President of Evaleo, Gabriel Messmer and National Active Cities Officer, Mary Corry at the International House of Sport, Lausanne.
Through Sport Ireland’s Active Cities project, the 5 cities of Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Waterford are focused on getting those who are least active in our society active. To enable this, the 8 Local Sports Partnerships (LSPs), who are facilitating the project, are seeking to take a multi-sectoral approach to reducing the barriers to participation in physical activity, increasing access for everyone, and enhancing the choice and opportunities available for all to take part.
This will require significant collaboration, partnership and planning. At a local level, the local Active Cities Officers are looking to engage all relevant organisations who directly and indirectly impact on physical activity levels, to broaden the conversation and create a greater awareness of the need for all stakeholders to be involved. With only 42% of adults and 13% of children in Ireland meeting the recommended levels of physical activity, (ISM 2021), and the negative impact this has on the health, environment, economy and community of our cities, there is a clear need to work together to address the issue.
At a national level, the 8 LSPs are working as a collective under the guidance of National Active Cities Officer, Mary Corry. She noted that “learning from each other is key to both understanding the challenges, and identifying practical solutions to increase physical activity levels, but it’s also important to connect internationally and explore the networks and resources available and learn from best practice”.
On a two day visit to Geneva & Lausanne, a representation from the Active Cities project met with President of Evaleo, Gabriel Messmer, and Global Active City Manager, Michael Gross to discuss the challenges and opportunities.
Evaleo is an international non-profit organisation with a goal to inspire and enable people to adopt an active, healthy, and fulfilling lifestyle. To achieve this, they carry out a mission of education, development, and active promotion. They are a worldwide alliance of experts, professionals, and partners, federated around the common vision of sustainable health and well-being for everyone, and acting together through the implementation of programmes and interventions aimed at generating positive, long-term impacts.
The Global Active City initiative has been developed under their guidance, and provides the Active Cities project in Ireland with a vision for the future. There are cities around the world who have received Global Active City certification, and through this on going process, these cities have become a place where everyone can be active.
Over the coming years, the focus for the Active Cities project is to build a greater understanding among all stakeholders on the need for increased physical activity levels but also the collective responsibility on us all to address the challenge.