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  • Who is the enemy? Comment by ISCA President Mogens Kirkeby
    Image: Twitter post from WHO.  On 16 February, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced the setup of an Independent Global High-level Commission on NCDs with the mandate to propose new ways of tackling non-communicable diseases, the leading cause of death and illness in the world today. In a series of tweets, the WHO promotes the new Commission under the hashtag #BeatNCDs. What’s not to like? As a proponent of healthy lifestyles, we at ISCA are more than happy with such an initiative overall. However, there is one risk. Physical activity may once more become the smaller part of the equation of the NCD puzzle – or be forgotten entirely. Too often, we have seen that physical activity for health gets only second priority when health promotion policies and initiatives are established in the health sector. The same risk is apparent in the newly established Commission on NCDs: When promoting it, the WHO announced in a graphic the bold statement “We can #beatNCDs – by beating tobacco, unhealthy foods and sugary drinks”. Where is physical activity in this equation – knowing that physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality? We can speculate that the reasons for the bias against physical activity as a solution to public health problems may be that THERE IS NO ENEMY. The WHO and governments in general seem to love solutions that are based on regulation. If there are rules, there are sanctions if the rules are not followed. And sanctions mean better behaviour in the future – or so the logic goes. Therefore, it is also very “easy” to target tobacco, unhealthy foods, and sugary drinks: All of them can be regulated to some extent, namely by regulating the industries that produce and market these products. We have an enemy to beat! Not so for physical activity. Who is the enemy? Apart from the humorous suggestions that the chair is the enemy because it creates sedentary lifestyles, the only real enemy… is ourselves. As a result, there is a need for much more complex promotion and motivation policies in the area of physical activity. And this is harder to explain politically than industry regulation. But difficult does not mean irrelevant. Physical activity is highly relevant, and we need more interventions to use this solution. To stay in the health (and medicines) lingo, ISCA has suggested that we dub the solution MOVEment Pills. To be fair, the WHO has launched a process to develop a Global Action Plan for Physical Activity – and we have seen good progress in this process. It seems that we will have to continue to remind the health sector on the relevance of physical activity even though there is no enemy.
    Who is the enemy? Comment by ISCA President Mogens Kirkeby
  • Financial incentives are a great way to move people – but how sustainable are they?
    As ISCA has been running the NowWeMOVE campaign for over seven years now, we are often asked what the difference is between awareness-raising, activation and even sustained activation when it comes to initiatives aiming to make more people active. In preparation for the fourth No Elevators Day, we spotted an interesting scheme introduced in China this week that brought back memories of similar – but one-off – initiatives in Russia, Mexico and England. This week Beijing began trialling a new pay-per-ride system for residents use the elevators in their apartment buildings. Interestingly, the first elevators fitted with the system are newly installed ones in old apartment buildings. So you could ask whether the initiative is aimed at getting more residents active or at raising money to pay for the new elevators. In any case, it has prompted residents to think they will “end up taking the stairs” if such a fee is introduced in existing elevators, which suggests the idea may be a more sustainable way of getting people moving than one-off stunts tried in other countries, such as doing squats for metro tickets in Russia and Mexico or a 10-minute workout for sandwiches in England. Before the last Winter Olympics in Sochi, the Russian Olympic Committee made headlines by inviting commuters to pay for their metro ticket with 30 squats, using the Olympic occasion to show how easy it is “to add elements of sport into daily life”. Squats are, after all, “an excellent way to get a little exercise into your day”, one American commentator enthused. The local government in Mexico City did the same with a more targeted attempt to tackle high obesity rates by offering 50,000 metro tickets for an even “cheaper” 10 squats each, which probably raised more awareness than sweat among commuters. A pop-up sandwich bar in London demanded a higher tempo fitness routine for its sandwiches, but the three-day rush for free sandwiches burned off quicker than the calories, with the incentive being great for sedentary office workers but an impossible way to stay in business. Is the incentive a pocket full of money or wellbeing?Stunts like these can be effective in the (very) short term (i.e. in the week of the event) but their long-term impact on people’s habits is debatable when motivation is driven by financial benefits rather than health benefits or general wellbeing. A pocket full of coins is something real and tangible – a pocket full of wellbeing isn’t (unless it contains a handful of dark chocolate…) Without the Winter Olympics hype or a friendly conductor waiving your fee, the idea of doing exercise in a random setting seems absurd. If you saw someone doing squats in front of a ticket machine for the metro on your daily commute, you might be tempted to alert the nearest security officer or at least smile and giggle with your co-passengers. Awareness-raising: definitely. Activation: maybe, at least in that moment. Sustained activation: doubtful without the “carrot” of a free ticket or sandwich dangling in front of you all the time.No Elevators Day: a campaign with a simple mantra to keep movingOf course, ISCA supports any initiative that gets people moving and raises awareness of the benefits of being active. But if campaigners really want to convert awareness-raising into activation and eventually sustained activation, the long-term solution could be to find easy and relevant ways to nudge people towards new habits. With No Elevators Day the idea is simple: take the stairs in your office building or during your daily commute and encourage people to do the same. Add a mantra, #NowWeTakeTheStairs, and you are prompting a change of habit: before we took the elevator to get from A to B, now we take the stairs. If financial incentives work, but are difficult to sustain in the long run, the solution may not only be free, but the most logical one – opportunities to be active are right in front of us, like the stairs, so why not take them?This year No Elevators Day is happening worldwide on 25 April – find out how you can join inNo Elevators Day Facebook groupNo Elevators Day Facebook event Comment by Rachel Payne, ISCA 
