Bled, 24 September 2021
Yesterday, in the framework of the opening ceremony of the European Week of Sport held in Bled (Slovenia), the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI) presented its pledge in support of the new initiative launched by the European Commission “HealthyLifestyle4all”. Through its commitment to promote equal access to sport and physical activity, FESI announced the launch of a campaign focusing on improving young girls’ participation in sport. The two-year campaign should be launched by the Federation in early 2022.
“For many years now, FESI and its members have been engaged with public authorities to promote healthy lifestyles through sport and physical activity. Now, the moment is even more crucial as we face an unprecedented global health crisis and figures on sport participation remain stagnant. Yet, paradoxically, I want to believe there is a glimmer of hope as this crisis has shown us how essential sport is for our health.”, said Neil Narriman – FESI President – during the opening ceremony of the European Week of Sport in Bled (Slovenia). “FESI therefore welcomes and strongly supports today’s launch of the HealthyLifestyle4all initiative. As a long-term partner of the European Commission on sport issues, our objective will be to contribute at our level to overcome some of the barriers that still prevent young girls from accessing sport and healthy lifestyles”, he added.
Following the Tartu Call for a Healthy Lifestyle, the Healthy Lifestyle 4 All initiative (HL4A) launched by Commissioner Gabriel yesterday in Bled will be a two-year campaign showcasing the European Commission’s commitment to promoting a healthy lifestyle across generations and social groups. HL4A is driven by the knowledge that everyone can benefit from activities that improve health and well-being. To increase uptake and broaden its outreach, the European Commission has invited representatives from sport organisations, civil society, and public authorities to help design the HL4A initiative. In response to this call, FESI announced the launch of a large communication and advocacy campaign entitled “StrongHER”. It will be designed to promote girls’ access to sport by addressing some of the major barriers currently in place, in particular the lack of safe and tailored infrastructures in urban areas.
In line with its pledge, FESI has also renewed its partnership with ESSD for this new edition of the European Week of Sport. Close to 2 000 sporting goods have been collected by FESI from its members – PUMA, adidas, Buff, Emerid and Trangoworld – and donated to different schools and disadvantaged areas in Belgium to encourage physical activity among children.
“We’re grateful to FESI and its members involved in the European Week of Sport initiative, to have received such a nice set of sporting materials for the kids at ‘De Lotus’ in Ghent”, commented Kristof De Mey, co-founder Sportamundi vzw & member of the parent council at De Lotus. “First of all, this provides the opportunity for children to experience the joy of playing sports, in particular for those children who aren’t able to get that extra shirt, ball, etc. Second, on the longer term, this will boost the physical activity promotion and education within the school and the local environment in a more sustainable way. It brought a feeling of happiness and joy to the school and the neighborhood, now and in the weeks and months to come as well for sure”, he added.
Contact: Ariane Gatti, FESI Communication Officer / [email protected] / +32 274 08 94