The European Non-Governmental Sports Organisation (ENGSO) held its 32nd General Assembly in Vienna from 14-16 June, hosted by ENGSO member Sport Austria. At the same time, the 21st ENGSO Youth Assembly, the EU Seminar and the ENGSO Seminars on Equality and Sport took place.

The event began on 14 June with a welcome from ENGSO President Stefan Bergh, in the beautiful hall of the Haus des Sports. Gerd Bischofter, the Managing Director of Sport Austria,  also welcomed the participants and emphasised: "We at Sport Austria are proud to have been part of ENGSO for many years. We learn from each other, exchange ideas and work together on issues." 

The programme was then followed by the enlightening EU Seminar. The first presentation was made on behalf of IRIS (Institutions for Respect and Integrity in Sport), which is home to three expert institutions that promote safe and clean sport by fostering prevention in terms of anti-doping, violence prevention, improving gender equality and preventing betting manipulation. 

Michael Cepic, Managing Director of NADA Austria, Claudia Koller, Managing Director of 100% SPORT and Marc Orlainsky of the Play Fair Code, joined to lead a seminar on sports integrity, anti-doping and security in sport. 

The first day concluded with a presentation by Lisa Wainwright, CEO of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, and Ricky Boardman, Head of Research at the Sport and Recreation Alliance. They led a workshop exploring the UK's experience of building a coalition across the sport, recreation and physical activity and how international comparative evidence can be used to make the case for the economic, health and well-being benefits of being active. 

Vienna hosted the ENGSO General Assembly and the ENGSO Youth Assembly. EUSA
Vienna hosted the ENGSO General Assembly and the ENGSO Youth Assembly. EUSA

The next day was opened by ENGSO's Youth Policy and Projects Manager, Tiago Guilherme, who challenged participants with an important question during the session entitled "Sport in the trending world - are we able to keep youth voices involved?": "Are we able to reach those in need and ensure that the voices of young people from different groups, especially those from more vulnerable backgrounds, are diversified?" 

He also explained to the representatives of ENGSO member organisations why it is important to develop mechanisms for youth participation in sports organisations and how sports organisations can improve and increase the involvement of young people in the decision-making process. 

This was followed by an interesting session by Mounir Zok, CEO of N3XT Sports, who explained how artificial intelligence is revolutionising various aspects of the sports industry, from athlete performance and training to fan engagement. 

At the end of the seminar, Stefan Bergh welcomed the representatives of the ENGSO member organisations to the 32nd ENGSO General Assembly. A special welcome was also given on behalf of Alvise Angelini, Senior Policy Officer and Sport Secretary of the European Lotteries, who also welcomed the participants and highlighted the long and successful partnership with ENGSO. 

Representatives of the five new member organisations of the ENGSO. EUSA
Representatives of the five new member organisations of the ENGSO. EUSA

During the General Assembly, members of the Executive Committee presented ENGSO's report and achievements, finances, committees (ENGSO Youth, Equality Within Sport - EWS and EU Advisory Committee), projects and updates to the Statutes. They also approved updates to the ENGSO Statutes, making the organisation more inclusive and open to new memberships and opportunities. 

A highlight of the event was that ENGSO welcomed five new member organisations: The Sports Committee of Ukraine, the Belgian Olympic and Interfederal Committee, and the Olympic Committees of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and North Macedonia. 

The key moment for ENGSO Youth was the Youth Assembly on Saturday 15 June 2024, which remarked the main achievements of the Committee in 2023. ENGSO Youth Chair Ugne Chmeliauskaite began by presenting the overall impact of the organisation on the European youth and sport, highlighting the main results in organisational development achieved since the election of a new Committee in May 2023.

ENGSO Youth Vice Chair Erik van Haaren, Committee members Valentin Doupona, Alessia De Iulis and Marija Leskovec and staff members Tiago Guilherme, Policy Manager, and Polona Fonda, Communication Manager, took the stage to present the activities, events and projects currently being implemented by each of ENGSO Youth's working groups.