Sports consulting newsletter #5 - Luxembourg and Sports has been saved
Sports consulting newsletter #5 - Luxembourg and Sports
2019 got off to a great start for the Luxembourg sports community. On Saturday 1 June, the Olympic Games of the Small States of Europe in Montenegro drew to close with Luxembourg at the top of the medal table. For the third time in a row, the Grand Duchy took first place ahead of Cyprus and Iceland with a total of 76 medals, 26 gold, 27 silver and 23 bronze. Simultaneously, Luxembourg won the title for mixed team bowling world champion with a new world record.
This newsletter will explore the current sporting framework within Luxembourg and the recent key decisions that will shape the future of sports in the Grand Duchy.
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A state-of-the-art framework at national level
The Luxembourg framework places particular focus on professional sports and ethics in sport, two essential elements for the sustainable development of the sports sector. Indeed, both professionalism and ethics can both negatively affect the sports sector, including its athletes, if they are not subject to a strict framework.
A focus on professional sports
In October 2018 the construction convention of the “Cube – LIHPS” was signed to support professional sports and includes:
- Luxembourg Institute for High Performance in Sports (LIHPS)
- Sports Medicine Research Laboratory of Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH)
- Luxembourg Institute of Research in Orthopedics, Sports, Medicine and Science (LIROMS), and IOC Research Center of excellence for Prevention of Injury and Protection of Athletes Health
As mentioned in the Ministry of Sports’ Activity Report for 2018, the LIHPS, set up under the previous government program and reinforced by the current program 2018-2023, aims to further reduce the gap between Luxembourg’s elite athletes and the world's elite, in particular by offering each athlete personalized coaching (e.g. sport psychology). The development of the LIHPS should contribute to allowing the Luxembourg athletes to reach their best level with an aim of qualifying for the next 2020 Olympics in Japan.
A focus on ethics in sports
Founded jointly by the Ministry of Sports and the Luxembourg Olympic and Sports Committee in 2005, the Luxembourg Anti-Doping Agency (ALAD) is playing a key role in the context of ethics and sports. In 2018, ALAD was successfully re-audited by ESCEM and obtained ISO 9001: 2015 certification for the following areas: planning and implementation of controls, results management, prevention measures, and education.
In 2018, 202 checks were carried out on Luxembourg athletes. With all analysis results returning negative, this supported a positive image of Luxembourg’s sports practice.
An 11th five-year sports equipment program
In addition to major progress at framework level, Luxembourg sports also holds a bright future in terms of physical infrastructure. For this purpose, the government voted the law of July 18, 2018 authorizing the government to subsidize an eleventh five-year sports equipment program with an allocated budget of €120 million, running from January 1, 2018 until December 31, 2022. That saw an increase of 20 percent compared to the previous program, demonstrating Luxembourg's commitment to sports.
This budget will enable the establishment of 33 new projects, including three sports centers, six sports halls, a tennis hall, a temporary gymnastic hall, nine sports halls, two swimming pools, an athletics stadium, and three football fields.
A step forward for sports by 2023
Proving that sports remains at the front of the government’s mind, the coalition agreement for 2018 to 2023 includes several measures to improve sports practice in Luxembourg. The constant increase of the budget dedicated to sport is justified by the stakes that this sector represents for the country, for example concerning social inclusion in such a multicultural country.
The following points are for example concrete actions that will be taken by 2023:
- Sports Ministry: the financial resources dedicated to sport and the sports movement will be increased gradually and consistently
- Mutation of the ENEPS to INEPS: its training offer will be improved and expanded
- Volunteering in sport: creation of a "time savings" account and the granting of a revised and expanded sports leave
- Sport for all: the second National Action Plan "Gesond iessen, Mei bewegen" (2018-2025) will be implemented
- Sports infrastructures: in-depth discussion will be conducted on the operating mode and financial policy of the "National Sports Center - Hull"
- eSports: the challenges of this new sector of activity, both economic and social, will be assessed and subsequently a legal and regulatory framework consistent and prosperous to its development and recognition will be proposed
The coalition agreement covered also other topics such as the competitive and high level sport, fight against doping, respect and fair play in sport, and fight against the lack of movement of children.
A promising future for sports in Luxembourg
The world of sports is of growing interest internationally and in the Grand Duchy. The government follows this trend by increasingly supporting this sector with concrete initiatives. Strengthening the sports world is indeed essential for the country as it can provide interesting and sustainable answers to public health, economic, and social challenges – while at the same time supporting Luxembourg’s position on the international playing field. What better sector to promote than sports?
Giulia Bruni Roccia
Eleonore Moreau Gentien