We stand in solidarity with Ukraine: statement from ENGSO, ENGSO Youth and Young Delegates

Palermo, 04/04/2022 – Shocked and saddened by the ongoing war in Ukraine, ENGSO, ENGSO Youth and ENGSO Youth Young Delegates condemn the Russian and Belorussian aggression and the violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine in the strongest terms possible. We call for the immediate ceasefire, Russian withdrawal and the reinstalment of peace.


As the European Sports NGO representing the civil society of sport, our aim is to stand up for peace, defend and promote human rights, and fight inequality, discrimination, violence, abuse and hate in sport and through sport.


We reaffirm our solidarity with Ukraine, its people and the sports movement and call on ENGSO members and the European grassroots sport community to stand with the people of Ukraine and provide any possible assistance to the people fleeing or those facing the consequences of war.

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We call sport movement, youth organizations and all relevant public authorities should do everything in their power to make sure that Ukrainian refugees can take part in the civil society and in grassroots sport in the countries they enter. We call upon European and national authorities to make extraordinary funds available to grass root sports to make sure that sports clubs can contribute in the best and most effective way possible with regards to the escalating refugee situation.


Earlier in March, ENGSO Executive Committee (ExCom) decided to suspend the ENGSO membership of the Russian Olympic Committee until further notice. ENGSO also fully supports the decisions and recommendations of the International Olympic Committee that the International Sports Federations and sports event organisers do not invite or allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in international competitions.


We are pleased to recognise there has been a huge amount of support and goodwill from the sport world over the last 4 weeks. However, the Ukraine response will be a long-term effort and as the initial phase transitions we are starting to look at the mid-long term response. What is key is how we continue to support the projected 4 million refugees, the communities that host them as well as those who have been displaced internally in Ukraine by the conflict.


For this reason, ENGSO decided to take concrete actions to contribute in a short-mid-long term response:

      1. ENGSO accepted the invitation by the UNHCRs global sport partnerships and programmes in Geneva to participate in a European stakeholder network for a discussion on the situation and how sport might contribute to the overall response in a coordinated way.

      2. An online talk exchange will be organised within ENGSO members to inform them about the actual actions and measure in place to support Ukrainian refugees they could join and to map the actions/measures that each member activated in their country.

      3. With a specific focus to empower vulnerable groups such as refugees, particularly children, women and minorities, we make available to all sport clubs all the methodical approaches and tools to help those fleeing the war recover, cope with trauma and support their support the psychological and social wellbeing through and with sport (and sport clubs), particularly:

              • ASPIRE training module helps the grassroots sport movement create opportunities for the participation of refugees in sport and in community life through sport. ASPIRE training module was made for sport clubs which facilitate inclusion of refugees. It encourages sport organisations to welcome refugees and vulnerable groups and support them in alleviating the trauma and recovery. https://www.engso-education.eu/aspire

              • SPIRIT toolkit was developed to educate coaches and sport clubs on prioritising mental well-being in and through sport. The toolkit will instruct coaches and clubs to cultivate a safe sport environment which promotes humane, inclusive and empowering coaching that nurture mental wellbeing. http://engso-education.eu/spirit

              • ENGSO Youth developed the SPIDI programme, a video manual includes fun and simple games which facilitate inclusion of young people and refugees through sport. https://www.youth-sport.net/post/spidi-video-manual-created-by-youth-for-youth


      4. ENGSO with and through ENGSO Youth will lead a communication campaign to promote concrete actions that sport clubs, organization, athletes, and individuals in the field of sport can do to contribute to help people in Ukraine through sport

      5. On the basis of the toolkits and the campaign published, during 2022, ENGSO Youth will host educational sports workshops, including a Sport Camp for 50 Youth leaders coming from different countries of European region focused on promoting Human Rights and providing platforms for dialogues to mitigate and prevent further risks of conflicts.