7.3 Sport, youth fitness and physical activity
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The National Action Plan of Healthy Eating and Physical Exercise (GIMB; Gesond iessen, méi bewegen) is an interministerial strategy which was developed and implemented by 4 ministries (ministry of Health, ministry of Sports, ministry of Family and Integration, and ministry of Education and Vocational Training) and introduced in 2006. The current plan covers the period 2018-2025. It includes campaigns at national, regional and local level and strives for partnerships between public and private institutions. The target group is the general population, but with a special focus on young people.
The three main objectives of the 2018-2025 action plan encompass:
- Strengthening governance
- Promoting balanced nutrition and regular and adapted physical activity in all policies
- Ensuring the national implementation and sustainability of the GIMB programme
- Putting measures in place for the consolidation and expansion of the GIMB programme
- Increasing the accessibility of the GIMB programme
- Establishing an evaluation system.
Based on the results of a study on physical activities (Wagner et al., 2011), six specific domains of action were defined:
- Promote minimal motor skills
- Stimulate and educate children's motor skills
- Motivate girls and boys to participate in physical activities and sports
- Promote soft mobility and informal sport
- Complete and improve the sports offers at local and national level
- Strengthen the importance of sports in school.
Currently, several ministries are involved in the implementation of the action plan: the ministry of Education, Children and Youth, the ministry of Sport, the ministry of Health, the ministry of Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region, the ministry of Home Affairs, the ministry of Equal Opportunities, and the ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure.
The initiatives set up in the framework of the action plan are coordinated and monitored by an interministerial committee, which is composed of representatives of the ministries involved in the implementation of the action plan. With this comprehensive cross-sectorial approach, the action plan takes up the recommendations of the European institutions (European Commission and the European Parliament) (European Commission, 2007, 2011) and initiatives in other countries (e.g. 'In Form' in Germany).
Programmes and initiatives promoting and supporting sport and physical activity among young people are an integral part of the National Action Plan of Healthy Eating and Physical Exercise. The campaign Lëtz move! was launched in 2012 by the ministry of Sports in cooperation with the ministry of Health in order to promote regular physical activity and sports of all citizens. The Fitness Pass campaign was launched in 2001 to promote participation in leisure sport activities carried out in partnership between the ministry of Sports and the Luxemburg Olympic and Sports Committee. The campaign's aim is to encourage recreational sports enthusiasts to try other sports than those in which they usually participate. The National Sports certificate is an action launched annually by the ministry of Sports in collaboration with the National Sports Certification Commission, with the aim of spreading the practice of sport among people of all ages and in all fields. Any sports enthusiast, novice or a more experienced athlete, aged between 10 and 99 years, has the opportunity to test their level of fitness by participating in sporting events adapted to their respective age. The national framework on non-formal education of children and young people within the non-formal learning structures (Chamber of Deputies 2017a) includes the action field 'Movement, body awareness and health'. It encompasses actions in the following fields:
- Movement, play and sport
- Health and well-being
- Nutrition and eating culture
- Playing and learning environment.
The main objectives are to foster a critical perspective toward nicotine, alcohol and drug use, to increase self-esteem and develop gender identity.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on sport and physical activities among young people. Sporting activities and opportunities were significantly reduced or suspended as a result of the sanitary measures. The ministry of Sports has initiated the 'sports recovery plan 2.0' (plan de relance SPORT 2.0) to motivate young people to start or restart sport activities. The plan includes specific funding for sports clubs (i.e. subsides for competitions or new members under 16, funding of digital skills trainings for coaches).
Physical education is mandatory in the curriculum of secondary schools. The teaching time allocated to physical education in full-time compulsory general secondary education is 76 hours in 2011/12, which corresponds to a 10% share of the total taught time (European Commission, EACEA & Eurydice, 2013).
Beyond the initiatives and programmes currently in place, there is neither a large-scale initiative nor a specific programme or tool applicable to school or extracurricular activities.
The policy of sport, youth fitness and physical activity is developed and implemented in close cooperation with the involved ministries (see above: National strategy(ies)).