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#BeActive Beach Games guide and event manual now available

To promote physical activity at the beach, five national and two international sports organisations, including ISCA, have launched easy-to-use guides to organising activities and events on natural and artificial beaches. The resources have been developed as part of the EU-supported #BeActive Beach Games, which was piloted in Latvia and Portugal last year.


The Physical Activity Guide on Beach Sports and Activities includes videos on various sports and activities that can be done on the beach and in the water. The guide is complemented by a Manual for Organisation of BeActive Beach Games evens, based on the lessons learned from the two pilot events, and a Policy Note to convince stakeholders about the benefits of encouraging inclusive physical activities on the beach. The materials are freely accessible on the official BeActive Beach Games website.


The Latvian Sports Federation Council President says the guides are still a highly relevant source of inspiration for organisations and individuals, despite restrictions on events being in place this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


"It should be noted that the unexpected pandemic of the virus in the world has significantly changed the possibilities of doing sports. However, during this period, physical activity – especially in outdoor conditions – is possible and even required in small groups or with family members. The materials developed offer suitable ideas on how, taking into account the security measures, it is possible to create an environment and habits that help to maintain a physically active lifestyle in these new conditions," Latvian Sports Federation Council (LSFC) President Einars Fogelis stresses.


The European Union-supported Erasmus+ project, which started in early 2019 and will be finished this summer in June, was developed by Latvian, Estonian, Lithuanian, Spanish and Portuguese, as well as two international sports organisations. The aim was to create new ways of attracting people to take up a physically active lifestyle, regardless of age, health opportunities and fitness or skills, by increasing overall participation in sport, and promoting the involvement of every day less visible or active, socially vulnerable groups of society.


The three materials created during the project reflect the experience and knowledge of the countries and the international sports organisations involved in the project as well as the experience of the first BeActive Beach Games in the artificially formed beaches of Kipsala and Lucavsala in Latvia and the natural beach of Portimao in Portugal. The materials pay special attention to the inclusive aspects of different groups of society.


Easy-to-use guidelines for organising the BeActive Beach Games

Manual for Organisation of BeActive Beach Games events is designed as an easy-to-use practical guide for potential beach sports event organisers, from a very small or local level to national or international level. The guide can help organisers adapt games or events to any natural or artificially formed beaches. It includes examples of BeActive Beach Games in Latvia and Portugal in 2019 and a detailed description of the five stages of organising the Beach Games: (1) planning, (2) coordinating, (3) disseminating, (4) implementing and (5) monitoring.


The manual covers all aspects of hosting successful games: organisational aspects and technical requirements, financial, security and communication aspects that sets out recommendations for the necessary infrastructure and equipment for the involvement of different groups of participants. It provides insights into the diversity of sports and physical activities, including demonstrations, try-out sessions and masterclasses.


The development of the BeActive Beach Games model focuses particularly on the possibilities of involving family members from different generations, including an example of the experience of hosting a BeActive Family Cup competition. Examples of the involvement of various social groups, including examples of wheelchair tennis, beach sitting volleyball and integrating 30 children from orphanages in the activities that were implemented in Latvia last year in cooperation with the Latvian Floorball Union.


The BeActive Beach Games model is designed to be accessible to everyone so that the rules can be changed or re-established, according to the skills and capabilities of the players, taking into account the environment: the beach, whether natural or artificial, in which the Beach Games will be organised.

Practical ideas for doing sports on the beach and in the water

The Physical Activity Guide on Beach Sports and Activities includes descriptions and video guides for a wide variety of sports and activities at the beach, including beach volleyball, beach tennis, beach football, sup boarding, surfing and other sports. The materials have been designed to be used for everyone on holidays individually or with friends or family, in any natural or artificially formed beach or in the water. For each type of sport or activity, a brief description of it has been provided with details about the required equipment, rules, conditions of the place, organisational model and the contact details for further professional guidance.


A policy document to support a physically active way of life in Europe

Policy Note on the BeActive Beach Games is developed for policy- and decision-makers at different organisational levels: municipalities, national and European, and provides an insight into the challenges facing most European countries and the reasons for the increasing European support for promoting a physically active way of life. The policy document highlights and clarifies the importance of sports and physical activity, not only in promoting public health but also as an opportunity to strengthen certain social and ethical values in society.


Obesity levels have doubled in recent decades and it is one of the most common health problems. The International Sports and Culture Association (ISCA) and the Centre for Economic and Business Studies (CEBR) conclude that losses related to lack of physical activity and movement in Europe approximately amount to €80 billion per year.


The document provides a more comprehensive explanation of the benefits of sports events involving society: these are traditionally health benefits, but also beneficial for the urban environment, by creating new ways for people to use existing infrastructure.


About the project

To develop an accessible and inclusive model of the BeActive Beach Games, with the possibility of organising them on natural or artificially formed beaches, the European Union Erasmus + project has joined five countries – Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Spain and Portugal – as well as two international sports organisations. The project developed organisational, methodical and educational materials which summarise the experience of the first BeActive Beach Games in August 2019 in Latvia and September in Portugal, as support materials for sports events organisers and other stakeholders. The projects aims to seek new ways of attracting people, regardless of age, health opportunities, physical fitness or skills, to physically active lifestyle, and to create a sports movement that would be inclusive, to increase overall participation in sport, and also to encourage the involvement of everyday less visible or active, socially vulnerable groups of society.


Information on the project can be found on the official website and by following the hashtag #BeActiveAtBeach


Contact Latvian Sports Federations Council, project coordinator, for more information.