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Kirstie Simpson, Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Chester Business School, was invited as a panel member to the European Commission conference, focused on the way ahead for sport after the COVID-19 crisis, in her elected role as General Secretary of the European Observatoire for Sport and Employment (EOSE).

The discussion on Tuesday November 17, 2020 covered both the challenges for the sport sector and the important role that sport can play in helping the world recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The conference started with opening words by Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, before Thomas Bach, International Olympic Committee President, delivered the keynote speech.

The event continued with two video testimonials and two high-level panel discussions looking at grassroots sport and competitive sport, and the sport sector more broadly.

Associate Professor Simpson was part of the panel discussion on ‘The impact of the crisis on growth and jobs in the sport sector and possible ways to recover’ with: Tiago Brandão Rodrigues, Minister of Education, Portugal; Marisol Casado, Member of the International Olympic Committee and President of the International Triathlon Federation, and Manuel Pauser, Vice-President of Adidas, Global Government and Community Affairs and Vice-President of FESI (the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry).

Associate Prof Simpson said: “I was honoured to be part of such a high-level event with leaders of European Union member states and institutions responsible for sport, and heads of European and international sport.

“The conference put forward questions from the moderator as well as from the 600-plus strong worldwide audience. It was great to have the opportunity to represent the University and the EOSE and to raise the importance of the sport labour market in a post-COVID world.

“Physical and mental wellbeing is key to the overall health of our communities and so, now more than ever, we need an inclusive and diverse workforce within innovative, agile organisations, to help enable access to activity for all.”

The conference was one of many initiatives Associate Prof Simpson is part of in her elected and voluntary role as General Secretary of the EOSE.

The Observatoire is an international organisation working towards the development of the sport and active leisure sector; sharing expertise in building bridges between the worlds of education and employment and ensuring the development of a competent workforce with the right skills.

For further information on ‘The recovery of the sport sector after the COVID-19 crisis: the way ahead’ European Commission conference, please visit: https://www.eudebates.tv/events/the-recovery-of-the-sport-sector-after-the-covid-19-crisis/.

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