Geneva Group of Friends Physical Activity side event great success.31 May 2013
The Geneva Group of Friends on Sport for Development and Peace, last week (24th May 2013) organized a side event from the World Health Assembly, on the importance of physical activity in promoting healthy lifestyles. With an overwhelming number of participants, the flowing exchange of dialogue allowed for interesting experiences to be shared, along with an exciting judo display by two local youngsters.
It is acknowledged that sport and physical activity can aid us to achieve a healthier lifestyle, but due to a range of barriers like cost, location, equipment and motivation, sport can be difficult to access.With the side event being planned along side the World Health Assembly in Geneva, the opportunity to showcase the importance of sport and physical activity was one not to be missed.
The Minister for Health in Costa Rica, Daisy Corrales, informed the participants that the use of sport was a very important element of healthy living in Costa Rica, and that sport is being used not only to combat obesity, but to minimize addictions amongst youth and to promote and raise awareness of other diseases.
Costa Rica has engaged in many different initiatives to promote sport and physical activity amongst youth. For example, they will host the first Global Youth Summit, where they will have a section titled ‘Be Healthy’, aimed at creating awareness about balancing a healthy lifestyle and ensuring that children are engaging in physical activity.
During the event, participants were treated to a practical judo session by two young locals. Accompanied by two adults the group performed some judo techniques and entertained the audience with some of their fighting moves. The audience was then also asked to take part in some simple games that left them in high spirits when they left the session.
With a host of nations and positions represented at the event, it was a perfect opportunity to reflect upon some pressing issues regarding physical education in schools and access. Poul Hansen, Head of Office at the UNOSDP highlighted the importance of sport and physical education in the school curricula:
“Physical education should be central in every schools curriculum, and to often we see schools drop sport for other subjects that do not teach children the importance of physical activity and a healthy lifestyle.”