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04 Nov 2008
IOC News

Getting all generations moving

The 12th World Sport for All Congress kicked off yesterday in Genting Highlands, Malaysia. “Sport for All – Sport for Life” is the Congress theme, around which the discussions of the participants from the Olympic family, universities, the UN system, governments and NGOs will centre in the coming days. The event is organised by the Olympic Council of Malaysia, under IOC patronage, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF).

Reversing the trend towards inactivity           
The motto indicates what it is all about: creating favourable conditions to get as many people as possible moving whilst addressing all age groups. In his message to the participants at the Opening Ceremony, IOC President Jacques Rogge underlined the urgent need to reverse the overall trend towards inactivity: “In today’s society, we face new challenges. We must work to reverse the decline in physical activity and convince people of all ages and walks of life of the need to do sport or physical activity. We have to get kids moving again by finding new ways to arouse their interest in the thrill of active sports and reduce the increase of obesity that threatens their well-being.” He concluded: “Sport more than ever looks to be the social movement capable of offering all generations, and especially young people, the chance to live a life that is not only healthier and more balanced, but also better, with more meaning. Because sport can play such an important role in helping shape the individual and society, we have the responsibility to encourage and support the development of sporting activities through all generations.”

Solutions wanted!       
Lambis Nikolaou, IOC Vice-President, added his voice to this plea during the Congress opening, appealing to the participants to use the event as a platform to exchange information about practical approaches and find solutions: “All together, let us rise to these challenges and give back to physical activity and sport the role and status they deserve! All you here present – make the most of the platform provided by this Congress to make your voices heard. Discuss, share and benefit from each other’s reflections and experiences. Then disseminate a strong message about sport for all within and beyond your communities!”

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Learn more about the IOC's Sport for All Commission and related activities.

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