Part of the European Week of Sport, the prizes are awarded each year to people and organisations who inspire others and promote sport in their communities.
They were presented by Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport. The awards have three categories, each celebrating central aspects of community sport.
The #BeActive Education Award, which highlights sport projects outside the standard school setting, was won by Estonia’s Schools in Motion. This wonderful programme promoted holistic school culture based on physical activity – including active indoor/outdoor travel time during lessons and recess and regular, challenging activity via school events. Some 78 schools took part, with over 35,000 students participating!
The #BeActive Workplace Award, which is given to a creative a way of promoting an active working environment for staff, was won by Sport Malta – for creating an updated calendar of events to help employees regularly participate in sport – and to increase their activity in the workplace.
The #BeActive Local Hero Award, recognises individual achievement in motivating others in the local community to participate in sporting events and activities, went to Hungarian Nóra Kádár-Papp – who started a free, self-help project for post-pregnancy physical and psychological recuperation in 2014 – a project that has grown to over 20,000 registered members! The project exemplified Commissioner Navracsics’ statement that sport is about ‘passionate individual efforts, where, ‘Their stories are very often incredibly inspiring. They have been able to make a real difference to the lives of others”.
The #BeActive awards also honoured the winners of this year’s Social Biking Challenge. Held by the EU Joint Research Centre, the event had 828 participants, who covered 32 cities and 98,060km during the three weeks of the 2019 Challenge. Cristina Enea of San Sebastien, Spain, won the prize as best local organiser. Awards were also given to Diego Tramonti (Best Biker), Linda Zarane and Liga Celina (Best Pair), Gonzalo García, Jonatan Vallejo, Ana Moretón, Luis Maria Martinez Delgado (Best Group).
The #BeActive awards are an important facet of increasing activity, vitally important for a healthy society – and increasingly understood as critical to adopt as early in life as possible. As Commissioner Navracsics stated, ‘We know the importance of instilling healthy habits at a young age. If children and young people get to know sport and enjoy it, they are more likely to play it throughout their lives. Our life is also about work. In our modern societies, it is probably mainly about work – at least in terms of the amount of time we spend doing it. The workplace is, therefore, an ideal setting to encourage healthier lifestyles.’
The awards were handed out as part of the fifth annual European Week of Sport, which engaged more than 13 million people in more than 22,000 events in 42 countries and regions.