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European School Sport Day moved more than 2.5 million children in 41 countries

By Rachel Payne, ISCA

Did you know that just under 20% of European Week of Sport participants took part in a European School Sport Day® event in 2022? In Europe alone, 2,536,881 children celebrated the Day on 30 September and, worldwide, 2,574,681 students from 13,631 schools in 41 countries joined in.

The European Week of Sport, which ran from 23-30 September, had over 13 million participants in 40 countries across Europe. The outstanding engagement in European School Sport Day® across the world underlines why it has been one of the European Week of Sport’s flagship events since 2016.

European School Sport Day® is coordinated by the Hungarian School Sport Federation (HSSF) in cooperation with its founding partners, the International Sport and Culture Association (ISCA), the European Physical Education Association (EUPEA), Youth Sport Trust International, BG Be Active and V4Sport, plus National Coordinators from around Europe. 

New countries taking part in 2022 included Bosnia and Herzegovina, Honduras, Kosovo, Montenegro and Palestine, which meant that three continents celebrated the Day simultaneously. Once again, the overall participation in the event climbed significantly – by 17% (2,198,000 to 2,574,681) after a 10% recovery in 2021 during the pandemic.

Going Green in Sport
The theme of 8th European School Sport Day® was ‘Going Green in Sport’, an idea that put school sport and environmental awareness into the same spotlight and inspired some creative activities such as plogging, waste-free games and tree-planting. BG Be Active produced this year’s theme toolkit drawing on experience from ‘sport without waste’ initiatives carried out in 200 Bulgarian schools. DES secured support from the Kilian Jornet and Carano 4 Children Foundations, with their founders, the mountain running champion Kilian Jornet Burgada, and Senior Adviser for the EU Recovery Taskforce Alessandro Carano, getting behind ESSD as going green ambassadors. 

ISCA as communications partner
ISCA has led the European School Sport Day® (ESSD) communications campaign from 2020-2022 together with HSSF and will continue this support in 2023. ISCA produced a range of materials, including social media guides, visuals and videos, plus a brand new toolkit with HSSF expert Dr Viktória Anna Kovács on healthy lifestyle promotion for children, ‘More activity. Less sitting. Better diet. Better sleep’.

Participating countries in 2022: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Palestine, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Türkiye, Ukraine and United Kingdom. 

Key facts
Coordinator: Hungarian School Sport Federation
Co-funded by: European Commission (Erasmus+ Sport Not-for-Profit Events)
Grant amount: €300,000

Top quote
“This year we are ambassadors, since the main motto is ‘going green in sport’ and we want sport in schools to always have a global and cross-cutting look towards environmental responsibility.” Kilian Jornet Burgada, Kilian Jornet Foundation

Posted on 25/01/2023 by Rachel Payne, ISCA


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