Activating and unlocking the potential of sport and physical activity
We believe in the power of sport to make people realize it is high time to move. We believe in sport as a catalyst for European societies and a bridge between cultures, communities and people. Sport and physical activity should be made accessible to everyone because it is strongly linked with fun, socialization and well-being.
Sport and PA need to be celebrated and recognized today more than even before and we are delighted to observe a consensus on this issue within the European institutions and the sport movement. The EU Commissioner for sport, Mrs Vassiliou, declaration after the European Sport Forum in Cyprus, and recent statements by the French NOC President, Mr Masseglia, in favour of a European sport day clearly point out this political will.
The first edition of the MOVE Week taking place 1-7 October 2012 and lead by ISCA aimed at lying down good foundations for the future while offering room for celebrating throughout Europe the power of sport.
With the support of the European Commission, this kind of event, whether it will be a day or a week, shall help to connect with our communities and offer new sport experiences to European citizens: giving them a feeling of belonging to the same geography and hopefully providing them a pathway to daily physical activity.
We want sport and physical activities to be fun and accessible for all and are calling for urgent action because we believe it is high time to move and to address this issue all together. Indeed humanity is facing a serious global physical inactivity epidemic and so is the European continent.
Shall we point again that physical inactivity is a major risk factor for health?
It is estimated to cause one million deaths (around 10% of total) per year in the WHO European region. According to available data, between 40 and 60% of the EU population is leading a sedentary life . The figures for obesity are increasing at an alarming rate, with 27% of men and 38% of women now considered obese in some parts of the Union.
But -as highlighted by former President Bill Clinton- it is even more worrying that: “Today’s kids are the first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents… by 5 years!”. No doubt it is indeed high time to move, right?!?
This fact is part of the findings of the Designed to Move Framework for Action launched on 23 September in New York and for which Sport and Citizenship and ISCA are endorsers.
In addition, many others studies and reports have been recently highlighted that public health policy to become one of the key priorities of the governments in a near future.
True is that the potential of sport and PA, in this case, is simply unique. This is also the conclusion of Sport and Citizenship’s network on Sport and Health which calls for a coordinated health path including sport.
All these facts only show it is time for major global initiatives to engage in cross-sector collaboration, not only to raise awareness but also to ensure access to sport and PA for all.
We share a common vision of Europe being physically active and celebrated through sport. Our aim is as simple as it is clear: calling for cross sector collaboration in order to unlock the potential of sport and physical activity.
Do you share our viewpoint? We invite you to subscribe to BeInnovActiv’s newsletter.
Article co-signed by Julian Jappert and published on the occasion of the MOVE Week 2012 on L’Express (in French)
 Source: EU recommendations for physical activity, 2006