Sports in Norway shall work to ensure that everyone is given the opportunity to take part in sport based on their needs and wishes, regardless of gender, age, functional ability or social or ethnic background. This means that all children who wish to take part in sport are warmly welcome to join the sports clubs. It’s also a goal that the focus is on the joy of sport, so the children can continue in the sport for many years and experience in a safe and positive environment. The sports values in Norway are playful, ambitious, honest and inclusive.
Sports in Norway shall work to ensure that everyone is given the opportunity to take part in sport based on their needs and wishes, regardless of gender, age, functional ability or social or ethnic background. This means that if you find an activity that you or the child wish to do, and the activity is available in your local area, then you will be welcomed with open arms by the sports club or association. We also have a goal of more people being involved in sport for longer. Consequently, the focus should be on having fun together, regardless of the level. The Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports (NIF) has a vision of “Joy of sport – for all”. The idea is that everyone should experience sport, mastery, and development in a safe and positive environment.
Everyone should be able to find their place in sport and enjoy participating, regardless of their background and other factors such as gender, disability and size, etc. The participants and their parents or guardians must experience that the sporting activity is based on fairness, the diversity of society and equal opportunities. Everyone shall have the opportunity to take part in active sport through a sports club throughout their entire life. The lifelong joy of sport means that no one shall be discriminated against in an unreasonable or disproportionate way. The sports activity must be inclusive, adapted for everyone and of good quality based on the current sports values.
Sport is based on a set of core values. A decision to include new values was made at NIF’s General Assembly in 2019. These new values are playful, ambitious, honest and inclusive, but what do these terms mean?
Playful means a sport that safeguards the joy, play and curiosity in all sporting contexts. You can do such play alone or with your friends, as well as outside organised sports practice. Sport can also be variation of activities, not being good in a specific sport. For instance, in ball sports you can play with the ball on your own and develop technical skills because you enjoy doing it.
Children often learn new skills through play. Sport is play, and sport wants to create joy from being active, regardless of the performance level. You should take part in activities and sport with a smile on your face. It’s important that the sporting activity generates good experiences, even if you work hard to improve or help your teammates to achieve common goals.
Ambitious can mean purposeful or having goals. It can mean a planned approach to development in all areas of sport and showing a desire to develop. Everyone who takes part in sport has a desire to experience mastery and improvement. Sport at various levels also has a desire to develop and become a better sports organisation. The term ambitious also signals this desire. You can also be ambitious about your own development. Feel free to ask your coach or others how you can improve and what you can practice. You can get a few tips of things you can practice on your own outside the organised sessions. Learning new skills or experiencing that you master things even better is positive because this creates joy and self-confidence and contributes to increasing your motivation. This can also provide inspiration for setting new goals.
Fair play and honesty in sport are extremely important. It’s important to follow the rules – at practice and during matches or sporting events. Each sport has its own rules, and each sports club has its own rules and guidelines for its activity. It’s a goal that you treat everyone in sport with respect even if you don’t always agree with them. This includes teammates, coaches, team managers, referees and opponents. It’s important to act honestly in all contexts. This means you should not dive, fake injuries, cheat or try to stretch the rules. Coaches, team managers and parents/guardians must lead the way as good role models.
Inclusive means an organisation that sees everyone, creates a sense of security and takes care of everyone. The sport must ensure a sense of wellbeing, unity and allow everyone to participate and perform at their own level and as they wish. Inclusive deals with our member-based organisation, where everyone’s opinions shall be treated with equal value. NIF aims to safeguard the diversity of society in sport. This means Norwegian sport shall reflect the community we are part of, and no one shall be excluded. An inclusive sport unifies both local communities and the wider society. If you want to be involved in sport, you will be welcomed with open arms and the sports club will provide an environment where you can make new friends. This applies to both children and their parents or guardians.
Volunteering and voluntary work are the foundation of sport and sports clubs. This is known in Norway as the “dugnad culture” – the concept of doing volunteer work together. It’s important to take good care of everyone who gets involved and ensure they gain enjoyment along with the other volunteers and participants. Democracy is also a key. It’s important to accept and respect the majority’s decision. The members shall have the opportunity to express their opinion. Consequently, those who wish to contribute that little extra shall be encouraged to be coaches, team managers and leaders. This can contribute to precisely you contributing to pulling the club in a more positive and desired direction. It’s also crucial that you are loyal to the club and the other members, so everyone follows the same values, goals and rules. Finally, everyone shall be treated with respect. There is room in sport to be different, but everyone’s effort shall be valued equally.