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15 Sep 2015

Can sport play a role in dealing with the European migration crisis?

With the 2015 European migrant crisis escalating on an almost daily basis, the European Parliament has commissioned Loughborough University’s Professor Ian Henry to report on 'the role of sport in fostering open and inclusive societies’.

Producing a research briefing and policy review with long term perspective, Henry, who is a Professor of Leisure Management and Policy within Loughborough University’s world renowned School of Sport, Exercise & Health Sciences, will review the evidence for the use of sport in social integration strategies at this pivotal point for migration within Europe.

The report focuses in particular on the role of sport in promoting positive engagement between ethno-religious and other groups in 'host communities’.

The briefing paper has also been charged with addressing the relationship between sporting engagement and the reproduction of European values, something particularly relevant to current European concerns with population migration and on longer term settlement of refugees and asylum seekers. 

In addition to the written report, Professor Henry will make a presentation to a workshop for MEPs, and members of the Committee on Culture and Education of the European Parliament. This will take place on Monday 14 September as part of EU activities staged for the European Week of Sport.

Henry, who is also the Director of the Centre for Olympic Studies & Research at Loughborough, commented:

"This review builds on earlier work funded by the European Commission, undertaken by my colleague Dr Mahfoud Amara and I, on the role of sport and education in the integration of refugees and asylum seekers.

“We are able to report here a significant growth in the evidence base supporting positive outcomes from appropriately structured intergroup contact, not just in sport but across a wide range of activities, which will have significant implications for policy."

Notes for editors

Article reference number: PR 15/172

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, putting it among the best universities in the world, and was named University of the Year in the What Uni Student Choice Awards 2015.Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. It was 2nd in the 2015 THE Student Experience Survey and was named Sports University of the Year 2013-14 by The Times and Sunday Times. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In 2015 the University will open an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, will offer postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.

Contact for all media enquiries

Pete Matthews
PR Officer for Sport
Loughborough University
P.W.Matthews@lboro.ac.uk
01509 228686