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Athletes 4 Society



For the first time in its history SPLISS will be the main coordinator of a significant European Project (Erasmus+) supported by the EU commission for 400k euros. 

Effectively empowering the public value of sport through athletes as role models requires an international, multi-agency approach. This project joins a unique group of European stakeholders – universities and both private stakeholders and public sport organisations. This unique combination will enable us to propose a unified approach in guiding sport organisation across Europe in scaling up their athlete role model initiatives linked to sport public value. 

The EU Commission focuses heavily on the principles of fair play. A preliminary investigation of a number of athlete role model programmes and policies revealed that some programmes are also targeting fair play, discrimination, combatting violence or address other relevant threats to the integrity of sport. As such, by taking a bottom-up approach, the ATHLETES 4 SOCIETY project contributes to the EU commission sport policy objectives. 

The objective of the ATHLETES 4 SOCIETY project is to inspire, support and stimulate sports organisations to increase the public value of sport. Specifically, by empowering sport organisations to develop policies, campaigns or programmes that successfully put athletes to good use towards positive societal impact. Hence, the running title of the project: “Empowering the Public Value of Sport through Athletes as Role Models”.


About Erasmus+

Erasmus+ is the EU's programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. Its budget of €14.7 billion will provide opportunities for over 4 million Europeans to study, train, and gain experience abroad. The aim of Erasmus+ is to contribute to the Europe 2020 strategy for growth, jobs, social equity and inclusion, as well as the aims of ET2020, the EU's strategic framework for education and training.

More about Erasmus+:

The Sport Chapter in the Erasmus+ Programme aims to support European partnerships on grassroots sport in order to pursue the following objectives:

  • Tackle cross-border threats to the integrity of sport, such as doping, match fixing and violence, as well as all kinds of intolerance and discrimination;
  • To promote and support good governance in sport and dual careers of athletes;
  • To promote voluntary activities in sport, together with social inclusion, equal opportunities and awareness of the importance of health-enhancing physical activity, through increased participation in, and equal access to sport for all.
  • Focus is to be given to grassroots sport.

More about the Erasmus+ Sport Chapter:




VUB (research group Sport and Society) (coordinator) 

Utrecht University (the Netherlands)

Institute for Sport Governance (Poland)

Sport Evolution Alliance (Portugal)

Kenniscentrum Sport & Bewegen (the Netherlands)

Czech Olympic Committee / Czech Coaches Academy (Czechia)

KIHU – Research Institute for Olympic Sports (Finland)

Kinetic Analysis (the Netherlands)

Bilendi SA (France)

partners A4S website



01/01/2021 – 30/06/2023


Veerle De Bosscher & Jens De Rycke


European Commission: Erasmus+ Sport Collaborative Partnership 


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