The importance of Sport
Viviane Hoffman, Deputy Director General of the European Commission’s DG for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG EAC), welcomed the presential and online audience. She highlighted that the spirit of the European Week of Sport is to be active, whether that is moving, running, swimming or practising any other activity.
I am convinced that some of the young people here today will become champions one day, while some will simply want to enjoy doing sport in beautiful places like this.
Vladimír Balaš, the Czech Minister of Education, Sport and Youth, added that sport is a great way of meeting friends and making new ones. He believes in the great power of sport to create a healthier and happier society, something he considers especially important after the Covid pandemic.
Filip Neusser, President of the National Sport Agency of Czechia, stressed the importance of inclusiveness in sport.
Sport changing lives
After the opening speeches, several athletes shared their experiences.
Ilona Burgrová, a former Olympian Czech basket player, shared that professional sport demands relentless effort, but it also brought her wonderful experiences and friends.
For the Czech Paralympic medallist Anna Luxová, sport opened the door to multiple opportunities and helped her to move forward in her professional and personal life.
The European Week of Sport’s Ambassadors Willemijn Van Aggelen and Jorge Pina, also present at the inaugural ceremony, encouraged children to be active.
The field hockey player Willemijn wants to inspire the girls she coaches and hopes more women take up playing sports.
The paralympic athlete Jorge shared how he faced the loss of sight. He works with people with motor disabilities and mental health issues, motivating them to overcome the barriers they may find: even if you can’t be a champion in a sport, sport can still make you a champion in life!
The Opening Ceremony of the European Week of Sport would not have been complete without active fun!
3 Czech sports clubs performed gymnastics and folk dance routines on stage. Meanwhile on the park lawns, children and adults played other diverse sports together.
Thousands of events are being organised in 40 countries around Europe and beyond during the European Week of Sport. Find an event near you!