One more European step for Active School Communities
The school setting is fundamental to establish early positive experiences of physical activity engagement. Creating positive change in school and a broader community setting demands support from a number of actors across sectors as well as a holistic approach.
To sustain effective partnership across Europe, political input and policy recommendations are needed. This was the purpose of a seminar facilitated by Sport and Citizenship for the Active School Communities (ASC) partners at the Committee of the Regions of the European Union, on 8th June, in attendance of SEDEC members (the Committee responsible for Sport within the institution).
While inactivity among children (as well as adults) is still increasing, schools and local organizations have an important role to play. “Intrinsic to reintegrating physical activity into everyday life is the ability to create efficient partnerships between schools, sports and local communities” emphasized Nicolas Gyss, Sport and Citizenship’s Secretary General.
The ASC initiative is fully aligned with European policy agendas, in particular the one of the Committee of the Regions (CoR). Roberto Pella, CoR member and rapporteur on the opinion “Health in cities as the common good”, stressed that “promoting well-being and health is a transversal exercise. Transport, education, mobility, health and physical activity sectors cannot work in silos anymore. It is important to keep supporting initiatives like the ASC project, which”
Mogens Kirkeby, ISCA President underlined that “We are not giving our children and our youth the motivation, the environment and the tools to enjoy the full benefits of physical activity”.
To this end, the ASC project aims to equip community sport organizations with an adaptable toolkit which will be used to collaborate more effectively with schools and local authorities on physical activity initiatives for school children.
“Building active citizenship in local communities, fostering active partnerships, supporting active workforces in grassroot sports and organizing appropriate activities are our four drivers”, said Rose-Marie Repond from EUPEA, also the coordinator of the project policy recommendations.
For Kieran McCarthy, Member of the CoR and the Cork City Council concluded the meeting “The Committee of the Regions and the local authorities that it aims to represent is committed to fostering partnerships at local level. The ASC project shows the vitality of the sport sector and its commitment to fighting sedentary lifestyles. We will keep welcoming and supporting such initiatives”.
Partners of the ASC project will meet again from 4-6 October at the occasion of the 8th edition of the MOVE Congress in Birmingham, UK.