Launched in 1992, the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme, which involves over 850 institutions in 117 countries, promotes international inter-university cooperation and networking to enhance institutional capacities through knowledge sharing and collaborative work. The programme supports the establishment of UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks in key priority areas related to UNESCO’s fields of competence – i.e. in education, the natural and social sciences, culture and communication.
Through this network, higher education and research institutions all over the globe pool their resources, both human and material, to address pressing challenges and contribute to the development of their societies. In many instances, the networks and chairs serve as thinktanks and bridgebuilders between academia, civil society, local communities, research and policy-making. They have proven useful in informing policy decisions, establishing new teaching initiatives, generating innovation through research and contributing to the enrichment of existing university programmes while promoting cultural diversity. In areas lacking expertise, chairs and networks have evolved into poles of excellence and innovation at regional or sub-regional levels. They also contribute to strengthening North-South-South cooperation.
For more informationabout the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme, click at the link below:
The signing of the agreement between UNESCO and UCLan Cyprus took place on the 19th of June 2022 at the University’s premises.
The event was attended by the representative of the House of Parliament Mr. George Karoullas, the representative of the Ministry of Education and Culture Dr. Yiannis Kasoulides, the President of the National UNESCO Committee of Cyprus Dr. Loukia Loizou Hadjigavriel as well as by the Advisor on sport to the President of the Republic of Cyprus Mr. Fivos Zachariadis.
See relevant pictures from the launch event:
1.2 Background and Rationale
There has been interest across the UN system in the value of sport as a tool that could be used innovatively and symbiotically with interventions in other sectors to address a range of development agendas. Indeed, the recent report by the SDG Fund emphasizes the importance of inclusive opportunities for all to participate in sport. At the same time, though, it highlights the need to preserve the integrity of sport (SDG Fund, 2018; see also Berlin Declaration, 2013). However, provision and delivery of sport is left to a complex network of entities, chief among them being sport organisations. These sport organisations throughout the world have been on a journey of professionalisation, moving from amateur volunteer driven entities to increasingly commercialised organisations managed by paid staff and change processes that have involved experimenting with the most efficient means to govern, manage, organise and deliver sport. Governance practices were largely an afterthought in these changing times until commercial pressures and the need for heightened accountability began to emerge as important for the ongoing survival and legitimacy of sport organisations. This is somewhat ironic, as most directors of sport organisations worldwide are volunteers. Ultimately, the accountability for the performance of sport organisations and for sport generally (as enabler to foster social integration in different cultural and political contexts) resides with individual boards of the plethora of sport organisations worldwide. Pielke (2015), in an extract from the Global Corruption Report, identifies the obstacles to accountability in sport governance. He stated: “Through the contingencies of history and a desire by sports leaders to govern themselves autonomously, (international) sport organisations have developed in such a way that they have less well developed mechanisms of governance than many governments, businesses and civil society organisations. The rapidly increasing financial interests in sport and associated with sport create a fertile setting for corrupt practices to take hold. When they do, the often-insular bodies have shown little ability to adopt or enforce the standards of good governance that are increasingly expected around the world”. (p. 29)
This short evidence supports the need for sustained research to understand the theory, processes, and practices of sport governance as well as the motivations for directors elected or appointed to sport boards. As sport management scholars, we have a role to play in contributing to understanding what good governance looks like in various sport organisations across all levels, including professional sport, national and international governing bodies and community sport.
1.3 The Chair’s Goal and Objectives
Currently, sports officials, public officials and academics often operate in separate realms. There is a strong need for building a dialogue between the association-based sports movement, public authorities, and other societal stakeholders in response to the growing call for good governance and social responsibility in and through sport. Through sector-focused education as well as by establishing and sustaining national networks of leading academics and senior officials in sport organisations and governments, the Chair aims to build capacity and facilitate communication between these groups.
As such, the long-term developmental goal of the UNESCO Chair is:
To promote an integrated system of research, educational and training activities in order to assist and inspire the wider ‘sport movement’ towards raising the quality of its governance practices as well as embracing socially responsible designs for programmes and interventions that have sport at their core.
