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30/5/2014

Ideas for a better Europe? MOVE more!



Many of Europe’s youth are not aware how much of a problem physical inactivity is. Two of ISCA’s Youth Officers, Valentin Dupouey and Karlijn Kooke, were surprised by their discovery when they hosted a NowWeMOVE workshop at the European Youth Event (EYE 2014) from 9-11 May at the European Parliament’s buildings in Strasbourg. But by the end of the workshop, Kooke writes, the participants added physical activity to their list of ideas for a better Europe and found their MOVE at European Parliament. EYE 2014 brought together 5,000 Europeans aged from 16-30 to exchange ideas on youth-related issues.

 

EYE 2014 opened the floor for young Europeans to take part in panel discussions on topics such as human rights, youth employment, the digital revolution and sustainability, and talk about their ideas for the future of Europe with politicians, journalists and other decision makers. More than 200 workshops and seminars took place with 180 speakers and MEPs sharing their views on Europe's future direction.

As hosts of one of the workshops, Valentin Dupouey and I were ready to spread the message that we need to find a solution to the epidemic of inactivity in Europe and present the NowWeMOVE Campaign and MOVE Week (as an example of that solution) inside the building of the European Parliament.

 

Our workshop, “Be cool and get Moving!”, set out with a quiz on physical inactivity in Europe. The participants’ knowledge was tested and the outcome was that it is still quite unknown how big the problem of inactivity is. For the question: ‘What is the recommended level of physical activity by the WHO?’ the option we gave were A. 30 min. a day, B. 1 hour per week, C. Why should I be active? Quite an obvious answer we thought, but a few people still thought that an hour a week is enough to stay healthy.

 

Another interesting response came to our question about the most and less active countries. Most of the participants knew that the Nordic countries are the most active countries, but from our list, Germany, France, Sweden, Spain and Bulgaria, their selections were mixed. To the question about the less active countries they had to choose between the Spaniards, Finns, Polish, Irish and Bulgarians. Here the mix in responses was even more noticeable, and their reasoning given with a good sense of humour: Spaniards were less active because they have their siesta and it is just too warm; the Irish because they just love their beers too much.

 

After that, we posed the question: ‘What can you do to move Europe?’. There was space for discussion and we challenged them to come up with an active game for the whole group. By the end of the workshop we had 70 young people moving in one of the meeting rooms of the European Parliament. Check out the video here.

 

So despite the surprising start to the session, we were pleased to hear their ideas flowing and reaching a consensus that the value of moving to create a better Europe cannot be underestimated.

 

To read more about the programme and the outcome of the event check the website of the EYE 2014