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The ISF took part in this year’s EU Sport Forum, organised by the European Commission online from 8-9 June, gathering together participants from all over Europe under the overall theme ‘Towards a healthier, resilient & sustainable European sport. The purpose of the event is to provide an opportunity for representatives of the sport movement as well as Member States to discuss and exchange views on how sport and physical activity can be better used and developed around Europe.
Proceedings on day one began with the opening words of Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education, and Youth, during which, she highlighted the importance of innovation and sustainability in using sport as a tool to rebuild and develop communities and societies impacted by the pandemic. This was then followed up by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President, Thomas Bach, who addressed the forum on the important contribution of sport beyond the simple physical and mental benefits, and that sport has a great social significance by being able to connect together communities from around the world.
Following the first day of discussion and exchanges, covering topics from ‘How can sport be environmentally friendly?’ to ‘The impact of COVID-19 on coaches and athletes: challenges and lessons learnt”, it was on to day two during which ISF had the opportunity to take the floor.
As was the case the previous day, proceedings were begun by Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, who took the floor to announce the introduction of a new and important initiative named ‘HealthyLifestyle4All’. “Sport and physical activity play a key role in preventing diseases and boosting quality of life and wellbeing. We will soon be launching the 2-year initiative ‘HealthyLifestyle4All’ and we need everybody’s help to shape it!”
This newly announced initiative will develop a holistic approach, based on three principles:
The ISF was represented by Secretary General/CEO Hrvoje Custonja, who participated in the online workshop under the theme of ‘How can sport and physical activity better contribute to a healthier society?’. Alongside Mr Custonja on the panel, were Sara Massini, Secretary General of the European Non-Governmental Sports Organisation (ENGSO), Sami Kokko, SCForth Ambassador and Professor at the Research Centre for Health Promotion of the University of Jyväskylä, and Paolo Casserotti, Head of the Centre for Active and Healthy of the University of Southern Denmark.
Hrvoje Custonja: "The most important goal for ISF is to help youth gain healthy lifestyle habits during their time at school, through physical education & extracurricular activities. School sport provides opportunities to all students no matter their skills or abilities."
Additionally, Mr Custonja also took the opportunity to connect ISF projects with the newly announced ‘HealthyLifestyle4All’ initiative: "The healthylifestyle4all initiative is fully aligned with our event supported by the Erasmus Plus sport programme called She Runs – Active Girls’ Lead' which aims to promote health, empowerment, and leadership among girl students"
Many key topics discussed during the two-day event have tremendous importance in ISF. Topics such as gender equality, healthy lifestyle, inclusion, physical activity, and sustainability are an important part of ISF, through the combination of education and sport which is the primary element of all ISF events and activities.
For more information visit: EU Sport Forum 2021 - Info
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