Brussels, 12 July 2021
After a very successful partnership last year, the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI) will once again support the European School Sport Day (ESSD) initiative, which aims to promote physical activity and get schools on the move. In addition to amplifying the messages of the initiative, FESI has already launched an appeal to its members to collect sporting goods that will be donated to children. More than a hundred sports items have already been collected and more are expected to be distributed ahead of the 2021 European Week of Sport in September.
Co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union, European School Sport Day (ESSD) is the European Week of Sport biggest event, encouraging schools to get children on the move. In 2020, despite limitations to delivering physical education and school sport during the COVID-19 pandemic, 3789 schools in 38 countries celebrated European School Sport Day and they got 2 million school children moving at least for 120 minutes on the day. ESSD also helps drive social change by addressing the urgent need to improve young generation’s health and active levels. This year’s ESSD will take place on 24 September and is expected to be celebrated not only in Europe but around the world. Events can be hosted on school grounds or streamed live online to students who are still attending school remotely under national lockdown restrictions.
As the unique body representing the sporting goods industry in Europe, FESI is very much engaged in the promotion of physical activity, especially among children. This issue has been a central focus of its involvement in the European Week of Sport since 2015.
“We all know that active kids perform better in their classrooms, communities and future careers, yet today’s generation is the least active in history. Less than 30% of children receive 60 minutes of daily physical activity recommended by WHO. In Europe, one in five children is overweight or obese,” says Jérôme Pero, FESI Secretary-General. “By supporting the European School Sport Day initiative, we hope to help more children to be active. We have already managed to collect over 100 sports items from our members, and we intend to double our donation from last year,” he adds.
Despite its ambitious goals, ESSD philosophy remains simple: establish the opportunity for all children to participate in sports beyond school physical education and promote physical activity as a part of their daily routine. Following this goal, in 2021, ESSD aims at exploring the topic “MOVEment Spaces” in school settings. By this, ESSD wants to place emphasis on transforming a school space into a MOVEment space and find answers to challenges in schools that lack appropriate infrastructure, using existing equipment in a different, new way and to getting active in a different way: try something new, with someone new, in a new setting, to exchange ideas, less known games and sports.
“Joining forces with FESI only amplifies the overarching message of the importance of physical activity, health, social and environmental responsibility,” says Gábor Balogh, president of the Hungarian School Sport Federation (HSSF). “As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will face new social challenges not only in Europe but also worldwide. It is obvious that the pandemic has been, and still is, a serious mental, spiritual, psychological burden for all of us, including teachers and children. Physical activity is an excellent way to manage and relieve stress, thus supporting free, autonomous exercise will be vital in the near future. Working together in all areas of life, for children and adults alike, will be an experience that will affect our lives and serve as a model for our coping strategies,” he adds.
As studies are revealing the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on children’s social and emotional wellbeing, European School Sport Day is an opportunity for schools to prepare children and parents to return to physical education after the summer break in a safe and mindful way. ESSD organisers are looking forward to this year’s edition on 24 September and hope to be able to organise more physical events if the health situation allows.
About ESSD: European School Sport Day is coordinated by the Hungarian School Sport Federation (HSSF) in cooperation with the European Physical Education Association, Youth Sport Trust International, the International Sport and Culture Association, BG Be Active and V4Sport, and National Coordinators in over 40 countries.
About FESI: Founded in 1960 FESI – the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry represents the interests of approximately 1.800 sporting goods manufacturers (85% of the European market) through its National Sporting Goods Industry Federations and its directly affiliated member companies. 70-75% of FESI’s membership is made up of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises. In total, the European Sporting Goods Industry employs over 700.000 EU citizens and has an annual turnover of some 81 billion euro.
Contact: Ariane Gatti, FESI Communication Officer / [email protected] /+32 274 08 94