The European Outdoor Group (EOG) has announced that it has become an official partner of the first European Week of Sport (EWOS), which will take place in September this year. Organised by the European Commission (EC), EWOS is an initiative designed to help increase levels of physical activity across Europe. News of the EOG’s involvement is the first key milestone achieved by a working group set up by the association to lead a project aimed at improving levels of outdoor participation among the general public.
John Jansen, EOG vice president, comments: “In our industry, we are surrounded by sports and outdoor enthusiasts, but the bigger picture shows that Europe is facing an activity – or, more accurately, a lack of activity – crisis. The outdoor sector has the potential to play a big role in addressing this and we need to do so for the long term health of our population and our industry.”
In its role as an active member of the Federation of European Sporting Goods Industries (FESI), the EOG was already indirectly involved in founding The European Week of Sport, which will run from 7 – 11 September. The initiative is aiming to promote sport and physical activity across Europe and will target a wide audience, regardless of age, background or fitness level. With a focus on grass roots initiatives, EWOS hopes to inspire Europeans to #BeActive on a regular basis and create accessible opportunities for people to exercise more.
The EOG recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the EC to confirm its role in the European Week of Sport, but Mark Held, EOG general secretary, regards that as only the starting point: “We have not promoted our partnership so far, as agreeing it is simply a beginning. This will be a long-term project and it is now important that we build early momentum and ensure that what we do over the next few months successfully sets up a sustained programme of activities.”
The EOG will continue to work with FESI and with the EC to ensure that the outdoor theme of EWOS has a high profile and provides a strong platform ahead of future initiatives. The association has already lined up its members to play their part in a special social media campaign linked to EWOS, and is planning other activities to promote the activity agenda.
Mathias Basedow, EOG marketing and communications manager, adds: “We will actively support the official campaign by the European Commission, but we will also launch an additional initiative at OutDoor. This will focus on the rewarding and positive aspects of outdoor sports from the perspective of participants, as we believe that these provide the best motivation for people to get active. We are particularly pleased that, with the help of our members, we have been able to kick-start this project in such a short time and this is testament to the great drive that sets our industry apart from others. We encourage brands, retailers, media and other stakeholders to join us in the process.”