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Emotional SENTRY Sport panel confronts the discrimination, threats and hate speech that are still prevalent in sport

By Hilal Erkoca Mølgaard, ISCA

For the past three years, the SENTRY Sport project has aimed to raise awareness of and give sports clubs tools to combat stereotyping and prejudice among participants. In a video created by ISCA for the project, members of our staff enacted stories of discrimination in club sport. At the SENTRY Sport closing conference in Paris this week, international athletes bravely shared their own confronting stories. ISCA Project Coordinator Hilal Erkoca Mølgaard moderated an emotional panel of athletes who shared their lived experiences of discrimination and hate speech, and she tells how this session motivated her to fight even more against discrimination.

The SENTRY Sport partners and stakeholders gathered in Paris Saint Dennis for the closing conference of the project, in which we aimed to help people understand, identify, monitor and prevent discrimination. We developed tools for this purpose throughout the project.

I moderated a panel where we talked about discrimination and inclusion stories in sports. Valentina Petrillo (pictured below, the first trans woman to take part in an international Paralympic Women’s Championship), Omar Daffe (football player and Head of the Anti-Discrimination Office & CSR Senior Specialist in Lega Serie A), and Alpha Camara (football coach at Championnet in Paris) shared their stories and how their experiences changed their lives. It wasn't easy to listen to, but it was necessary. 

Valentina still receives death threats as a transgender athlete. Many children and young people are still threatened in all kinds of sports because of their colour, ethnicity, sexual orientation and drop out of sports. How can we clean sports from discrimination, hate speech, and racism?

I'm extremely glad that I had a chance to work on this project with Uisp Nazionale (project lead), the European Forum for Urban Security (Efus), VIDC (Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation), Koinsep En Drasei (Greece) and Red Deporte y Cooperación (Spain).

And after this session, I'm even more motivated to fight against discrimination and speak up in every incident I encounter. And I'm happy that we have more projects coming up to tackle it at the International Sport and Culture Association.

SENTRY Sport is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Sport Programme under Cooperation Partnerships.

Visit the project website here

(Story and photos reproduced from LinkedIn with permission)

Posted on 21/09/2023 by Hilal Erkoca Mølgaard, ISCA


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