Against this developmental goal, the objectives of the Chair are to:
Educate and train (in formal, informal and non-formal settings) sports leaders, researchers, and government representatives to understand, introduce, evaluate, and sustain good governance standards and socially responsible practices in their respective organisations;
Establish a sustainable network (through the launch of the Global Sport Governance Think Tank) between academics, practitioners and other key stakeholders with a common interest in good governance and social responsibility in sport at a national and international level;
Provide government officials with knowledge and tools that enable them to engage in dialogue with the sport movement (through a Global Advisory Group) with a view to inspiring better governance in sport and creating a robust framework for sport’s use of public grants;
Develop and support a virtual space/database of best practices regarding the application of good governance and socially responsible practices in and through sport, where practitioners and researchers can share ideas and experiences.
The Chair’s visibility and expected outcomes will be based on three interconnected pillars. These are the following:
Education & Training
Outreach & Communication
2. Chair’s Structure & Governance
Dr. Christos Anagnostopoulos: Founder, Director and co-Chairholder, HBKU, Qatar.
Dr. Christos Anagnostopoulos is now within the College of Science and Engineering at Hamad Bin Khalifa University, in Qatar. At the same time, he holds two visiting positions: one as Associate Professor in Sport Management at the Faculty of Business Administration and Social Sciences at Molde University College (Norway) and one at the School of Business and Management of the British University of Central Lancashire in Cyprus. He graduated from University of Birmingham and he holds a Master’s by Research from University of London (Birkbeck), as well as a PhD from Coventry Business School (UK). He also holds an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from Harvard Kennedy School, while he is completing a Graduate Diploma in Management at London School of Economics (LSE). Since August 2021, he follows the Public Leadership Credential (PLC) course at the Harvard Kennedy School. He is an Editorial Board member in nine international scientific journals related to sport management, and he has more than 120 scientific publications (books, articles, international conferences). In October 2020, he wrote the first ever book in the Greek bibliography on the Governance of Sport Organisations, while in 2019 he co-edited the first ever Research Handbook on Sport Governance (Edward Elgar Publishing House). Since July 2021, he has his own monthly column focusing on sport in the Economic Review (the oldest and most prestigious business magazine in Greece). He has been part in four Erasmus+ research projects focusing on sport governance: National Sport Governance Observer – NSGO – (2017)); Good Governance Enhancement through e-Learning for Sport Volunteer Board Members – GReFORM – (2018)); Sport Good Governance Game – S3G – (2021)); and Governance Sport Codification Convergence – ACTION – (2021). From 2017 to 2019, Dr Anagnostopoulos served as an elected member the Board of Directors of the European Association for Sport Management (EASM), while up until he served as the Secretary General of the newly established charitable foundation by the Cyprus Basketball Federation. In 2018, he was commissioned by the highest authority of sport in the Republic of Cyprus to write the first ever Code of Good Governance for the national sport federations, while in May 2021 he was appointed as the sole consultant for the development of a multi-criteria evaluation scheme that assesses the performance of the national sport federations in Cyprus.
Dr Efstathios Christodoulides is the Course Leader in BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Sciences at UCLan Cyprus. He has been awarded his PhD from Semmelweis University, Doctoral School, Budapest, in Sports and Social Sciences as well as an MEd in Physical Education and Sports Science from the Semmelweis University, Faculty of Physical Education and Sports Science, Budapest. He also holds two coaching certifications in Recreation and Swimming from Semmelweis University and the IOC Olympic Solidarity. Dr Christodoulides received a Fulbright Scholarship in 2021 for conducting research and lecturing in New York, USA, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and supported by the Institute of International Education (IIE). He is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, complying with the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) for teaching and supporting learning in higher education. Dr Christodoulides serves as the Country Lead for the International Physical Literacy Association, IPLA, leading in-country development projects following IPLA’s strategic aims. He is appointed by the Cyprus Anti-Doping Authority (CyADA) as a national educator in anti-doping and he is also a UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) Accredited Educator. He has contributed as an author to a number of scientific publications including chapters in books, peer-reviewed articles, and international conferences on sports and social science, physical education and physical literacy. He also serves as an editor and reviewer for a number of journals and conferences. Dr Christodoulides actively participates in Erasmus+ Sports projects focusing on the promotion and participation in sport, physical activity, and voluntary activities and is also a member of the Research Centre for Applied Sport Physical Activity and Performance of UCLan UK.
