European Week of Sport to promote lifelong physical activity

Source: Slovenian presidency of the EU i, published on Thursday, September 23 2021.

The Minister of Education, Science and Sport, Simona Kustec, and the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education, Youth and Sport, Mariya Gabriel i, symbolically launched the European Week of Sport in Tivoli Park in Ljubljana today, accompanied by 1200 children.

More than 30 different sports were demonstrated, which was an excellent starting signal for the many activities that will take place across Europe during the European Week of Sport from 23 to 30 September 2021.

Today we celebrate sport and physical activity across Europe and Slovenia, as well as the values of the European model of sport, solidarity, networking, teamwork, justice, equality, inclusion and perseverance.

prof. dr. Simona KustecMinister of Education, Science and Sport

prof. dr. Simona KustecMinister of Education, Science and Sport

The goal of the European Week of Sport, which runs under the #BeActive slogan, is to encourage all people to engage in physical activity not only during the Week of Sport, but throughout the year. This is an extremely important priority for Slovenia and the European Commission, as sport and physical activity are important for maintaining and enhancing health and contribute to active and healthy ageing.

Lifelong physical activity is also one of the key priorities of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU. It aims to stimulate physical exercise and enhance the health of the entire population. The results of many research studies have concluded that there is a need to set up and promote programmes to increase lifelong physical activity. According to Eurobarometer surveys, more than 58% of Europeans do not exercise regularly and slightly below half of the population (47%) are not involved in any physical activity.

In view of the above the Minister Kustec will sign Slovenia's pledge to encourage a healthy lifestyle and promote the role of lifelong physical activity at the European Commission seminar “HealthyLifestyle4All”, which is taking place in Bled today. Joining the initiative requires the set up of a specific activity, project and content. This led Slovenia, at the initiative of experts, to be the first to start developing a special application.

“By developing and using an app to make physical activity more attractive, we will work to find solutions to promote physical activity of children and adolescents, as well as adults. This will help us bring physical activity closer to the younger generations and work on attracting those children and young people who are reluctant to engage in sport and physical activity or who do not find such activities attractive,” stressed the Minister. She added that the application could help us monitor the response of its users to various physical challenges according to their abilities and then respond with specific solutions.

Eight more countries - Austria, Estonia, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania and Spain - and a number of sports organisations will follow Slovenia's lead today in signing the initiative and showcasing concrete activities. Separate pledges will also be signed by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), International Olympic Committee (IOC), Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), International School Sport Federation (ISF), International Sport and Culture Association (ISCA) and many others.

The seminar will be followed by a ceremonial event in Bled, where the EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel will officially open the European Sports Week. The event will be also dedicated to marking the Day of Slovenian Sport and opening an exhibition to celebrate the 30th anniversary of sport in independent Slovenia.

On 24 September 2021, a European conference on Lifelong Physical Activity will be organised by Slovenia in Bled as part of its Presidency of the Council of the EU. The discussions at the conference will focus on the promotion of lifelong physical activity, the challenges of physical activity (or inactivity) and lifelong participation in sport, physical exercise, monitoring of physical fitness, the importance of cross-sectoral cooperation and the presentation of good practices, as well as the role of the media in promoting physical activity.