Investments for Future Generations

ICSSPE President at the EU Sport Forum 2018
04/12/2018 16:10

How can the Olympic Games better serve the principle of sustainability?


What is the role of sport in fighting climate change and contributing to the Paris agreement?


How do we promote gender equality in the context of European values, and did the EU make any progress since the adoption of the Tartu Call for a Healthy Lifestyle?


These and more questions were discussed during the last EU Forum which was held March 22nd and 23rd, 2018 in Sofia, Bulgaria.


In his presentation, entitled Women in sport: breaking the glass ceiling, Stefan Bergh, ENGSO, challenged the fact that there are still more opportunities for boys and men than for girls and women to engage in sport activities. He assumes that this is due to existing structures as well as to culture and norms which exist in today’s sport.


Other speakers shared their experience concerning the promotion of sport, physical activity, and healthy lifestyles. Christoph Holstein, State Secretary of Sport in Hamburg, Germany, stated that the city emphasises the concept of Active City – to promote physical activity and responsibility for better health, for engagement in politics, and for defending democracy.


In Slovenia, 7000 thousand trees were planted around the city of Ljubljana to advance social, cultural and healthy lifestyles. In addition, 10,000 sq. were closed for traffic in the middle of the city to welcome a greener city which is friendlier to its citizen and tourists and offering opportunities for physical activity.


In Rotterdam, the Netherlands, efforts are undertaken to make sport participation easier for the people. Especially young people have the opportunity to explore various sports to find out which suits best. It became obvious that a main aim of most initiatives was to emphasise sustainability.  


Another topic highlighted measures against doping. This topic was introduced by the Minister of Youth and Sport of Bulgaria.


Jean Michael Brun, Secretary General of the French Olympic Committee, presented the concept for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics in Paris. In his speech he described three pillars on which the concept of the preparation is based:


  • Passion for the Celebration in and out of the Stadiums;
  • Sustainability and Legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic games; and
  • Sport builds a better world – the power of change.



Another report stated that in 2017 more than 46% of the European people were inactive versus 42% in 2007. This means that whatever the physical activity community is doing and whatever policy governments are adopting - the bottom line is that all are unsuccessful. This has to alert every sport scientist and practitioner in the field and raise the question why we have reached so far. Furthermore, we need to ask ourselves what needs to be done in order to increase the level of participation in sport among the population in general and the youth in particular.


The EU Sport Forum 2018 attracted around 400 participants representing EU member states, sport organisations, and various other EU institutions.


Uri Schaefer, ICSSPE President