High Level Group on Grassroots Sport, set up by Commissioner Tibor Navracsics, met on 22 January 2016 for the second time. In the previous meeting, the Group agreed on the main areas to be covered in the final recommendations, and on these areas social inclusion in and through sport, as well as health-enhancing physical activity (HEPA) were on the agenda of the second meeting.
On the topic of social inclusion, Heike Kübler from the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) gave a comprehensive introduction to the topic by outlining the various activities DOSB is doing in the field of social inclusion of migrants and refugees. After the introduction the members of the High Level Group raised several important aspects to be included in the final recommendations, especially reflecting from the good practice examples from their countries or organisations. It was agreed by the members that taking into account the current situation in Europe, the special focus in the final recommendations should be given to the social inclusion of refugees and migrants.
The afternoon discussion focused on HEPA. Peter Krustrup, Professor of Team Sport and Health from the University of Copenhagen initialised the discussion with his presentation “Team sports as prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of non-communicable diseases for individuals across the life span”. He stressed that focusing on the pleasure of physical activity and sport is important, because it attracts also those, who are not competitive, to be active. As an example he mentioned that there is football organised in Denmark without goals, which makes the game less competitive. His examples triggered a lively debate on the ways of creating environments which encourage people to be physically more active.
The High Level Group will continue its work to shape the final recommendations to the Commissioner by June 2016. Next meeting will take place on 16 March 2016.