FROM TIBOR NAVRACSICS Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport
Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport
Promoting sport and physical activity in the EU is one of my priorities. Our main tools for this at EU level are the "European Week of Sport", and the Erasmus+ programme more broadly: its sport strand enables us to finance innovative projects designed to bring people together and invite them to be active. One of the initiatives selected for funding in 2016 was the "Watersports Enhanced Together" (Get WET) project, and I am delighted that your partnership has led to the creation of a toolkit to support the development of watersports across the EU.
The “Get WET” project has highlighted the role watersports can play in encouraging people to take up healthier lifestyles. This is in line with current policy priorities in the EU - Member States, supported by the European Commission, have identified 'Sport and Society' as one of three priority themes within the EU Work Plan for Sport 2014 – 2017, and this encompasses the promotion of health-enhancing physical activity
The last Eurobarometer survey on sport showed that over 40% of EU citizens who regularly exercise do so in outdoor environments. There is now increasing evidence pointing to a positive mental as well as physical impact of engaging in physical activity outdoors, especially in or adjacent to water. Watersports provide a way for people to connect not just with natural environments, but also to create social bonds and to improve community cohesion – which is so important in today’s society.
Watersports can also support economic development in our coastal regions as well as those areas that have access to inland water bodies of lakes and rivers. Furthermore, maintaining the quality of our water-based natural resources has now become a high priority for the EU. I appreciate your efforts to engage people more closely so they develop a greater affinity to these resources. Watersports can create a sense of ownership and desire to look after water bodies.
I therefore welcome this toolkit and hope it will help boost further developments in the watersports sector at EU level, as well as encouraging people to #BeActive.
Francois Beauchard - Chairman of the European Network of Outdoor Sports
Get Wet is the first Erasmus project emanating from ENOS activities and is supported by the members of the network. It will not be the last.
The realisation of this project is proof that the European Credits Erasmus + Sport can be easily mobilised to develop real and useful actions.
The project is built around a question, an idea or a theme; bringing together actors of different levels and in different countries, clubs, federations, universities or governmental structures. This is the prevailing meaning and not just simply obtaining funds.
The wealth of experiences, the collective analysis, the will to progress, to push to action (Be Active) make Get Wet an exceptional experience both by its quality and by the interest that the water activities can have for the well-being of European citizens.
Special mention to our Northern Ireland member, Sport Northern Ireland, piloting the project and especially to Mike McClure the enthusiastic leader of this project and secretary of ENOS.
The Get Wet Seminar of 29th March 2017 has already enlarged the circle of stakeholders and has made it possible to envision the next steps...that ENOS will support and develop.#
The Get WET project partners are delighted to announce that the project has been selected as a "success story" by a panel of experts from the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture of the European Commission.
"Success stories are finalised projects that have distinguished themselves by their impact, contribution to policy-making, innovative results and/or creative approach and can be a source of inspiration for others. The selection of this project as a success story was made on the basis of rigorous criteria regarding its quality, relevance and results."
The project has been marked as "success story" in the Erasmus+ Project Results Platform