Is it the responsibility of the sports politician to train to define sports policies?
In a public administration, the figure of the sports technician must be occupied by a person with a specific degree according to the position he occupies, accrediting a knowledge of the sector of physical activity and sport as well as the operation of the administration itself. This figure organizes its work according to the public policies defined by the political team of the organization, which define the strategy to be developed in the Sports Area and which will have a high impact on the territory's sports system.
However, based on what knowledge are these municipal sports policies defined? What are the strategic decisions based on the field of physical activity that will affect your citizenship directly and indirectly? Do you know the obstacles you will have to overcome to develop these policies?
The reality is very diverse and specific to each situation, but many times, local, provincial or regional sports technicians have shown us the difficulty of communication and understanding that they sometimes have with their reference politicians. This problem happens because of the lack of knowledge of the sector, its own language, as well as the regulatory procedures that affect public administration (contracting, subsidies, facilities management, etc.).
For this reason, together with the Council of Barcelona, we have conducted a training aimed at the new councilors of sports, in order to have a global vision of the sector and trends in public sports policies. Thanks to this contextualization and some reflection exercises for a better knowledge of their own sports system, the participants have finished the sessions with a broader vision of the sector and the situation of their municipality and have acquired new tools to define the municipal sports policy and its impact on the environment.
In the two sessions carried out, different aspects of the sports sector were worked on, such as the main axes of sports policies, stakeholders, evolution and trends of the sector or citizen participation, both from a theoretical and practical perspective through exercises and group discussions.
Defining the level of concretion of the contents is complex ... the perception of the level of knowledge that they must have can be very subjective and can vary greatly depending on the type of administration, the characteristics of the territory (population, geography, extra-municipal impact) and other variables as if it is a voluntary or paid political position. Of course, the exhausted knowledge of the sector must be held by the municipal sports technician himself, but to what extent should the political office know the sports system itself for good decision-making? To what level of concreteness would you reach? Where do you think the limit is if there is a limit?