Zagreb, 8 February 2019. - Yesterday the Croatian Olympic Committee has successfully completed the first meeting of partner organisations working together on the implementation of the European project entitled “Investments in Sport” (iSport). The kick-off meeting was held on 6-7 February 2018 at the headquarters of the Croatian Olympic Committee in Zagreb, Croatia. The Croatian Olympic Committee was represented by the NOC Vice President Sanda Čorak, and the NOC Coordinator for EU Funds and Programmes Alma Papić, who led the meeting as the iSport Project Manager.

The iSport project is three-year collaborative partnership type of project, co-funded by the Erasmus+: Sport Programme of the European Union. It will be implemented in the period between the 1st of January 2018 and the 31st of December 2020 by 10 organisations from 7 EU Member States: Croatia, Austria, Cyprus, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Portugal and the United Kingdom.

The main objective of the iSport project is to contribute to the overall goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy by promoting the principles of good governance in policy formulation on all levels in order to increase the quality of policies and decisions based on the evidence of the potential of sport to tackle societal and economic challenges and on the understanding of the role of sport as a driver for economic growth and employment.

Representatives of partner organisations involved in the project are going to work on the collection and dissemination of information and data regarding sport as a means to strengthen evidence-based sport and sport-related policies. Collected data can contribute to policy formulation and evidence-based investments in sport. Moreover, it will promote a wider understanding of the crucial role of sport as a driver for growth and employment in the context of national and regional policy-making as well as of the Europe 2020 Strategy.

The main outputs of the project will be the guidelines on investments in sport, and recommendations to policy-makers. They will be freely available to policy-makers and other key stakeholders in order to develop a better understanding of the role of sport in a society and economy.

Partner organisations will organise conferences to promote a better recognition of the contribution of sport to the overall goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy given the sector's strong potential to contribute to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and new jobs, and considering its positive effects on social inclusion, education and training as well as public health and active ageing.

Organisation involved, besides the Croatian Olympic Committee, are the following: SportsEconAustria Institute for Sport Economy, Sheffield Hallam University, Croatian Bureau of Statistics, University of Split Faculty of Kinesiology, Cyprus Sport Organisation, National Olympic Committee of Portugal, Portuguese Institute for Sport and Youth, Mikolas Romeris University, and the Ministry of Sports in Luxembourg.