Source: European Union 2020
In the run-up to this year’s European School Sports Day (ESSD) on September 25, the sporting goods sector has joined with school groups. The aim is to raise awareness about the importance of physical activity, and ensure that children have the right sports facilities and equipment to #BeActive.
Everyone should have access to sport as an essential right’ says Jérôme Pero, the Secretary General of the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI). ‘That is why FESI has decided to partner with the Moving School Alliance, which represents a network of active schools around Europe, to support the European School Sports Day campaign. Our common objective is to get as many schools as possible on the move all over Europe.’
About the ESSD
The ESSD is a flagship event of the European Week of Sport. Last year, approximately 9,000 schools in 44 countries ensured 3 million schoolchildren did some exercise for 120 minutes per day.
The collaboration between the ESSD and the sporting goods industry is twofold. First through a call for donations – with almost 100 sporting goods lines collected from the brands. Second, the sporting goods industry is amplifying the ESSD's key messages – so more young people know about the benefits of physical activity. The FESI has also joined up with SHARE – a European regional development alliance – to raise awareness on the role of sport through regional and local exchanges.
Promoted as a celebration, the ESSD givesschools the chance to raise the profile of physical education and school sport., It creates a fun active environment for young people, encourages health and wellbeing for lifelong learning, and foster social inclusion among students. The day will be celebrated not only in Europe but around the world, with events hosted on school grounds or streamed live online to students.
This year’s ESSD takes place in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, which forced many sports clubs and gyms to close. However, Pero says it also showed how important sport was for people’s mental and physical well-being. ‘It is now undeniable that sport will play a key role in rebuilding a healthier and more resilient society.COVID-19 may force unprecedented changes to daily routines, but staying both physically and mentally healthy through it all is still a priority.’
Sport keeps kids healthy and happy
Plenty of research shows that doing sport makes students healthier and better learners in the classroom. Sport can also improve the school spirit and help build social skills. But Pero points out that even before the coronavirus crisis, children were not doing enough sport. ’Less than 30% of children receive 60 minutes of daily physical activity recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). ‘In Europe, one in five children is overweight or obese. It is therefore important to continue and strengthen our efforts to raise awareness so that people become aware of the importance of integrating sport into their daily lives.’