The two Chairholders plan, organize, direct and supervise all activities related to the Chair, its outreach and its administration, within the framework of the mission and according to the directions put forward by the scientific committee. The Chairholder(s) have a renewable four-year mandate (maximum two terms).
2.2 Scientific Committee
The scientific committee is the Chair’s consultative authority; its members are Cypriot and foreign professors, researchers, consultants and practitioners involved in research and teaching in the field of governance and social responsibility in sport. It consists of seven (7) persons (excl. the Chairholders) plus one observant (with no voting rights) who is the Rector of UCLan Cyprus, and its role is to:
suggest directions for research and training activities;
advise and make recommendations;
participate in the development of the virtual space/database of best practices regarding the application of good governance and social responsible practices in and through sport;
contribute to the Chair’s influence in national and international networks.
At the Chair holder’s request, this committee meets (virtually or physically) as need be, upon being convened by its chairperson. Committee members have a renewable four-year mandate (maximum two terms).
2.2.1 Scientific Committee Chairperson
The chairperson, in conjunction with the other members, assumes all Scientific Committee responsibilities and must:
lead committee meetings;
maintain regular contact with the Chairholder(s) in order to immediately receive information about any extraordinary situation requiring a special committee meeting;
approve the strategic direction, action plan, working lines and annual reports.
Professor David Shilbury has been appointed to serve as the chairperson of the Scientific Committee.
Professor David Shilbury PhD is the Foundation Chair of Sport Management and a former Head of the School of Management and Marketing (2002-2007) in the Faculty of Business and Law at Deakin University. He is also the Director of the Deakin Sport Network. Dr Shilbury was appointed as Australia’s first Professor of Sport Management in 2000 having commenced at Deakin in 1990. Dr Shilbury is a former Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Sport Management and Sport Management Review, and he has over 120 publications worldwide. His research expertise is in sport governance, strategy and sport delivery systems. In 2011, David was the recipient of the prestigious North American Society for Sport Management Dr Earle F. Zeigler award for his contributions to sport management scholarship and the field generally. In 2009, he was the inaugural winner of the Sport Management Association of Australian and New Zealand Distinguished Service Award, and in 1999/2000, David won the Eunice Gill Award for Sport Management presented by the Victorian Sports Federation. He was a member of the Australian Football League Tribunal from 1992-2003 and the Foundation President of the Sport Management Association of Australia & New Zealand from 1995 to 2001. He was a Director of Peninsula Leisure from 2013-18 and a member of the Netball Australia Nominations Committee (2019-21) and he is the current President of Golf Victoria. He is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors course (2013).
The other appointed members of the Scientific Committee are:
Strategic Pillar: Research
Professor Terri Byers, University of New Brunswick (UNB), Cananda
Birkbeck Sport Business Centre, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7HX, UK.
University of New Brunswick, 3 Bailey Drive, P.O. Box 4400, Fredericton, New Brunswick, E3B 5A3, Canada.
Seoul National University, Building 71-1 Room 508, 599 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul, 151-742, Republic of Korea.
Qatar University, College of Arts and Sciences, P.O. Box: 2713 – Doha, Qatar.
International Institute for Sport Business and Leadership, Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada.
Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand (SPRINZ), AUT Millennium, Auckland University of Technology, SA211, 17 Antares Place, Mairangi Bay, Akl Private Bay 92006, 1142, Auckland, New Zealand.
Lithuanian Sports University, Sporto 6, LT-44221 Kaunas, Lithuania.
UNESCO Chair Institute of Tralee, Co Kerry, Ireland.
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