Kraainem, 27th September 2022
As part of its StrongHer campaign, the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI) is releasing a brand-new Manifesto, resulting of months of work and discussions with its members, in which the industry details a series of barriers and recommendations to help promote sport and physical activity among young girls. The publication of the Manifesto was celebrated as part of a football tournament organised in cooperation with the Kraainem Football Club (Belgium), putting into action some of the main recommendations set out in the FESI Manifesto.
“Today we are facing a worrying trend: 33% of young women between 15 and 24 never exercise or play sport. Yet, most of the barriers to girls’ participation in sport could be overcome with stronger collective effort”, declared Neil Narriman, FESI President, during the opening ceremony of the Manifesto launch. “In line with the European Commission’s #HealthyLifestyle4All initiative, we have decided to join forces within FESI through our StrongHer campaign by promoting good practices and easy-to-implement recommendations”, he added.
In the Manifesto, FESI and its members shed light on three key barriers to girls’ participation in sport: body image, access to sport facilities and the men-dominated culture of sport. For each of these barriers, the document sets out a number of recommendations targeted at national and European public authorities, sports organisations, as well as the sporting goods industry. Grouped in three categories, the recommendations call for the promotion of women coaches, the creation of an appropriate environment and equipment for girls, as well as an increased recognition of women role models.
The launch of the StrongHer Manifesto was celebrated at the Kraainem Football Club, a non-for-profit organisation committed to the promotion of sport for all, in the presence of the European Commissioner for Equality Ms. Helena Dalli, as well as other key representatives of the European institutions. The ceremony ended up with a football tournament, gathering mixed teams of young girls and boys, as well as refugees welcomed by the club in the framework of the “We welcome young refugees” initiative.
“We must continue to pay attention to women’s access to sport, and particularly to refugee women, whose cause is still too little visible in the public space, although sport is a driving force in their inclusion process” declared Laurent Thieule, President of Kraainem Football Club and Sport & Citizenship think tank. “I also would like to thank the FESI for the donation of sport items on behalf of its members for the club and the young refugees, I am very delighted today to welcome you in Kraainem football club for the launching of the StrongHer manifesto”, he concluded.
Based on the lessons learned during the day and feedback received on the Manifesto, FESI is planning to organise a follow-up conference in Brussels, bringing together industry experts, decision-makers, coaches and sport stakeholders to discuss the main challenges and concrete actions to further improve girls’ participation in sport and physical activity. In the meantime, the document is available on FESI’s website and is now open for signature to all interested stakeholders who are willing to promote and support the initiative and can submit their request via the online form.
The Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI) is the pre-competitive platform representing the interests of the sporting goods industry in Europe, advancing its members’ priorities and promoting initiatives that benefit the sector, EU citizens and the society as a whole. FESI is the sole stakeholder that provides sporting goods companies with the possibility to leverage their expertise into one steady and coherent voice.
Ariane Gatti, FESI Communication Manager / [email protected] /+32 (0)2 762 86 48
 FESI signed a pledge during the 2021 European Week of Sport, in which it committed to launch a “StrongHer” campaign to get more girls active. For more information, see: https://fesi-sport.org/fesi-pledges-to-promote-healthy-lifestyles-as-part-of-its-participation-in-the-2021-edition-of-the-european-week-of-sport/