“What Applies on the Sports Field Applies to Society As a Whole.”

Tuğba Tekkal (38) is a former professional football player, who played for HSV and 1. FC Köln. Her commitment to social engagement dates back to her career days, during which time she founded her own club: Háwar.help campaigns against human rights violations and is home, among other things, to the SCORING GIRLS* project, which provides free soccer training for girls and young women from immigrant or low-income families. We spoke with Tuğba Tekkal about social sustainability and the impact of major sports events on social cohesion.

MenTuğba Tekkal

Hello, Ms. Tekkal. As a former professional football player, the co-founder of HÁWAR.help, and the creator of SCORING GIRLS*, what does social sustainability in sports mean to you?

Social sustainability involves more than just making all the stories and realities of life visible – it also involves their inclusion. What applies on the sports field applies to society as a whole.

To what extent can sports organizations and associations help promote social diversity and inclusion? What areas are still in need of improvement?

When it comes to access to associations and organizations – who is aware of the various associations, who knows how to sign up at such locations, who can pay the fees – the need for improvement is quite evident. We cannot expect everyone to be able to make their own way to the associations; we have to pick them up at their doorsteps, so to speak, and offer them support.

How can we ensure that social sustainability is not neglected and is properly taken into account in decision-making at association and club level?

I firmly believe that all voices need to be included in decision-making processes. Those who are not (yet) members of associations, for example, should also be consulted. Social sustainability must be lived with a commitment to inclusion.

Let’s take a moment to consider a prospective Olympic bid. How should the Olympic and Paralympic Games be designed in order to ensure that everyone is involved – in the run-up to, during, and after the Games?

Opportunities must be provided for various social groups to get involved. An Olympic bid must be supported by everyone and reach all parties. Major sports events are capable of building bridges and reinforcing a sense of belonging. Formats that allow us to listen to each other are required.

Would you like to learn more about the issue of social sustainability as it relates to Germany’s prospective bid for the Olympic and Paralympic Games? If so, please watch our on-demand YOUR IDEALS. YOUR VALUES. YOUR GAMES. talk here.