IOC Press Release: “A CALL TO ACTION” Beijing Olympic City Development Association
14th World Conference on Sport for All, Beijing, China, 20-23 September 2011
Hosted by the Chinese Olympic Committee and the Beijing Municipal Government, the 14th World Conference on Sport for All was organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and its Sport for All Commission, together with the Beijing Olympic City Development Association (BODA), in collaboration with SportAccord. It was attended by 527 delegates from 90 countries and regions.
CALL TO ACTION
It is recognised and acknowledged that engagement of individuals of all ages in physical activity brings both health and social benefits and increases one’s general well-being. The implementation of Sport for All programmes meets this end by bridging social and economic divides. It directly addresses the increasing rates of physical inactivity in society.
This Conference, therefore, issues a call to action to organisations (sporting and otherwise), governments and community entities to focus efforts on advancing the Sport for All movement and increasing participation of all sectors of society in sport and physical activity.
In particular, this call to action draws attention to the following key areas and goals:
The importance of cooperation and the building of partnerships
•The importance of sports organisations collaborating with governmental and nongovernmental organisations, both within and outside the sports sector, in increasing the level of participation of regular physical activity.
•The importance of working closely with the education sector to ensure young people are informed as to the benefits of physical activity, namely health and well-being.
•The widespread benefits of Sport for All activities to obtain support from public and private entities. The importance of using and transforming tools and knowledge
•The need to transform academic and scientific studies into concrete action and the implementation of Sport for All programmes.
•The need for critical evaluation of projects to maximise the effectiveness of the outcomes.
•The need to share experiences and best practices. Reaching out
•The influence and effectiveness of role models and social media campaigns as highly effective tools to promote and encourage participation in physical activity and sport. The accessibility of sporting facilities and public spaces
•The development of dedicated infrastructure and space, both safe and accessible, to facilitate the participation of the maximum number of individuals and organisations.
•The increase in accessibility to schools and facilities of higher education outside regular hours to the wider community.
•The allocation of resources to support innovations in sporting equipment and infrastructure that increase the desirability, both financially and technically, of participating in sports and recreation activities. The development and implementation of Sport for All programmes and projects
•The importance of organisers of sport events incorporating Sport for All projects as part of their plans to provide sustainable legacies for their community.
•The need for governments at all levels to participate directly in the organisation and support for Sport for All projects ranging in size and structure, from local community events to major international events.
•The importance of incorporating physical education programmes, with an adequate number of hours of physical education, directly into school and college curricula.
•The desirability of sports federations and associations to modify the rules, structures and format of a sport so it is adapted to ‘urban’ environments, and lowers entry barriers, thereby leading to increased levels of participation, particularly in public spaces.
•The important role of governments at all levels in supporting clubs, associations and volunteers to promote, encourage and organise physical activity programmes.
•The need for governments and sports federations to train and educate coaches in regard to the benefits and implementation of Sport for All activities.