    Financial incentives are a great way to move people – but how sustainable are they?
  • World Student Games in Canada open for registration
    ISCA member the World Student Games Federation (WSGF) in Canada will stage the World Student Games 2018 in Winnipeg from June 7-10, 2018. Registration is now open for 16 sports for both female and male participants. The Director of the WSGF Ajit Kumar says the event aims to be as inclusive as possible: “The purpose of the event is to spread a worldwide message of student athletes regardless of age, culture, race, language etc. There is no age limit in Student Games because there is no age limit of students,” he says. “We welcome all students of School, College, University, Technical, Vocational, Industrial Trade/Training Academy and Private College/Institution like: Aviation Students, Building Education Students, Banking Students, Corporate Students, Computer Students, Correspondence Students, Diesel/Automotive Students, Distance Education Students, Engineering Students, Finance/Accounting Students, Handyman Trade’s Students (i.e Plumbing, Electric, Refrigeration, Gas Etc.), Hospitality Students, Law Enforcement and Security Students, Leadership Students, Logistics/SCM Students, Medical Science Students, Management Students, Online Education Students, Polytechnic/ITI Students, Vocational Students and various other students.” ISCA is an official supporter of the event, which has been registered with Sport Manitoba, Sport Canada, Immigration Canada, and the Special Events Unit of Immigration (IRCC). You can download the registration form and see the event categories below. Please contact the World Student Games Federation for more information.
    World Student Games in Canada open for registration
  • Active School Communities resources now available online
    The EU-supported Active School Communities project, led by ISCA member BG Be Active and in which ISCA is a partner, has released a series of resources to help community sport organisations break the ice and work with schools on physical activity initiatives inside and outside the school setting. All of the resources are available to download on SlideShare – the links are provided below. Active School Communities Self-Assessment ToolThe self-assessment tool is for sports organisations to evaluate their capacities to work in schools to increase physical activity among young people. Working systematically through the questions in this tool will help organisations assess their current situations, decide on their priorities and set out a route map to reaching their goals. The self-assessment exercise should be led by senior members of a sports organisation who have responsibility for young people and community outreach.Download the tool Active School Communities ToolkitThe comprehensive Active School Communities Toolkit aims to support community sports organisations establish partnerships with schools, whatever their existing level of engagement. Complete beginners will find the level of detail useful, while others may not require so much information but can use the toolkit to assess and improve their current practice.Download the tool Watch the video Active School Communities Action Planning ToolkitThis Action Planning Toolkit will enable a shared understanding of goals and priorities between sports organisations and schools. The toolkit should be used during a conversation with relevant school staff such as heads of physical education or head teachers. It will help to align the priorities of the school and the sports organisation and give them a clear plan for success. Download the tool Watch the video Active School Communities Policy RecommendationsPolicy recommendations for creating Active School Communities. For enabling a generation of school children to practice their human right to MOVE. The policy recommendations promote the Active School Communities model to more sports clubs and schools to drive participation and to gain the support of local, national and EU policy makers.Download the recommendations These resources were developed by the partners of the EU Erasmus+-supported Active School Communities project: BG BeActive (lead), Youth Sport Trust, International Sport and Culture Association (ISCA), Hungarian School Sport Federation (HSSF), DGI, South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture, Sport and Citizenship, UISP, Sports Union of Slovenia and Willibald Gebhardt Institute. 
    Active School Communities resources now available online
  • S2A Sport project partners ready to launch new resources on sport administration
    Partners of the S2A Sport project, including ISCA, are preparing to launch a series of resources that will help shape the “sports administrator’s” role and professional development opportunities for people working in both elite and grassroots sport organisations. At the final project meeting at the European Federation for Company Sport in Paris on 27 January, the project lead, EOSE, and the project partners met to finalise the resources and prepare for their public launch in the coming weeks. Since the project began in September 2015, the S2A Sport (From Strategy to Action) project has applied the Lifelong Learning Strategy for Sport and Active Leisure (or 7 Step Model), developed by EOSE, to sport administration by consulting people working in grassroots and elite sport and mapping the skills and professional development needed to work effectively in their organisations. The motivation behind defining sport administration as a field is that people working in sport administration are typically