In a ceremony held yesterday in Krakow, as part of the EL Congress, the first edition of the EL Sport Award was handed to the Bavarian sports club ESV Neuaubing for its “Sports United” project. Established in 2012 with the objective to offer real integration opportunities to refugees and asylum seekers in and through sport, the project – first of its kind in Germany – empowers and integrates numerous refugees of all sexes, ages and abilities through different sports. Under the roof of sports club ESV Neuaubing players are also competing in the regular league of the Bavarian Soccer Association – as the very first team of refugees in the state.

EL Secretary General, Arjan van’t Veer, states: “We congratulate ESV Neaubing for winning this first edition of the EL Sport Award and we look forward to providing support to similar sport projects through future editions of the EL Sport Award. This Award is fully in line with the EL Members’ strong commitment to society, sport values and integrity”. Olaf Butterbrod, Head of Football of ESV Neaubing added ”We are delighted to win the 2017 edition of the EL Sport Award and we are grateful to the European Lotteries for having selected us. This Award gives us strength to continue our activities, whereas the financial contribution which accompanies it will gives us additional means to bring to life our ideas to further enhance the impact.”

Open to any initiative seeking to tackle negative phenomena in/through sport or to support societal causes through sport, the European Lotteries’ Sport Award was launched through a call for submissions/nominations in September 2016. Among the 16 submissions/nominations received, the selection was based on a set of criteria, including the quality of application, relevance of project, inspirational value and impact. The call for nominations/submissions for the 2nd edition of the EL Sport Award will be launched in September 2017.