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The Croatian Institute for CSR as partner in GoSport Project

The Croatian Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a part of the new exciting project Promoting Good Governance in Sport through Social Responsibility – GoSport!

Sport can play an important role in combating discrimination and promoting human rights, tolerance and social inclusion. Thus, it is crucial to enhance sports organizations’ abilities and capacities to implement socially responsible policies. Project GoSport, in which participates The Croatian Institute for CSR as project partner, aims at encouraging social inclusion and equal opportunities in sports by improving good governance within sports organizations, in order to bring them closer to society and to raise awareness on societal issues.

In order to carry out project, desk and field research have been conducted. We had twenty participants on local and national level who participated in this project’s phase – interviews.

Some of the conclusions that were highlighted throughout the research:

In the first place, 16 participants or 80% have heard about term “Corporate Social Responsibility” (CSR), which is quite good indicator. Secondly, all 20 participants consider that CSR policy is crucial in sports. Furthermore, cooperation among sport organizations in implementing CSR policies is very common – 16 participants have said that they are actively working with other organizations. Moreover, 13 participants are interested in EU funding, while 5 of them are already using EU funds. To conclude, 95% of our participants testified cases of violence (verbal and physical) and discrimination. Also, it is important to mention that most of our participants see racism as no challenge in Croatia: “It is definitely commendable that FIFA and UEFA are implementing it on a global level, but I think that racism is not a big problem in Croatia. Among other things, a lot of initiatives are being implemented to prevent this right from the start.” (Participant 11). We can explain violence in sport with the theory of French authors from the book “Sport and Violence in Europe”. They argue that violence in sport occurs due to the existence of antagonisms in each social, temporal and spatial context (Bodin et al., 2005: 14). There are considerable problem in implementation of CSR policies:

· lack of financial resources which is perhaps the biggest problem in implementing CSR policies and the result of financial crisis and unemployment

· excessive pressure from parents towards trainers or other club staff members

· lack of the continuity

· the unawareness of young people of what they represent as a stakeholder of a particular association

· unavailability of space for doing sports

· insufficient and undeveloped legal framework

· lack of time.

As a final conclusion, a lot of our participants are conducting CSR policies in some kind of work: training process, financial process and management process. Although some of them were not familiar with the terms of CSR, we can conclude that 85% of them implemented some aspect of CSR policies. Ultimately, 100% or all of our participants said that CSR policies are really important for them.

Author: Frano Josić, The Croatian Institute for CSR

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