This launch marks the start of an unprecedented effort to encourage Europeans to improve their physical and mental well-being, enrich their communities and empower themselves by being active.
The #BeActive campaign will build up momentum amongst sports organisations, schools, clubs and other groups for the rest of the year so there is a maximum focus by the Week itself, which runs from September 23 to 30. The campaign team has been working hard to ensure that this year will be memorable, and the coordination meetings with national coordinating bodies and partners have been brimming with enthusiasm.
With a focus on grassroots action, the Week promotes an active lifestyle through a variety of celebrations and events. Over the years, millions of people in Europe and beyond have joined in EWOS activities.
Even though Europe and much of the world went into lockdowns that limited outdoor activities, there has been a new emphasis on sport. People have shown immense creativity in developing fitness routines despite the circumstances. Their efforts are nothing short of inspirational.
For example, home workouts have become hugely popular. Online instructors have been giving classes to millions of people. The Commission itself has emphasised home workouts with its #BeActiveAtHome campaign.
In countries where running and cycling were the only outdoor activities available, there has been a surge of interest in these sports – and those who have ventured out have discovered new places to explore.
As our lives have changed, sport has offered a welcome release of pressure. Lockdowns may have tempted some of us to spend our time on the couch, but sport has helped maintain our physical and mental wellbeing.
Now that Europe is emerging from the lockdowns, sport has taken on a different dimension. Some activities remain limited, but others have resumed. Spectator sports, like football, have restarted – albeit without fans in the stadium. Key players in sport want to get involved in broader issues to support the community.
Our joint challenge is to maintain the new momentum for sport – any sport, anyhow – that grew over recent months. We have seen how doing sport can be a vital boost to the mind and the body. We have learned that even in the toughest of circumstances, it is possible to #BeActive.