7.3 Sport, youth fitness and physical activity
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There is no more comprehensive strategy aiming at promoting physical activity specifically for young people.
• At the Walloon level, the forthcoming Walloon plan for health prevention and promotion will include an objective regarding the promotion of physical activity for the entire population including young people. See 7.8 Current debates and reforms.
• At the Brussels Regional level, the plan 2018-2022 for health promotion includes the following priority: “promoting and supporting environments and behaviours favourable towards healthy nutrition, physical activity, and regarding alcohol and tobacco consumption”. This plan targets the entire population including young people.
Before the 6th reform of the State, health promotion was a Community’s competence. In this framework, the Government of the French-speaking Community implemented a plan for the promotion of healthy attitudes at nutrition and physical levels for children and teenagers in the French-speaking Community (plan de promotion des attitudes saines sur les plans alimentaire et physique pour les enfants et adolescents de Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles).
It targeted every young people from the French-speaking Community.
This plan was evaluated in 2009.
The Sports and Physical Education Administration (ADEPS)
The Sports and Physical Education Administration (ADEPS) is a central actor in children and youth policies. It funds Sports Centres which organise sport’s courses and sport’s activities for schools and the population in general.
Its missions are:
- Organising sport courses ;
- Supporting sport operators (recognised sports federations, affiliated clubs, local powers, etc.);
- Supporting high-level-sport (grants, etc.);
- Training of sport instructors (pedagogical, managerial and safety training).
The Sport’s Administration is present at local level through the existence of 18 Sports Centres, 7 Sports Council Centres and one Loan Centre for sports equipment. It also collaborates with 80 local recognised Sports Centres.
Sports Centres welcome pupils (from pre-school to Higher Education) during school time and holidays.
hey aim at encouraging young people to practice a regular sport activity and to discover new sports through:
- The sport’s day (journée sportive): Adeps sport centres host pupils during school time for one schoolday centres on the discovery of new sports and the practice of sports ;
- The pedagogical half-time (mi-temps pédagogique) ;
- The sportive stay (séjour sportif): it addresses mainly pupils from secondary schools or students from Higher education with a sport option. They practice a sport for 6 hours a day during several days during school time. It is hosted by Adeps sports centres.
The decree of 27 February 2003, revised in 2006 and 2011, relates to the recognition and the funding of Local Sports Centres and Integrated Local Sports Centres. To be recognised and funded, they must, among others things, promote health education through sports.
“Sport” is one of the 5 competences of the French-speaking Community alongside education, culture, youth welfare and justice houses.
Programme “my club – my school” (mon club – mon école).
With this programme, subventions are granted to schools and sport’s clubs. Through these subventions, ADEPS encourages affiliated sport’s club to promote the discovery of their sport’s discipline among pupils, to stimulate passions.
This programme creates privileged relationship between school and local sporting clubs to promote sports outside the 2 compulsory physical education hours at school. It opens school’s sporting facilities to sports clubs outside school time.
- The awareness of sport practice addresses pupils from primary school and from the first stage of secondary school ;
- The promotion of female sports addresses only young women of second and third stage of secondary school.
ADEPS grants a subvention:
- of 500 euros to the sport’s club organising the activity ;
- of 150 euros to the school hosting the activity.
The plan is ongoing since 2010.
Youth sector: missions of holiday’s centres
The decree related to holiday’s centres sets out 4 objectives, among which holiday’s centres must foster the physical development of children, according to their capacities, by practicing sports, games or outdoor activities.
The Youth Department of the French-speaking Community is responsible for the training of the coordinators and animators of these holiday’s centres.
The Birth and Childhood Office also provides training to youth and children workers related to outdoor activities.
See section 1.4 Youth Policy Decision-Making.
The Birth and Childhood Office (ONE) and the Regions (French-speaking Community Commission of Brussels and the Walloon Region) participate to the funding and the management of the website « mangerbouger.be ». This website is coordinated by the association « Health in question » (Question Santé). It provides information on nutrition and physical activity to support people in their health project. It targets the entire population including young people, youth workers, school’s actors, etc.
This programme has been initiated in 2006 in the framework of the plan for the promotion of healthy attitudes at nutrition and physical levels for children and teenagers in the French-speaking Community (plan de promotion des attitudes saines sur les plans alimentaire et physique pour les enfants et adolescents de Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles).
Physical education is a mandatory separate subject at primary and secondary school according to the decree of 24 July 1997 on the missions of school.
For the school year 2017-2018:
- the circular 6268 organises the curriculum for primary school ;
- the circular 6293 organises the curriculum for secondary school.
According to these circulars, the physical education’s taught time is 2 hours in primary school and in the second and third stage of secondary school.
It is 3 hours of physical activity for the first stage of secondary school (normally for pupils aged 12 to 14 years – maximum 16 years old).
Circulars are updated every year.
The website of the General Administration of Education provides pedagogical tools and support to physical education’s teachers.
Refer to the section on the promotion of physical activity and the role of ADEPS to find initiatives on the inclusion of physical activities outside the curriculum but within the school day (e.g. in school breaks): the programme “my club my school” is an ADEPS’s initiative to provide extracurricular sports activities in schools.
Many collaboration exist between Sports and Education sectors as described above [programme “my club, my school” (programme “mon club mon école), “Sport’s day” (journée sportive), Sport’s stay (séjour sportif)].