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  • New US participation data reveals positive trend: But lower income groups are still less physically active
    Comment by ISCA President Mogens Kirkeby.  I like good news. I especially like good news about rates of participation in sport and recreational physical activity. This month, the Sport & Fitness Industry Association in America published national 2019 figures and these numbers show an overall increase in participation with 3 million more Americans entering the category of being physically active. Figures like these are, of course, are only applicable to their local/national context. But they can also indicate potential for a broader positive development. Any increase is encouraging – particularly in larger countries – when we are used to hearing stories about stagnation or decreases in participation. The figures illustrate that participation in ‘Fitness’, as an overall category, is increasing, and this goes for the various disciplines or activities we associate with working out and keeping fit. Participation in team sport as a whole has increased, but in the 23 team sports examined, 16 actually reported a decrease in participation. But this decrease was outweighed by the 7 team sports that reported increased participation, including basketball (2.9 percent), outdoor soccer (4.5 percent), volleyball (2.7 percent) and flag football (3.2 percent). The overall decrease in traditional team sport participation is something we can recognise in other countries as well. But shifts in popularity of certain types of physical activity will always be the case. People will always change their preferences and habits. The challenge is to make people change to another activity – not stop their participation all together. Another finding in the American report follows a more global tendency. I have mentioned before that sport (participation) is in economic terms a so-called “normal good”, meaning that with higher income you will consume more (in this case physical activity, by being more active). In other words: Groups with lower income are likely to be significantly less active than higher income groups. This trend is underlined in the American figures and is, unfortunately, persisting around the world. You can find a summary of the US report here and if you would like to share your own national figures on participation in sport and physical activity, please do not hesitate to contact us. Photo: Thomas Dils, Unsplash
    New US participation data reveals positive trend: But lower income groups are still less physically active
  • How the coronavirus brought our Europe-China exchanges to a halt: And how to take cross-continental challenges in your stride
    Comment by Markus Schwaiger, ISCA.“To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time,” said the famous composer Leonard Bernstein. With the MOVE Transfer Europe-China project, supported by the EU, ISCA is trying to achieve something outstanding in a two-year framework. As part of my European Voluntary Service at ISCA, I jumped on board at the beginning of this journey and witnessed first-hand the challenges of coordinating 67 partners from two continents in a collaborative project – the most unexpected of which being how to find a Plan B (or C) when an obstacle called the “coronavirus” gets in the way of our cross-continental exchanges. The aim of the project is to bring leaders from the grassroots sports sector in Europe and Asia together, physically and online, to share their knowledge and best practices. The goal is to enable the participants to work together in future projects by combining the best of two worlds. If we take Bernstein’s quote as a starting point, we did the right thing by creating a plan. What came next unfolded like an adventure: Step 1 – “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”We gather European partners who are willing to share ideas about physical activity and let them shout “Marco!” as loud as possible. We wait for equally motivated colleagues from China, Hong Kong and Macau to complete the name of the well-known explorer by answering “Polo!” Step 2 – “Teachers open the doors. You enter by yourself.”As soon as we have found the right number of participants to follow the footsteps of the Venetian traveller, we start to connect “Ōuzhōu” and “Zhōngguó” once again. Our first stop on this expedition is Budapest (the first project meeting, hosted after the MOVE Congress). The capital of Hungary, made of Buda and Pest, which are divided by the Danube, shows in its name how to connect things that seem separated at first glance. Step 3 – “Fate brings people together from far apart.”After getting to know each other, and a few drinks with the moon and our shadows later, we become aware of the immanent cultural differences in approaching the challenges of the physical activity field. When people from China, Slovenia, Germany, Spain and other European countries communicate together in a foreign language, English sometimes starts to sound like double Dutch. However, we cannot just leave our cultural differences behind and out of sight; we have to harness them. It is only when we see the differences that they can play their indispensable role in pulling the project towards a prosperous future.
    How the coronavirus brought our Europe-China exchanges to a halt: And how to take cross-continental challenges in your stride
  • IPLA’s Nigel Green on Physical Literacy for Life: “There is a golden thread of bringing different organisations together”
    The International Physical Literacy Association (IPLA) is a community of people who promote physical literacy throughout the course of life. We had a conversation with Nigel Green from IPLA about this concept at the kick-off meeting for ISCA’s Erasmus+ Collaborative Partnership Physical Literacy for Life. What is the difference between physical literacy, physical education, and physical activity?Physical literacy is a lifelong concept. It starts at our birth and ends at our death, it is our body’s interaction with the environment from the holistic physical point of view. Physical education is a period when we are at school, usually between the age of four and 18. It comes with a specific focus. Physical activity can range from daily activities like walking and cycling to sport activities. You have been doing some work in the field of physical literacy in Asia. Can you tell more about it?I was fortunate to be invited to India two years ago. Three schools wanted to redesign their physical education programs, so I went to work with over 40 teachers for two weeks. My aim was to introduce them to the concept of physical literacy and make it as a focus in their physical education practices. I found out that their practices were quite traditional, so now I have been out there five times, working with the teachers on their professional development but also in the field. I encourage them to ensure that the lessons don’t only have the physical benefits, but also cognitive. About 18 months ago I went to share the concept of physical literacy in Taiwan. It happened at exactly the right time because they were looking to modify the physical education there. I worked with a group of 80 teachers and once again used physical literacy as the key concept to underpin or overarch physical education. I am excited to go back there in another month to continue the work. Is there anything you find challenging about translating the concept of physical literacy into other cultures?Not really. Once you explain