The partners in the EU funded FORMS project “Researching emerging forms of employment in the European sport sector” were delighted to meet in person for a final Full Partner Meeting in Lisbon as guests of Polytechnic Institute of Santarem/Sport Sciences School of Rio Maior.

Coordinated by EOSE, this two-day event gave the partners a full opportunity to review the substantial progress FORMS has made over the last two years and plan in detail its final output due for publication in early 2023.

> Achievements so far

The meeting approved the final version of the research report which explored the employment challenges facing the sport sector, in particular the recruitment, retention and professionalisation of the workforce and how new forms of employment (for example, employee sharing, casual work, interim management and collaborative employment) can better match supply and demand, increase flexibility and create better employment conditions for both employers and employees.

The partners were also able to consolidate the outcomes of five consultation roundtables on sport volunteering organised in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Portugal which gathered the views of national stakeholders, including ministries, local authorities, national Olympic committees, sport federations and clubs, employer groups, training providers, associations and employees.

> A final publication to spread the word

Most of the discussion focused on the final output – a publication which will integrate the project’s findings and showcase a dozen of concrete case studies identified from sport and related sectors to be called: “Towards innovative ways of thinking about sport employment in Europe”. Most case studies will analyse a problem faced by sport employers, explain how traditional forms of employment constrained their organisations and examine how a new form of employment solved the problem and delivered a positive impact. At least two case studies will look at new forms of employment in related sectors such as hospitality and explore how they could be implemented in sport. Whilst promoting new approaches to employment, the case studies will also give a balanced evaluation of the advantages and disadvantages for employers and employees.

The final section of the publication will present a number of recommendations aimed at easing the recruitment and retention of skilled sport workers and furthering the professionalisation of the workforce. Target audiences will include the European Commission, national governments, sport federations and clubs and other key stakeholders in our sector.

Geoff Carroll, Director of Skills Development for EOSE said, “Despite the logistical difficulties presented by Covid, FORMS has proved to be a great success. The partners have worked exceptionally hard to reach a positive conclusion. All stakeholders in the sport sector should look forward to our final publication in early 2023 which will illustrate the value of taking an innovative approach to employment in our sector and demonstrate the real and tangible benefits which these can deliver, not just to employers and employees but also to the millions of EU citizens who take part in sport.”


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Contact details:

You can contact the FORMS project and ask to be kept informed about developments or to get involved by contacting Geoff Carroll, EOSE Director of Skills Development (


Full list of partners:

  • European Observatoire of Sport and Employment (EOSE) – France and EU
  • Fédération Nationale Profession Sport et Loisirs (FNPSL) – France
  • Sportwerk Vlaanderen – Belgium
  • Kortrijk Spurs – Belgium
  • International University of Health, Exercise and Sports (LUNEX) – Luxembourg
  • Werkgevers in de Sport (WOS) – Netherlands
  • Polytechnic Institute of Santarem/Sport Sciences School of Rio Maior (IPSantarem-ESDRM) – Portugal