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MOVE Congress 2013 - Daily news
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276 grassroots sports experts MOVE at Congress opening

The City of Barcelona, UBAE, eurofitness, CESS and ISCA have welcomed 276 grassroots sports organisations from over 40 countries to the MOVE Congress 2013. With so many stakeholders in the sector gathered in one place, local Catalonian politicians and executives, Xavier Amador, Rafael Nuibò, Montserrat Mas and Toni Llop, and ISCA President Mogens Kirkeby put one key question to the audience in their opening addresses: In times of economical change, how can we take opportunities to adapt to this change? 

Kirkeby urged the delegates to look at the person next to them to uncover new ways to revitalise the sector and risk trying new approaches. 

“For sure, the best idea you have not yet discovered is sitting next to you in this room. They may be your next partner,” he said.

A warm welcome was extended to the delegation from the Congress hosts. Their talks confirmed and reminded those present that to ensure opportunities for mass sport participation, we need constant cooperation between partners to address the evolution of sport participation trends. 

Barcelona is a city with a strong sporting history. Over 1 million people in Barcelona take part in some form of sport or physical activity each week and are supported by 100,000 volunteers. To facilitate this, partners need to work together and keep this movement going in the right direction, Toni Llop, President of CESS urged.  

“I would like to ask you all for just one commitment. We have introduced three key words: changes, opportunities, innovations. So I ask you, please find your opportunity to innovate and change the grassroots sport sector together.”

FC Barcelona hero: Don’t try to imitate us, enjoy the game!

Motivating children to be physically active is not about inspiring them to imitate their heroes, it’s about letting them find the sport and physical activity offers that they want to participate in. This was the motto former FC Barcelona football star Victor Muñoz emphasised in the MOVE Congress talk show on the opening night of the event.

The talk show featured a cross-sector holy trinity of government, sporting federation and professional athlete representatives on one panel. Muñoz, David Moner, President of the Union of Sport Federations of Catalonia, and Rafael Niubò, former Secretary of Sports from the Government of Catalonia, discussed how the grassroots sports, education and government sectors need to consider how people are encouraged to take up sport and physical activity – from school-age to adulthood.

The starting point was not trying to emulate their heroes, Muñoz said, as this creates unrealistic expectations of them and could in fact discourage them from pursuing their sports when they become older.

“Unattainable expectations of children should never be created,” Muñoz said.

“There should be clear expectations and we need to create a lifestyle in which sport is an inherent part of it. Parents can educate them about sport, but the children need to decide for themselves.”

Niubò paid tribute to Muñoz’s efforts to work hard beyond his professional sporting career to encourage people in Catalonia to enjoy sport and physical activity. 

“He’s a model for the sportsperson I’d like to have [spread the message] in schools,” Nuibò said.

Earning two university degrees, being involved in social and urban planning, while being the captain of FC Barcelona was all part of Muñoz’s own vision as a sport for all enthusiast.

“This is my real call in life,” he said.

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