The project “Sport Parks Inspired by the Olympics” has taken off

Delegates from the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) of the Czech Republic, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Finland, France, Italy, and the Netherlands, together with representatives of the Regional Authority of South Bohemia, met in Prague on 31 January – 2 February to kick-start the project “Sport Parks Inspired by the Olympics”.

This two-year project, led by the Czech Olympic Committee, is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, and strongly supported by the International Olympic Committee. Its mission is to use the power and potential of the Olympic Games to bring sport and sporting activities closer to people and inspire them to be active and to live by the Olympic ideals in a long-term and sustainable manner. This is to be achieved by providing umbrella sport organisations (NOCs) with guidance on the organisation of sport-for-all events during the Olympic Games. The project thereby aims to make a concrete and tangible contribution to the implementation of EU Recommendations on Promoting Health-Enhancing Physical Activity and the Olympic Agenda 2020.

“It’s very important for us to know that we are going in the same direction as the International Olympic Committee. We would like to spread the idea of Sport Parks around the world thanks to the support of the European Union and the IOC. We are looking forward to cooperating with our partners on this journey,” said Jiri Kejval, President of the Czech Olympic Committee.

The project is based on the Czech NOC’s concept of Olympic Parks. The first one, held in Prague during the 2014 Sochi Games, attracted over 400,000 visitors. Two years later, during the Rio Games, more than 1 million visitors enjoyed various sport and cultural events at four Olympic Parks spread around the country. Visitors – mainly kids and youngsters – also had the chance to meet both current and former Olympians. Many of these activities attracted kids to visit local clubs to try out sports they had discovered at the Olympic Parks.

The objective of the project “Sport Parks Inspired by the Olympics” is to take this concept and develop it into a comprehensive handbook which will provide organisers with tools for the preparation, organisation, evaluation and sustainability of their own Parks.

Partner organisations will bring to the project their own wealth of experience in the organisation of various sport-for-all events. They will share, for example, their know-how regarding cooperation with municipalities, local governments and sport clubs, or their experience in the management of volunteers, both of which are vital to ensuring the sustainability of future Sport Parks.

All of these recommendations and guidelines will form an interactive web-based handbook, which will be the main output of the project. The handbook will also include an important section on pre- and post-park activities. This aims at keeping people active beyond the duration of a Sport Park. Draft recommendations and guidelines will be tested with various events organised primarily during the 2018 Winter Olympics. The handbook will be presented in the autumn of 2018.

Download: The project “Sport Parks Inspired by the Olympics” has taken off