Hosted by the NOC of Liechtenstein, the first national training workshop of the RINGS project took place in Vaduz on 25 February 2022. The workshop brought together the Board members of the NOC to discuss the implementation of their strategic plan for the months to come, especially focusing on the public affairs strategy regarding the upcoming negotiations on the future of sport funding in Liechtenstein. RINGS project, led by the EOC EU Office and co-funded by the Erasmus+ sport, is running from January 2020 until the end of December 2022. It focuses on the strategic management of the NOCs, including topics such as change management, work with stakeholders and public affairs, to develop the governance of the NOCs as well as to better equip them with concrete management tools. Last phase of the project is to organise national training workshops, hosted by all 11 RINGS partner NOCs. Each of them focuses on the specific themes that are actual in each of the countries.

Public affairs in the focus of discussion

President of the NOC Liechtenstein, Stefan Marxer, opened the workshop and welcomed the Board members. He highlighted that these are important times as the agreement on the sport funding with the government of Liechtenstein needs to be renegotiated this year. Thus, a systematic approach to public affairs is very much needed. Following the opening, RINGS Project Manager Heidi Pekkola gave an introduction to the RINGS project, as well as presented the outline of the RINGS handbook on strategic management of NOCs and the principles of the RINGS stakeholder tool. More importantly, focusing on the day’s topic, she went through the RINGS public affairs guidelines, by underlining some key elements of the guidelines. Discussions on the importance of analysing the situation, identifying key persons, forming key messages, as well as focusing on the timing took place.

After the introduction, RINGS public affairs guidelines were used as a source of information and inspiration for the workshop on the public affairs strategy. Secretary General of NOC Liechtenstein, Beat Wachter, led the workshop discussions with the Board members on the concrete actions. After the workshop, he was satisfied with the fruitful discussions and concluded it by saying: “The essence of strategy is often to choose what not to do. At today’s workshop we very clearly defined who has to do what and how in the coming weeks”.

The next RINGS National Training Workshop will take place in the end of March in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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