More million students were active on the same day – new record on the European School Sport Day

The Hungarian School Sport Federation has organized the European School Sport Day for 29 September this year, and got 300,000 students of nearly 1,000 schools to #BeActive in Hungary alone. The sport day was an official event of the European Week of Sport – an initiative of the European Commission –, and got altogether two-million students of twenty-six countries engaged in Europe.

The Hungarian School Sport Federation (HSSF) has organized the Hungarian programmes of the European School Sport Day® (ESSD) event on 29 September this year. The ESSD evolved from the national school sport day of Hungary to an international event in just ten years. In 2015 Bulgaria and Poland have joined, and already in 2016 some 1.5 million students of twenty European countries participated with school sport programmes in the event. This year the number of countries grew to twenty-six, the number of schools to 7,000, and the number of engaged students reached two-million.

The Hungarian School Sport Federation is proud to have launched an event that became so popular in eleven years, both in the country and Europe-wide – said Mr Gábor Balogh, president of HSSF. He added: this year nearly 1,000 Hungarian schools with 300 thousand students and PE teachers are taking part in the European School Sport Day. In his speech Mr Balogh wished to thank all political decision makers and athletes who have helped to push this initiative forward, and then handed over a bag full of balls and vitamins to the director of the St. Ladislaus High School, the institution that hosted this year’s flagship event in Budapest.

The Hungarian government pays special particular attention to the support of sports, and to educating the youth to live an active life – emphasized the state secretary of sports of the Ministry of Human Capacities. Tünde Szabó said: it is our objective to transform Hungary from a ‘sport-nation’ to a ‘nation of sportsmen and -women’, and to create the possibility for youngsters the more the better to engage in sports every day.

On the European School Sport Day the students of registered schools engage in a freely chosen sport activity for at least two-hours. The only recommended element of the programme is a collective running in the length of the current year, i.e. 2017 meters this year. The goal of the sport day is that kids experience the joy of unreserved, jointly performed physical activity. The gradually increasing interest is best represented by the fact that in 2009 only 68 schools have registered, whereas this year 1,000 institutions take part in the initiative.

The European School Sport Day truly is a success for Hungary – stressed Commissioner Tibor Navracsics. The Brussels-based politician thanked Gábor Balogh, president of the HSSF, for his persistent and committed work in educating the young generation to do sports. Tibor Navracsics added: this initiative which has been going on for over ten years now will continue in the future. The Commissioner expressed his wish to all the students present: enjoy sports and being active, because these are not simply useful activities, but great opportunities for friendships to form.

In Hungary the ESSD had three flagship sites this year: Békéscsaba, Heves, and Budapest. Péter Biros three times Olympic gold medallist water polo player visited the city of Heves to play handball with the youngsters. The high school kids of Budapest played football with László Cseh, four-time Olympic silver medallist swimmer, meanwhile Balázs Baji World Championship bronze medal winner and European Championship silver medallist hurdler joined the students of Békés county in completing the sport day’s running distance.

HSSF also announced a call for vloggers in its programme: youngsters participating in the event are encouraged to document the European School Sport Day at their school, and prepare video blogs with #ESSD and #BeActive hashtags. Applicants, whose works are found the best by the professional jury of HSSF, will receive valuable Decathlon vouchers. The call for applications and the detailed rules of participation are available here. You can register for European School Sport Day here.

The video of the event is here.