EAO Congress: ENGSO Youth shares insights on safe sport and safeguarding children and youth in sport

Under the theme of “The Olympic Movement in A Changing World”, the European Olympic Academies (EOA) Congress took place on 8-11 November 2023, in Vilnius, Lithuania. The Congress was hosted by the Lithuanian Olympic Academy.

As a guest speaker, ENGSO Youth Chair Ugnė Chmeliauskaitė participated in the roundtable entitled “Building European Safe Sport Together” which discussed safeguarding in sport, with a closer focus to transgressive behaviour still widely being present in sport.


Ever since ENGSO Youth was established, we have been actively advocating for the protection of children and youth against sexual violence in sport. Already in 2011, ENGSO Youth partnered a consortium led by the German Sports Youth entitled as “Prevention of sexualized violence in sports – Impulses for an open, secure and sound sporting environment in Europe.” The main outcome of the project, a best practice guide, was published in 2012. After reinforcing cooperation with our partners we have continued combatting sexual violence in sports within the EU project “Sport Respects Your Rights” (2013-15) that educated young ambassadors in order to promote this important topic to their national sport federations. a



Later on, ENGSO Youth contributed to the “Safeguarding Youth Sport” (2014-2015) project funded by Erasmus+, led by the Center Ethics in Sport in Belgium. The project aimed at sharing knowledge and expertise on integrity threats in elite youth sport, stimulated individual empowerment of athletes and promoted a conducive ethical climate. We continued our work within the frameworks of the Erasmus Plus co-financed VOICE project led by the German Sports University in Cologne. The VOICE research team succeeded in conducting 72 in-depth interviews with people who have been affected by sexual violence in sport. By listening and acknowledging the voices of those that have been affected by sexual harassment and abuse, crucial research data was generated on sexual violence in European sport. 

“In 2020, We published the position paper on “Safeguarding Children and Youth in Sports” with clear recommendations and practical steps for the sport federations and local clubs to assure:


  • safeguarding policy
  • code of conduct
  • preventive arrangement
  • reporting abuse procedure and systems
  • monitoring system


together with ENGSO, we have lead various workshops, trainings  and online seminars on safeguarding, and currently finalising Sport Integrity toolkit, which is prepared under Erasmus+ funded project in order to train and empower young people to be Ambassadors of Integrity in Sport.”, – shares ENGSO Youth Chair, in her reflection about the practical steps needed to ensure sport as a safe space for children and young people.

The Congress brought together National Olympic Academies of Europe to debate pressing issues in Olympic Values Education and exchange good practices. During the event, participants addressed and debated a wide variety of topics such as human rights, autonomy in sport and before-mentioned safeguarding in sport.

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