those who put an organisation’s strategy into action. The partners conducted a pilot professional development course in Finland last year for 40 participants from around Europe, including early career-starters to established middle managers, coving topics such as good governance, managing human and physical resources, fundraising and physical activity promotion. “Developing sport administration in Europe is a process in the making and we should be proud to have pioneered some offers during the S2A Sport project,” EOSE Executive Director Aurélien Favre says. “The interest from the sector has clearly been demonstrated and we have developed together solid foundation. The time is now for us all to work on next steps towards sustainability and future actions!” S2A Sport project manager Carole Ponchon says that with the support of the project partners, both the sport administration term and the 7 Step Model methodology, which was also developed with EU support, have come to life. “Reflecting back, the S2A Sport project journey has brought the whole partnership and a community of 40 emerging leaders in sport administration through various and invaluable experiments,” she says. “The 7 Step Model has once again served as pattern through the project allowing this time the partnership to provide an interactive mapping of the skills and occupations in sport administration. Yet what will probably be remembered is that for the very first time in EOSE history, a pilot European Training was live tested. This clearly opened up new perspectives and we took the opportunity of the final project meeting to acknowledge and praise the crucial and beneficial contribution of all partners towards the whole process. This project has truly been the embodiment of a strategic partnership.” ISCA will share links to the resources when they become available. Find out more about the project
    S2A Sport project partners ready to launch new resources on sport administration
Who is the enemy? Comment by ISCA President Mogens Kirkeby
Image: Twitter post from WHO.  On 16 February, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced the setup of an Independent Global High-level Commission on NCDs with the mandate to propose new ways of tackling non-communicable diseases, the leading cause of death and illness in the world today. In a series of tweets, the WHO promotes the new Commission under the hashtag #BeatNCDs. What’s not to like? As a proponent of healthy lifestyles, we at ISCA are more than happy with such an initiative overall. However, there is one risk. Physical activity may once more become the smaller part of the equation of the NCD puzzle – or be forgotten entirely. Too often, we have seen that physical activity for health gets only second priority when health promotion policies and initiatives are established in the health sector. The same risk is apparent in the newly established Commission on NCDs: When promoting it, the WHO announced in a graphic the bold statement “We can #beatNCDs – by beating tobacco, unhealthy foods and sugary drinks”. Where is physical activity in this equation – knowing that physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality? We can speculate that the reasons for the bias against physical activity as a solution to public health problems may be that THERE IS NO ENEMY. The WHO and governments in general seem to love solutions that are based on regulation. If there are rules, there are sanctions if the rules are not followed. And sanctions mean better behaviour in the future – or so the logic goes. Therefore, it is also very “easy” to target tobacco, unhealthy foods, and sugary drinks: All of them can be regulated to some extent, namely by regulating the industries that produce and market these products. We have an enemy to beat! Not so for physical activity. Who is the enemy? Apart from the humorous suggestions that the chair is the enemy because it creates sedentary lifestyles, the only real enemy… is ourselves. As a result, there is a need for much more complex promotion and motivation policies in the area of physical activity. And this is harder to explain politically than industry regulation. But difficult does not mean irrelevant. Physical activity is highly relevant, and we need more interventions to use this solution. To stay in the health (and medicines) lingo, ISCA has suggested that we dub the solution MOVEment Pills. To be fair, the WHO has launched a process to develop a Global Action Plan for Physical Activity – and we have seen good progress in this process. It seems that we will have to continue to remind the health sector on the relevance of physical activity even though there is no enemy.

You will like working with us!

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Navigate through the ISCA Youth portal

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The best way to look back at the grassroots sport sector

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The 7th European edition of NowWeMOVE’s signature event MOVE Week will take place on 28 May-3 June 2018. Stay tuned for the dates of MOVE Week in Latin America (Semana Muévela and Semana MOVE Brasil).

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Good Governance in Grassroots Sport Self Assessment Tool: an interactive online tool providing a range of information and templates across three themes of governance and four principles. Start your self-assessment now!

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OTHER ISCA ACTIVITIES

Inactivity Time Bomb

In 2015, ISCA commissioned a study called the 'Economic Cost of Physical Inactivity in Europe', showing that half a million Europeans die every year as a result of being physically inactive. The most common causes of death are from those diseases linked to being physically inactive, such as coronary heart disease, type II diabetes and colorectal and breast cancer. One in four adults across Europe is currently physically inactive – as are four out of five adolescents.

 

Download the full report and infographics at the official microsite http://inactivity-time-bomb.nowwemove.com/

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MOVE&Learn

Training on-line tool for non-formal Education through Sport and physical activities with young people.

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