Let it all begin - SWinG partners ready to #BalanceForBetter in sport!

Monday, February 25, 2019

Paris, France: The SWinG project partners, initiated by FFSE, gathered this Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th of February 2019 to officially kick off this 3 years’ project co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

Together they are aiming at addressing one of the sport pressing challenge: bringing in more diversity in the boardroom. Their focus will be through the project on developing, testing and providing a concept to help close the gender gap.


Why is it an issue? Currently under-representation of women is found at all levels and in all sports organisations[1] and figures from the latest Special Eurobarometer 472 on Sport and Physical Activities confirmed women are less likely than men to volunteer (4% vs 8%) and pictured the well-known old white men boardroom.

Fact is based on the current pace, there is a higher chance than global warming will destroy our planet before the gender gap being closed globally.

Yet we believe that by closing the gender gap, the sport sector will reap many benefits as regards good governance and the modernization of its approach to sustain and increase the number of active participants.


What to expect from the SWinG project?

The aim of the unique partnership gearing the project is to act as a CATALYST FOR CHANGE in gender mainstreaming while giving a tremendous boost to the access of women to change-making positions in sport governing bodies. The project will promote Executive Board as an option for women volunteers in sport while also focusing on motivation, training, and skills development for the participants.

SWinG is an ambitious project, led by the French Federation for Company Sport, which has been designed to DEVELOP & PILOT a new TRANSFERABLE APPROACH. It offers an opportunity for the partnership and the sector as a whole to POSITION OURSELVES as reference point.


What was discussed at the Kick-Off?

In bringing in all partners together, the project coordinator will had been two-fold: lay solid foundation for this 3 years’ project and energize and inspire the delivery team.

Therefore, the focus during this two-days intense and crucial meeting, been on creating a spirit of cooperation and providing room and unconventional games for partners to get to know each other and understand the super-powers everyone is bringing at the table. In addition, specific focus was made to develop a shared understanding of the project, its rules and vision.

On day 2, partners worked together to understand, agree and develop avenues for the production of the “State of Play Report of Women in Decision Making Role in Sport in Europe”. They also examine, confirm and design few proposals for the production of the “State of Play report on developing leadership skills for women”. Last but not least, they planned for future actions and in particular explored and generated ideas to develop a meaningful and impactful experience for both mentors and mentees.


What are the next steps?

Beside developing the initial State of Play reports, the partnership will further build the SWinG concept and launch an open call for participants, both mentors and mentees, this Spring. A tremendous work will be done to pair the selected one and then specific training sessions are planned for the mentors and the mentees by October 2019. This was just the beginning!


Final words

“Through these two days’ event and the various exchanges we had it is obvious that there are many similarities between the business and sport worlds regarding diversity in leadership positions. The project is a unique opportunity to develop female talent in sports organizations, leveraging learning from business side” said Cécile Bernheim, President of PWN Paris


“The SWinG project represents a tremendous opportunity to stimulate women to take the step, being full of confidence that they can do it. I’m impressed by the work already carried out and by the electric spirit of the meeting. I am looking forward to work with the partners in the next 3 years” said Marijke Fleuren, President of the European Hockey Federation


“We are very happy and let’s say proud after these two days’ kick off. We have a good team with different people, different frameworks, different stories, and we work easily together thanks to our Carole². All the ingredients are there to achieve what we want: increase the number of women leading local, national and international sports organisations. Because diversity is efficiency!” said Frédéric Delannoy, DTN of the French Federation for Company Sport.


“It is a privilege and an honour to bring in such a strong and unique partnership. When you join forces with Athetes for Hope (US), the European Federation for Company Sport – EFCS (FR), the European Hockey Federation – EHF (BE), ENGSO Youth (HU), the network of Les Femmes Chefs d’Entreprises Mondiales FCEM (FR), the Professional Women’s Network – PWN (FR), the Società Sportiva Lazio (IT), the Sport Club Partizan Skofja Loka (SL) and the University of Copenhagen (DK) you feel quite a buzzing energy. I am confident that we have the right set of skills, experiences and willingness in the room to identify and nurture women emerging leaders and empower them to become real actors of change, CHANGE and DECISION MAKERS in the sport and physical activities sector. Yet we know everyone has a role to play and we will not achieve anything alone. That’s the reason why we will along the project call for joint-actions, seek synergies with other initiatives and invite associate partners.” said Carole Ponchon, the SWinG project leader.




About FFSE: The French Federation for Company Sport (FFSE) was formed on March 29th 2003, transforming an already existing organisation that had been created in 1952. It groups together more than 2,000 structures which work on the development of sport for all within a community of work. The FFSE promotes the physical exercise and grassroots sport practice as a user-friendly way to improve health and well-being, as well as to strengthen social links and productivity within a company.


Contacts Name: Carole Ponchon & Carole Bretteville

Organisation: French Federation for Company Sport

Email: carole.ponchon@beinnovactiv.com


[1] 3 women in the IOC Executive Board and 11 men, 11 women are president of National Olympic Committee (195 men), 5% of national federation presidents in the EU-28 (example: 1 chairwoman of national Olympic federation in France)