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29/10/2019 15:36
CEV Vice-President discusses role of traditional sports in promoting healthy lifestyle at EU seminar
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Kyiv, Ukraine, October 29, 2019. CEV Vice-President and Treasurer Özkan Mutlugil (pictured) was one of the speakers attending the second Seminar of the ‘European Week of Sport beyond Borders’ held on Monday in Kyiv. The European Week of Sport is an initiative run by the European Commission to encourage people to lead healthier lifestyles. The main aim of the Round Table on ‘How to attract people to practice more sport?’ attended by Mr Mutlugil was to discuss, share and identify good practices in this area.

“Volleyball as a sport has a rich history in Europe that has been lasting for some 100 years and it has been an Olympic sport since 1964. As such, it has a long tradition in many European countries and it features in the programme of physical education classes in almost all countries in Europe. This accounts for a great platform that we can work on to grow the game,” Mr Mutlugil said.

“We believe that sports can be a fun way of introducing children to positive habits but at the same time, it is a tool to teach essential social and motoric skills. With the professionalization of sports and the concept of running sports organisations like a business, the focus has rather been on generating profit and wealth. However, we see that clubs are increasingly trying to give back to their local communities through various CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) programmes,” the CEV Vice-President added. “Clubs are operating in a more professional way, develop a better infrastructure, and employ more professional staff. Moreover, we always can count on the “X factor”, i.e. the passion for a certain club that comes through the family, or the neighbourhood or even the whole city where we live.”


The CEV School Project has already helped mobilise hundreds of children in a number of countries, such as Montenegro, and grow the game at the grassroots level while promoting a healthy lifestyle
 
When it comes to growing the game at the grassroots level and promoting a healthy lifestyle, the CEV have designed a project involving clubs and schools to improve participation and develop the sport especially in those countries with less tradition and / or more limited financial means. “Moreover, the CEV promotes equal opportunities for all of its 56 National Federations, helping them host events and participate in international competitions, especially those designed for the younger age groups,” Mr Mutlugil said. “Volleyball has another specific feature and asset, meaning girls represent the majority of the young people playing the game, with the only exception in Bulgaria, where boys account for the largest number.”

Addressing the main topic of the seminar, Mr Mutlugil said, “We see that the levels of physical activity are decreasing but without a doubt traditional sports such as Volleyball are one of the answers to such negative trend. Our wish is to work closely with the educational authorities to improve the sports curriculum in each country and upscale the knowledge of their physical education teachers.”


View of the seminar room in Kyiv

“The CEV School Project, which benefits from funding of the European Commission through the Erasmus+ programme, is helping us achieve this goal. Our National Federations and their Volleyball clubs support local primary schools and provide kids with an opportunity to play the game at the entry level. The CEV provides material support, such as balls and nets, and educational materials to the local teachers and annually we organise a Coaches Convention where the best teachers from the countries implementing the project come together for three days to learn from some of the best experts in the world the entry level of Volleyball. All of this, I believe, speaks for the continuous efforts made by our Volleyball family to foster an active, healthy lifestyle among our youngsters,” he concluded.  

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