Austrian sport discuss social legacy of mega events ahead of Rio 2016

The sustainability of mega sporting events and their social legacy were at centre of discussions on the latest forum of the Vienna initiative 'O Nosso Jogo', held on 10 March.

Ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the international forum brought together over 110 110 representatives, among these Austrian sporting authorities, NGOs and international experts, to set out a vision of sporting events that are inclusive and reinforce the fight against discrimination.

Divided into different workshops, the forum discussed a transparent criteria on awarding mega sporting events to nations, the possibilities for Austrian clubs and associations to advocate for human rights and sustainability at local and international level, equipping athletes with apparel produced in compliance with social and environmental standards, the sustainable use of sporting facilities and fighting all forms of discrimination.

Representatives of the Austrian Ministry of Sport, Austrian Football Association and the United Nations in Vienna were in attendance, among other lead organisations, including the Fare member FairPlay VIDC.

'Nosso Jogo', in Portuguese 'Our Game', is an Austrian-based network which kicked-off in December 2013 promoting human rights and the potential of sport for development in the context of mega sporting events. It links stakeholders and establishes new partnerships at national and international level to deconstruct stereotypical perceptions of Brazil and Latin America.

In 2014, the project focused on raising awareness of the issues around the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, activities included educational work with children, a cultural festival and events at stadiums.

In 2016, the project is focusing on the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and will use a range of educational and campaigning interventions to promote fundamental rights and anti-discrimination.

As part of the activities, a petition is circulating to call on the International Olympic Committee to help end evictions, the use of police force and promote the correct use of taxpayers money in Rio 2016.

"People in Rio are currently paying a very high price to host the Olympic Games in their city. They have faced evictions, they saw their taxes being wasted in the name of the event and experienced an increased use of force by the police" concluded the Julia Bustamante, human rights activist and representative of Instituto PolĂ­ticas Alternativas para o Cone Sul (PACS).

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