Doha, 30 May 2023 - CEO of the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) Mr. Massimiliano Montanari said that the ICSS is committed to promoting sustainable development.
Sustainability is a priority for the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) and its Save the Dream initiative, a global nonprofit Movement committed to promote and protect core values of sport for the good of youth and future, supported by Ooredoo as Technology Partner, Montanari said in an exclusive interview to Qatar News Agency (QNA).
"Sustainability means for us promoting long-term programmatic approaches rather than one-off projects while supporting initiatives which can continue over time through solid partnerships and the creation of self-sustainable eco-systems able to ensure proper resource mobilization," he said "It means working with multipliers and promoting as much as domino effects and multisectoral actions that can benefit sport as an industry and as system of values to be protected," Montanari added.
Regarding the common ground between sport and sustainability, Montanari said "Sport teaches sustainability. There are so many lessons we can learn from sport at all levels. Most of grassroots sports succeed (not just survive) since they are grounded on both well planned or in many cases spontaneous self-sustainable mechanisms where small sponsors, volunteers, communities, municipalities, and civil society work together to provide sport to youth.
"The same way that athletes are preparing and managing competitions, the way they utilize their energy provides us with important notions," he pointed out.
About the ICSS's projects in Somalia, Libya, and Darfur, ICSS CEO said "We arrived in Garowe, capital of the Somali State of Puntland and we found a total lack of sport activities for children. We left after a few months of project implementation and the city has now a corps of well-trained coaches, teachers, educators, and NGOs able to manage local sport projects and use the values of sport as a part of their educational programmes." He said that in the city there is now an inter-school league where children, both boys and girls, can participate, learn, and have fun, adding "All this is now owned by the local community, still with some help from us, but they are ready to walk alone. This is what I call sustainability." "We hope to go back soon to Somalia with our partners Qatar Charity, Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) and the UN to expand the scope of the project. The dream is to promote the creation of small businesses to manufacture sport goods at the community level as a way to sustain grassroots sports as much as possible," Montanari said.
Regarding partnerships (locally and internationally) the ICSS has entered to help facilitate positive change, ICSS CEO said "All partners are important from big agencies to small youth organizations. We all have a role. You need to work with international organizations to align your work with the global agenda, the SDGs in particular, with enlightened national agencies like Qatar Charity and QFFD which represent a unique and powerful engine, as well as an opportunity to integrate our efforts into more complex development and humanitarian efforts. And you need the local stakeholders because they will ensure the success of your work by making sure that beneficiaries become agents of change and will take the lead in the long term." "Sustainability is a transversal concept which should be present in all our activities and project. It should be part of our working and life style. Sustainability should be actioned and not simply discussed," he underlined On the role that sport in general and the ICSS in particular can play in addressing climate change, Montanari said "Sport teaches values like integrity and respect. If you have integrity, if you respect yourself and others you will have the right attitude towards environment. At the same time, athletes can be great advocates and help people understand that respecting environment is the only option. The sport sector itself has to become more accountable when we talk about preserving resources and protecting environment and if we really want to lead by example. Youth will look at our behaviors." Regarding that the long-term vision of the ICSS to find solutions through sport to environmental challenges, Montanari told QNA "We don't have a specific programme on environment but messages about environment are present in all our initiatives. We talk about it when we promote sustainability safety and security policies, when we promote ethics and integrity in sport or when we use sport and its values to empower and educate young people. Environment is always one of the key topics. We think about environment also in our daily activities. The items we procure, the water we drink. We give priority to zero-miles products, goods manufactured with recyclable materials and any other solution that can help us in delivering a better world to the future generations.