From 9 to 10 May in Budapest, the Hungarian University of Physical Education together with the Hungarian Trading House co-organized the second International Conference on Sports and Innovation. The event aimed to showcase innovative aspects of sport science while it gathered various stakeholders from the sport sector/sport industry. Besides sport clubs, companies and public institutions, individual researchers were also represented.
As one of the sessions addressed the innovative aspects of sport sociology, it was a good occasion to introduce the Grassroots Sports Diplomacy project and the contribution of the Hungarian School, University and Leisure Sport Federation. In the first part of his presentation Bence Garamvölgyi, member of the Hungarian project team, highlighted on the shifting concept of soft power and public diplomacy and stressed the importance of introducing grassroots approach to the rapidly developing field of sport and international relations. He underlined that grassroots sport can be perfectly utilized for supporting and strengthening public diplomacy interventions across Europe and third countries, a concept which is also in line with the sport diplomacy recommendations of the European Union. The audience showed a great interest towards the project, many expressed their intentions to support future pilot actions to be realized in Hungary.
The second meeting of the GSD project – which is coordinated by the International Sport and Culture Association (ISCA) – will take place in Barcelona, 20-22 June where partners will meet to discuss further steps of the project together with the plans of realizing 7 pilot actions. The Hungarian School, University and Leisure Sport Federation is in charge of developing the guidelines for these actions and it also foresees the implementation of a pilot intervention in the second part of 2018.