Sport is life. Some sports are said to be the most important sideline in the world. For some people, like my wife, for example, big competitions and matches are ephemeral spectacles and entertainment for the masses. The latter is certainly true because since ancient times people have competed and fought, let’s remember the gladiators or martial arts from the far east, which were watched by cheering masses.

The majority of the male population would agree that sport is by no means an ephemeral spectacle, because Đorđević’s triples against Jouventut and Croatia, after which we became champions and took the gold, or Radanović’s goal against Bulgaria and the euphoria of the legendary Mladen Delic in the last seconds, which secured us a place in the European the 1984 championship in France, or Pančev’s penalty in Bari, or Gurović’s three-pointer against the USA in 2002 in Indianapolis, or Nole’s marathon with Rafa of almost 6 hours… how can this be ephemeral? For me, it is an anthology, a history, a sea of emotions that are experienced to that extent and in that way only once, and will be remembered, talked about and written about years later.

Such events and excitement are usually reserved for professional athletes and we as spectators usually enjoy their bravado and victories. However, there is something very important in a personal approach and playing sports, and it should not be emphasized how healthy it is not only for the individual but also for the entire society. However, data from a few years ago tell us that Serbian citizens prefer to watch sports more than to practice them.

At one of the conferences, the president of the Olympic Committee of Serbia, Božidar Maljković, highlighted worrying statistics: only 10% of Serbian citizens between the ages of 30 and 77 engage in recreational sports, and only 4% among students.

The situation in the European Union is significantly different. In most EU member states, the majority of the population engaged in some form of exercise in their free time, with the highest percentage in Romania (96%) (Eurostat). In contrast, there are two member states where less than 50% of the population was physically active outside of work: Portugal (45%) and Croatia (36%), which is again much more than in Serbia. In a typical week, just over a quarter (27%) of the EU population exercised for up to 3 hours, 17% between 3 and 5 hours, and 28% for 5 hours or more.

There are many reasons for people to start playing sports as it has many positive effects on both physical and mental health of the individual. Sports help you stay physically healthy and in good shape; reduces stress and anxiety, improves mood and confidence; playing sports often involves teamwork and socializing with other people, and this can help build friendships and social bonds; and finally, sports can be extremely fun and exciting, giving you the opportunity to enjoy the activities you love.

It is for these reasons that the European Commission launched the #BEACTIVE European Week of Sports. Every year from 23 to 30 September, the European Week of Sport promotes more active, healthier lifestyles to millions of people in Europe and beyond, with the aim of developing sport and physical activity. This event is being realized in European countries, this year for the 9th time.

The official start of the European Week of Sport will be celebrated in Valencia on September 23, 2023. During the week, numerous sports and educational events will be organized throughout Europe until September 30.

Serbia is also on the map of countries that organise various activities during this year’s #BEACTIVE European Sports Week in numerous cities across the country, and the national coordinators for Serbia are the Olympic Committee of Serbia and the Ministry of Youth and Sports in partnership with the Delegation of the European Union in Serbia.

Last year, during the European Week of Sports in Serbia, a large number of events were organized in more than 20 cities across the country, and more than 20,000 citizens took part in sports activities.

Join us from 23-30. September in celebration of sports and together to create positive change in our lives. Whether you join individually or with your family, this is an opportunity to connect, empower and enjoy the activities that make our lives richer.

You are a key part of this event, so we invite you to sign up, participate and spread enthusiasm for the sport throughout our community. Be a part of the European Week of Sport and together let’s create a healthier and more active environment for all of us. Because – Mens sana et societas in corpore sano (In a healthy body, the spirit and society are healthy).