synadinos:

"Diversity in sport needs no defense. The cultural difference is a positive force that will strengthen respect for every person regardless of race, color, religion, gender, age, and economic situation of everyone."

Richard Bailey

ASPIRE Sport was represented by its Project Manager, Orsolya Tolnay and the training chapters presented by ASPIRE facilitators - Richard Bailey from the ICCSPE and Lillemor Lindell from the Swedish Sports Confederation.

Wisam Sami

The participants listened also to the extraordinary reflections of Wisam Sami, wheelchair fencing athlete. Wisam abandoned his home in Mosul, Iraq, after his brother was killed by Islamic State (ISIS). The 25-year-old, who worked in photography before fleeing the country, first moved to Syria, then Turkey before arriving to Greece. On his  journey he lost two of his friends at sea, and even now does not know where the rest of his family is.

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ASPIRE Sport gathered policy-makers, scientists, practitioners and a wide range of interested stakeholders from the sport community to its Final Conference. The Conference aim was to present key

7 months, 9 European cities, 9 training sessions, presentations, meetings, hundreds of coffees and even more inspirational discussions -  the last training session planned as part of the ASPIRE Sport


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