On 2 and 3 February 2016, the SIGGS Project organised its Mid-term Conference. The Conference was hosted by the NOC of Portugal. Holding the Mid-term Conference exactly one year after the Kick-off meeting was an excellent opportunity for the Project Management to present the state of progress of the SIGGS project. The two day-meeting gathered representatives of all partners of the project as well as guests from European and International federations and EU institutions.

The first day started with an opening presentation made by Antonio Silva MENDES, Director for Youth and Sport at the European Commission, who underlined the “perfect momentum to act in the topic of good governance of sport organisations” and recalled “the strong support given by the European Commission to all activities contributing to improve the governance in the field of sport”. Jean-Michel SAIVE, Chair of the EOC Athletes’ Commission, then, gave an inspiring speech on the necessity for athletes to be interested and involved in the governance of their federations, in order to preserve the integrity of their sports.

The second part of the first day was dedicated to the activities of the SIGGS Project itself. Thierry ZINTZ (UCL) presented an analysis of the results of the first consultation round, in which 132 sport organisations took part. Following this presentation, Matthias VAN BAELEN, Project Manager of SIGGS, explained the progress made on the Roadmaps and Action Plans. With the first version of all 20 Roadmaps ready, it was an excellent occasion to showcase to the participants what has been achieved already. In addition, Jonas CHRISTIAENS, Business developer for NOVAGOV, explained the technical implementation into the second version of the online tool. This new version includes all the Roadmaps within the tool allowing sport organisation, which completed the questionnaire, to receive a customised Action Plan according to their level of development and priority areas.

During the second day, more emphasis was put on the different ways to improve good governance within sport organisations, notably via presentations of good practice examples:

- Pâquerette GIRARD ZAPPELLI, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer at the IOC, focused on good governance, ethics and integrity in the context of the Olympic Agenda 2020 and recalled the strong expectations of the IOC concerning the SIGGS project.

- Andy WENGER, Head of services at the International Ski Federation (FIS), presented in great detail the internal functioning and the activities in the field of good governance of FIS.

- Kamil NOVAK, Executive Director of FIBA Europe, provided an overview of the governance and structural reform of FIBA in 2014 and explained how FIBA Europe included good governance principles into its daily management.

In addition to these presentations, a panel discussion was organised on the “way forward towards better governance in sport”. Moderated by Folker HELLMUND, (Director of the EOC EU Office), Kamil NOVAK, Andy WENGER, Jean GRACIA (Vice-President, European Athletics, and interim-CEO, IAAF), Joao Paulo ALMEIDA (Director General, NOC of Portugal) and Thierry ZINTZ discussed various elements during an entertaining debate covering both successful examples of governance and examples of governance failures. The participants also touched upon the challenges presented to federations by commercial and private entities. In addition, they also covered the need for gender equality in sport and how to move forward in this regard. All participants concluded that implementation and education are key elements when talking about good governance in sport. The SIGGS Project is therefore in an excellent position to contribute to this implementation.

The conference was concluded with a number of internal discussion linked to the next steps of the project, including: the organisation of national Strategic Workshops within the partner NOCs namely Portugal, Turkey, Belgium, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Slovenia and Germany; the launch of the new self-evaluation tool for a second phase of consultation; and the way to ensure the follow-up and sustainability of the SIGGS project.

The SIGGS Project Management would like to thank the NOC of Portugal once again for the excellent hosting and practical organisation of the SIGGS Mid-term Conference.