The Global Active City network is set to expand following the Introductory Workshop held in Liverpool (UK), on 7 – 9 March 2018.
Delegates from 10 countries including the City of Athens (Greece), City of Hamburg (Germany), City of Antwerp (Belgium), City of Kuopio (Finland), Cities of Loulé and Guimaraes (Portugal), City of Yverdon-les-Bains (Switzerland), the Japan Sports Council, Madeira Sport for All Association and Chinese organization M-Cloud Sports attended the event organised by the Active Well-being Initiative (AWI) and expressed an interest in joining the programme.
If given the go-ahead by their political leaders, their cities will work with the AWI, a non-profit organization founded by TAFISA and Evaleo, with the support of the IOC, to create active, healthy, and happy communities for the future.
The workshop was hosted in conjunction with Liverpool John Moores University’s Physical Activity Exchange at the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences.
Christoph Holstein, State Councillor for the Department of Home Affairs and Sports, Hamburg, said: “For us what we have learned from Liverpool has been very important because our two cities face similar challenges. Sport is one of the most important things for measuring life quality, besides culture and nature."
Keiko Homma, of the Japan Sport Council, said: “This is really an evidence-based initiative and it has a strategic approach.”
Liverpool, a development partner of the Active Well-being Initiative (AWI), was one of ten pilot Global Active Cities. It is now on its way to being certified as one of the first cities worldwide to have implemented the internationally-recognised Global Active City Standard.
The delegates were taken on field trips to see the work of the Physical Activity Exchange; the community engagement work of Everton Football Club; and Archbishop Beck Catholic Sports College, a school and 6th form college with specialist sports facilities and teaching.
Gabriel Messmer of the AWI said: “Only last month leading American scientists confirmed that promoting physical activity is a ‘best buy’ for public health. Helping residents to be more active is the best thing cities can be doing to keep their populations healthy and reduce pressure on local services.”
Fellow AWI team member Wolfgang Baumann said: “It is very obvious that health promotion through physical activity has become a number one priority on the municipalities’ agendas. Cities are no longer judged by whether they have the number one football team, but by what they are doing for health and physical activity promotion.”
To be certified as a Global Active City, a city needs to create and adopt a comprehensive physical activity and sport strategy that encourages and enables its population to make long term behavioural changes.
Any type of town, city or region can create a Global Active City strategy, whether it has a population of tens of thousands, or several million. Each strategy is uniquely devised in partnership with the city - there is no one-size-fits-all.
Find out more at www.activewellbeing.org or follow @AWBInitiative on Twitter.
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