Cascais hosts the MEMOS Convention II, a meeting with students and alumni of the executive master in management of sports organizations, financed by Olympic Solidarity, with the involvement of 12 Universities from all over the world. The event is organized by the National Olympic Committee of Portugal, in collaboration with the MEMOS Association and the support of Cascais Municipality.
NOC Portugal assumed the responsibility of the organization and President José Manuel Constantino highlighted, at the opening ceremony, the importance of education in the development of the qualifications of sports managers, which is the ultimate goal of MEMOS: “If sport should be at service as Pierre de Coubertin defended and the Olympic charter encourages, then the governance of sport can not only live out of the obsession with sports results and neglect the credibility, integrity and democraticity of its organizations, registered as strategic priorities in the Olympic Agenda 2020. “
Estoril Congress Center, where the Convention takes place, is the stage where the 200 participants from all over the world will boost their contacts and share knowledge about the recent developments of the Olympic movement and sports organizations. Filipa Castro Henriques, from the Cascais Municipality, welcomed the “Memosianos” and invited all: “Make Cascais your home too.”
Member of the Olympic Solidarity, Joanna Zipser-Graves, used the Olympic Values to justify the support granted to the executive master: “Regarding Excellence, MEMOS is a tool to achieve the goal of developing sports organizations; in relation to Respect, this is an opportunity in which everyone joins, whether from different countries, religions or politics; and Friendship is what we seek to achieve in the coming days. “
João Paulo Rebelo, Secretary of State for Youth and Sport, delivered a speech at the opening session, expressing satisfaction with the mobilization of the Portuguese Memosians: “We already have 28 graduates, which is good news.” And he took the opportunity to clarify which actions that the Portuguese government has developed in the area of training: “We also have the concern the education and qualification of the sports leaders.”
The Portuguese official praised the organization of the convention and wanted to “give recognition to the NOC Portugal for its commitment to sport, from basic to high performance.”
Excelling in Governance
The first keynote speaker at the MEMOS Convention II was Michael Vesper (former Secretary-General of NOC Germany), with the presentation “Excelling in Governance”, in which he exposed the problems that arise in one of the most critical areas of sport. “Why governance matters” was a starting point for Vesper to explain what is at stake: “The credibility of the Olympic movement is put into question by several problems and public support is disappearing “He said, giving examples of Sion (Switzerland), Calgary (Canada) and Hamburg (Germany), cities that refused to bid for the Olympic Games.
“The future of the Olympic Movement is under threat, we are at a crossroads,” Michael Vesper said. And the solution is to perform better in the decision-making areas.
“There is no need to invent the wheel to have good governance,” said the author of “Excelling in Governance”, which pointed out ways: “Take measures against the risk of abuse of power in organizations, discipline wages and fight corruption” are some of them.
Michael Vesper’s key principles for good governance of sports organizations are “transparency, independence, auditing and internal control,” with the ultimate goal of “ending scandals, to improve the image and generate good publicity.”
“United by Olympism” was the title of the presentation of Barry Maister, member of the International Olympic Committee, Olympic champion of hockey with New Zealand in Montreal 1976.
Maister gave examples of how Olympism can be in practice by bringing people together, and pointed out the partnerships developed with the United Nations, the greater involvement of women in sport, sports development programs, the establishment of the Olympic refugee team and the Olympic Education programs.
“The biggest challenge is to keep the sport relevant and legitimate,” Maister said, then quoted Molière: “The bigger the obstacle, the greater the glory of beating it.”
At the same time, at Estoril Congress Center, the exhibition “Portugal: Sport Destination”, promoted by NOC Portugal in cooperation with the Portuguese Sports Foundation, is taking place. Here Portuguese sports entities have the opportunity to present their core activities. The sports entities are: Portuguese Sports Centers of Jamor, Foz Côa, Caldas da Rainha, Viana do Castelo and Rio Maior; the Portuguese Federations of Cycling and Swimming, the Municipalities of Cascais, Promo, Sports Venture, Sports Partner and Cosmos Viagens.