7.3 Sport, youth fitness and physical activity
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The main law regulating the sport sector in Latvia is theSports Law (adopted on 24 October 2002), which sets general and legal foundations for the organisation and development of sport, sport organisations, mutual relationship and main tasks of state and local government institutions in the development of sport and sport financing foundations, as well as principles to be observed in the international sport movement. However, apart from the Sports Law, essential matters of the sports sector are resolved in international laws and regulations and in policy planning documents of other sectors.
Public Health Guidelines for 2014-2020 include measures for the promotion of physical activities in the society, especially in the population groups subject to the risk of social exclusion and poverty. Based on the guidelines, within the framework of the 2014-2020 programming period of European Union funds (hereinafter referred to as the ESF programming period) there are plans to promote healthy habits in the population, implementing national and local level health promotion and disease prevention measures in four priority (cardiovascular, oncological, care in the perinatal and neonatal period and psychic (mental) health), incl. with regard to the promotion of physical activity, as well as feed, prevalence of use of addictive substances and processes, sexual and reproductive health, psychic (mental) health. Public awareness-raising campaigns will be organised, as well as short training films and information materials (posters, brochures, booklets, etc,) will be developed, public health surveys and other measures will be implemented. Local governments will play a significant role in the implementation of these measures.
Measures for promotion of physical activity are also included in the Sport Policy Guidelines for 2014-2020 developed by the Ministry of Education and Science. One of the main sports policy lines is children and youth sports for the purposes providing every child and young person with the opportunity to get involved in sport classes, adapting types of physical activity according to their physical preparedness and interests.
Top-level policies, programmes, projects and initiatives encouraging young people to engage in physical activity
The Centre for Disease Prevention and Control implements the public health policy in the country, including constantly organises different campaigns, for example, Active Every Day! (Aktīva ik diena!), as well as creates informative materials in the area of physical activities and participates in informing of young people about their meaning in health promotion.
The State Sports Medicine Centre also promotes cooperation in the field of physical activities, including by informing specialists and the society about topical matters. In addition, an informative material on “Prescription of physical activity by a family doctor’s practice”and a “Physical activity prescription" form have been developed for the purposes of motivating family doctors to consult patients on changes in their lifestyle and proper physical activities, including for youths.
Local governments play a significant role in ensuring the availability of health care to the society, as well as promoting healthy lifestyle and sports among the population. In order to support local governments, the “Guidelines for local governments on promotion of health” have been developed, and an NHMC currently involving 94% of local governments has been created. In addition, NHPSN is involved in popularising of physical activities among young people.
In Latvia, the mandatory number of subjects in “Sport” is two lessons per week and 2 – 3 minute long dynamic breaks for the development and strengthening of posture of learners may be included in lessons according to regulatory enactments.
Furthermore, any general secondary education programme must have 315 lessons in “Sport” in 3 years.
 Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers No 468 “Regulations Regarding the State Standard in Basic Education, the Subjects of Study Standards in Basic Education and Model Basic Educational Programmes” of 12 August 2014
 Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers No 281 “Regulations Regarding the State Standard in General Secondary Education, the Subjects of Study Standards in Basic Education and Model Educational Programmes” of 21 May 2013
Top-level policy measures supporting the formation of partnerships between schools, youth workers, health professionals and sporting organisations
In shaping of the health policy, incl. the matters affecting young people, the Ministry of Health cooperates with other ministries, local governments, non-governmental organisations, implementing the “health in all policies” principle. Also, the operation of NHMC and NHPSN also fosters partnership in the field of physical activities among the youth population.