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Manifesto on Sport in Future EUROPE: By ISCA EUROPE 2014

Manifesto on Sport in Future Europe (DOC, 0.19 MB)

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Turning European citizens into Moving People

Sport will contribute to finding solutions to Europe’s future challenges. Significantly increasing participation in sport and the level of physical activity among Europeans will assist economic growth as well as the ability for societies to react to the current crisis. Sport represents 2% of GDP and it is a labour intensive sector. Furthermore, an increase in physical activity levels will allow citizens and societies to cash in on the benefits of a physically active lifestyle.


Make the future European dimension of sport ambitious and broad-reaching

Our ambition should be to bring the level of physical activity in Europe as a whole up to the same level as the top five countries on the continent. That means our vision should be to have “100 million more Europeans to be active in sport and physical activity by 2020”.


To reach this we need to have a broad and inclusive appeal. We should include, promote and support activities from walking, transport cycling to leisure time recreational sport and physical activity and we need all relevant sectors to take ownership of this challenge.


With such an ambitious, broad and inclusive approach, Europe can utilise the social, educational, economic and environmental benefits of Moving Europeans.


What are we waiting for!




Manifesto on Sport in Future EUROPE


Europe has been hit hard by global challenges in recent years – two of the most alarming being the economic crisis and the impact of the inactivity crisis on public health. The sport sector has a vital role in tackling these challenges in the future.


The public accountability assumed by the European Member States to address these challenges must be accompanied by measures to accelerate economic recovery.


This will require a shift in attention and resources towards sectors capable of producing more knowledge and innovation, goods and services which have a minimal impact on the environment and are conducive to the spread of prosperity.


We believe all sectors can make a positive contribution to Europe’s prosperity by working together to deliver more effective initiatives


The sport sector is already represents 2% of GDP in Europe, and a large proportion of this figure is produced by grassroots sport and its suppliers. Almost two-thirds of this economic value is generated by sport and physical activity participation, which is reliant on support from local authorities. While the participants are driving the demand in the sector, the 35 million volunteers working in communities throughout Europe are the backbone of so many initiatives that prompt people to participate. They also need support.


There is ample space for the sport sector to grow. Still, too many European citizens have sedentary lifestyles, and this has serious implications for public health, social wellbeing and the economy.


We propose a goal for the next European Parliament: Lift the European average physical activity level to match the levels of the five leading countries on the physical activity scale. The vision should be “100 million more Europeans active in sport and physical activity by 2020”.


This will not only represent a significant goal for Europe, it will underscore Europe’s commitment to achieving a major goal for civilisation. Tackling the global inactivity crisis at a European level will have a positive flow-on effect, strengthening local grassroots sport initiatives and leading to – among other economic benefits – the creation of skilled jobs for young people.


Achieving this goal does not just require a commitment from the grassroots sport sector. The European Commission and the Council of Ministers’ actions in foregrounding the issues of integrity of the sport, the fight against doping, fraud and match-fixing, dual careers of athletes and other actions aimed at supporting a balance between the specificity of sport and its rules and principles of fairness, legality and sustainability, are crucial in initiating positive change.


The European dimension in sport, as mentioned by the European Commission, calls into question the policies of education and training, health, gender rights and citizenship, social inclusion, employment and sustainable development.


The next legislation must take a decisive approach to integrating sport and physical activity into cross-sector programmes that deal with these policies and document the results.


The first test will be the implementation of the 2014-2020 actions in the field of Sport under the new Erasmus+ programme, which has the task of supporting projects that are able to spread good practices and the culture of sports for all throughout the European Member States. We need to ensure that the priority of the EU sport programme remains focused on participation in physical activity and grassroots sport.



In the field of health

Sport and physical activity is an important factor in disease prevention and improving the physical and mental condition of people of all ages. However, the spread of sedentary lifestyles and poor nutrition habits are still significant barriers to public health and wellbeing.


It's time to formally recognise the value of physical activity in overcoming these barriers and encourage Member States to direct at least 1% of their public health expenditure to health-enhancing physical activity initiatives.



In the field of social inclusion

Physical activity is a powerful tool for dialogue between cultures and generations, and sport is a universal language that can bind those who participate to its rules and social conventions.


It's time to use sport and physical activity initiatives to take action against social exclusion and reach out to less privileged members of society.



In the field of education and instruction

Education about physical activity and movement is one of the fundamental bases of a person’s personal development, as it is an inherent way for children to develop physical and social skills.


It's time to increase the time allocated to physical activity and sport in school and outside school, to affirm the value of physical education and sport in educational curricula. We have to utilise sport as tool for democratic participation as well as a stepping stone for young people to enter the labour market.


In the field of sustainable development

Sport is an activity that takes place more and more in the open air, in informal spaces, across cities and territories. In order to accommodate the growing number of citizens who choose informal settings for their physical activities, you need to provide them with ample and suitable public spaces, and improve the roads, pavements and cycle paths they use as their sporting “facilities” without destroying the beauty of the natural environment.


It's time to consider sport and physical activity as an engine for the development of a sustainable economy. Sporting facilities and events can be a model for reducing CO2 emissions and thereby inspire sustainable urban renewal.


Through sport it is possible to transcend national boundaries and discover more about our European neighbours. Sports tourism is the most vital segment of the tourism industry. The sport sector should be involved in defining the industry guidelines and developing projects that encourage both the sport and tourism sectors to exchange their experiences throughout Europe.



A pact between sports organisation and European institutions

Over the next five years, the sport sector’s strengths can be leveraged to support the growth of Europe. We have to put it in a position to do so.


Promoting physical activity across Europe will allow citizens to cash in on the benefits of a physically active lifestyle. By encouraging local authorities to invest in renovating and modernising sports facilities and redeveloping their cities to accommodate people who want to be physically active, it will also allow these cities to cash in on the economic benefits of having healthier and more engaged citizens.


In turn, the sport sector will grow, put more emphasis on delivering high quality and innovative initiatives, develop the skills of its volunteers and trainers, engage in partnerships with public and private entities, and become more competent in managing the spaces created for physical activity, as well as grassroots sport events and projects.


With such an ambitious, broad and inclusive approach, Europe can utilise the social, educational, economic and environmental benefits of Moving Europeans.