#ESP2018 warm-up with Ulla Nykänen: „Sports clubs for health and inclusion”

The positive health impact of sport is widely recognised, and improving one’s health is the main reason for physically active Europeans to exercise. Sports clubs are communities where people meet friends, build communities and engage in civic activities, further improving their overall well-being. Health-enhancing, more accessible activities are beneficial for individuals – and can help sports clubs reach new target groups!

That is why there will be a session dedicated to sports clubs and their positive contribution to a healthier and a more inclusive European society at the first European Sports Platform in Budapest, Hungary on 16–17 November 2018. We are happy to present Ulla Nykänen, advisor at the Finnish Olympic Committee as a speaker of this session.

„Our so-called Sports Club for Health approach presents the guiding principles for sports clubs to be followed in their practice. These are that sports clubs promote health-enhancing sports activities; initiatives follow established, evidence-based practices initiatives should be implemented by qualified and competent personnel; sports clubs promote the sport(s) that are part of the clubs’ standard programme; initiatives pose no or only minimal health and safety risks; initiatives take place in a ‘healthy’ environment and sports clubs are committed to promoting an enjoyable social and motivational climate.” – explains Ms. Nykänen the approach that the Finnish Olympic Committee uses.

“Club activities commonly place a strong focus on competitive sports and sports performance, with a lesser focus on recreational sports, health promotion and increasing physical activity through sports. Moreover, the clubs need more successful examples of how to do it, and that is what our approach aims at by presenting tools and examples. Lack of awareness and practical examples might be reasons for not recognising the great potential sports clubs have. Given that high intensity levels characterise many sports disciplines, it is reasonable to suggest that with millions of members, by performing their core duties, sports clubs may make a valuable contribution to health-promotion and public health.” – adds Ms. Nykänen, revealing some of the challenges that clubs encounter while they put in place a health-promotion approach.

Ms. Nykänen will talk more about these challenges and some ways to overcome them on 16 November, explaining the Sports Club for Health approach in detail. Nonetheless, you can already follow her on Twitter to learn more about her daily thoughts on health-promotion through sports clubs.

For more information about and register for the European Sport Platform, click here.

#ESP2018 is organised by ENGSO, the Hungarian Competitive Sport Federation and the European Lotteries.

#UllaNykänen #FinnishOlympicCommittee #SCforH #SportsClubforHealth #ESP2018