“The future of our kids depends on us all working together”
An interview with Dan Burrows, Senior Director of Global Community Impact, Nike EMEA, during the last conference organized by Sport and Citizenship on “Shaping the new generation of active kids” (28 of September).
What is Nike doing to help get kids in Europe more active?
DB: We believe that all kids – no matter where they live, where they’re from, or what their level of physical ability – are made to play. But today’s generation is the least active in history: only 30% currently meet the WHO’s recommended amount of daily physical activity (60 minutes).
To help tackle this issue right here in Europe, we’ve partnered with organizations in London, Paris and Berlin that provide positive experiences in sport and play to thousands of kids. In Berlin, we’re working with the IRC and grassroots football organization buntkicktgut on a program called that combines the universal language of football with social and emotional skills training to help kids – including recent immigrants to Berlin – reach their full potential.
In Paris, Nike has teamed up with Play International to offer Playdagogy, which helps raise kids’ awareness of societal issues while getting them physically active all at the same time. These initiatives are all part of Nike’s commitment to “Made to Play”, our mission to get more kids moving and enjoying the benefits of play.
How are you working directly with the schools to make an impact?
DB: Research shows that kids who are physically active aren’t just healthier – they also perform better in the classroom. They are more focused, have improved confidence and score higher on tests.
Many teachers recognize the importance of movement to boost kids’ attention and learning and are looking for resources to help them bring activity into the school day. That’s why Nike has partnered with Discovery Education UK to create Active Kids Do Better, which empowers primary school teachers to integrate physical activity into the classroom and on the playground. More than 140 schools and 9,000 teachers have already made a pledge to get kids moving.
What else needs to happen for Nike to reach its goals?
DB: We recognize that the inactivity crisis is not something that any one individual or school or organization or company can tackle on its own. It takes an incredible amount teamwork to initiate positive change. Our future – and the future of our kids – depends on us all working together. There needs to be a cross sector approach with collaboration between governments, the nonprofit sector and business at a national and local level. By investing in innovative partnerships, we can amplify the impact of our programs and ensure that more kids will have access to sport and play, and a greater potential to lead happier, healthier, and more successful lives.