the concept, most people get it and can relate it to their culture. The first time I went to India, the group we were working with could see the holistic, inclusive, lifelong nature of physical literacy very quickly. It really resonated with them. Physical education in Taiwan had gone from skills-based to fun-based; they lost the personal and holistic aspects of it, but once I explained physical literacy to them, they immediately saw how it could fit into their revision of physical education. How can the Physical Literacy for Life project build onto the momentum created by the concept?The beauty of this project is that it unites a range of people from different countries who have all been on their own learning journey in relation to physical literacy. It gives them an opportunity to share their experiences, come together and create a clear vision of how the concept of physical literacy can move forward. There is a golden thread of bringing different organisations together, whether they are working with health, children, adults, community, coaches or teachers. This project brings everyone together to promote physical activity for everyone, for life. The Physical Literacy for Life project is co-funded by the EU's Erasmus+ programme under Collaborative Partnerships in the Field of Sport.By Marie Oleinik, ISCA
    IPLA’s Nigel Green on Physical Literacy for Life: “There is a golden thread of bringing different organisations together”
  • Presenting the new-look ISCA Annual Report for 2019
    Today is a big day for the International Sport and Culture Association (ISCA). Not only are we celebrating our 25th birthday, but we are also ready to present to you our new-look Annual Report for the year 2019. The original idea of ISCA's founders was to unite the voices and organisations who believe in the power of recreational sport and physical activity. We still believe in this ‘power of the people’, and enabling the human right to access sport and physical activity is still our mission. For 25 years we have delivered solutions to our members and the sport sector. These solutions help civil society organisations to develop as organisations and continue to be able to deliver attractive and motivating programmes to individuals and communities. We have shared ideas across borders and cultures. We have invented new tools, new campaigns and new concepts. All to promote and improve the sport sector and ultimately increase citizens’ participation in recreational sport and physical activity. We highlight the solutions, campaigns and advocacy efforts we delivered together with our members and partners in 2019. Browse the report by clicking here or below
    Presenting the new-look ISCA Annual Report for 2019
  • ISCA turns 25 today! “Thank you for your contributions and involvement in ISCA”
    By ISCA President Mogens Kirkeby.  Today we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the International Sport and Culture Association. 25 years ago, the founding members had an interest in open collaboration and sharing inspiration in recreational sport or sport for all, as it was called. They identified the need to connect organisations from different countries and cultures, and as a result they founded ISCA. Today we are more than 250 member organisations who support the idea of uniting, sharing and collaborating. During 2020 we will use various occasions to celebrate this anniversary. We will look back into our history and we will discuss the future of recreational sport and physical activity and, not least, our future priorities. On behalf of the Executive Committee and the Secretariat, I would like to thank you for your contributions and involvement in ISCA. Let’s continue Moving People. Watch the full mesage from Mogens Kirkeby in this videoImage below, 1995 to 2020: The first official ISCA photo was taken of representatives of the founding members in front of a liberty column in Copenhagen, which symbolises the ‘right to move’ and was given to the Danish people by the King in 1788. We took the opportunity to take a picture the same place 25 years later - our staff may be different, but our goal is the same: Moving People!
    ISCA turns 25 today! “Thank you for your contributions and involvement in ISCA”
New US participation data reveals positive trend: But lower income groups are still less physically active
Comment by ISCA President Mogens Kirkeby.  I like good news. I especially like good news about rates of participation in sport and recreational physical activity. This month, the Sport & Fitness Industry Association in America published national 2019 figures and these numbers show an overall increase in participation with 3 million more Americans entering the category of being physically active. Figures like these are, of course, are only applicable to their local/national context. But they can also indicate potential for a broader positive development. Any increase is encouraging – particularly in larger countries – when we are used to hearing stories about stagnation or decreases in participation. The figures illustrate that participation in ‘Fitness’, as an overall category, is increasing, and this goes for the various disciplines or activities we associate with working out and keeping fit. Participation in team sport as a whole has increased, but in the 23 team sports examined, 16 actually reported a decrease in participation. But this decrease was outweighed by the 7 team sports that reported increased participation, including basketball (2.9 percent), outdoor soccer (4.5 percent), volleyball (2.7 percent) and flag football (3.2 percent). The overall decrease in traditional team sport participation is something we can recognise in other countries as well. But shifts in popularity of certain types of physical activity will always be the case. People will always change their preferences and habits. The challenge is to make people change to another activity – not stop their participation all together. Another finding in the American report follows a more global tendency. I have mentioned before that sport (participation) is in economic terms a so-called “normal good”, meaning that with higher income you will consume more (in this case physical activity, by being more active). In other words: Groups with lower income are likely to be significantly less active than higher income groups. This trend is underlined in the American figures and is, unfortunately, persisting around the world. You can find a summary of the US report here and if you would like to share your own national figures on participation in sport and physical activity, please do not hesitate to contact us. Photo: Thomas Dils, Unsplash

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New ISCA website coming soon! Our mascot is working very hard on a brand new ISCA website and we look forward to revealing it to you in 2020. Meanwhile, we will still keep you updated here with the latest news from ISCA and our partners.

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MOVE CONGRESS

Catch up on the coverage from the 9th MOVE Congress here, where you will find stories on all of the plenary sessions and conference tracks. Speakers’ presentations are now available on our SlideShare page.

 

If you were there, see if you can spot yourself in our highlight videos and gallery on Facebook or YouTube. If you missed it, now is the time to put a mark in your calendar for the 10th edition in October 2021.

 

Visit the official MOVE Congress website

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