Record number of participants attended the popular school sport event coordinated by Hungarian School Sport Federation. The European School Sport Day only stepped to the international level last year, and now already welcomed schools from 20 countries among its participants: following the Hungarian toolkit, each country organized its own event.
In Hungary, professional athletes were also attending the local sport events: In Budapest, at the Honvéd athletic sports ground, Géza Imre encouraged the students on the 2016-meters-running; in Pécs, Tamás Kenderesi supported the young runners; and in Győrzámoly, Ottó Vincze celebrated school sports with the participants.
Organised for the 10th time by HSSF following the tradition of Hungarian School Sport Day, European School Sport Day attracted more visitors than ever before. In 2015, the event was also organized in two other countries (Poland and Bulgaria) as international pilot programme, and this year, the participation grew to 20 countries: everyone organized their own school sport day on the same day, performing 2016-meters running distance and additional programmes ensuring 120 minutes of collective physical activity and sport. The second programme has been selected by the schools themselves based on toolkit elaborated by HSSF and its Erasmus+ partners.
„The number of participants exceeded all the expectations, more than a thousand schools and 250 thousand visitors registered for the Hungarian events. European School Sport Day has become one of the largest and most significant events of the European Week of Sport, and it truly is a Hungarian initiative. It is now even more important to be present at European level and engaging more students each year” HSSF President Gábor Balogh stated.
At the Budapest flagship event held at the Honvéd athletic sports ground, 550 children started its run when Géza Imre epee fencer shot the starting signal.
„I find incredibly important to have the school children get up from their books and move! European School Sport Day is a great initiative, bringing the attention of students to sports and not being alone. Today they may find inspiration not only for sports but also for joining the local community.” Géza Imre said.
The prestige of the event was further enhanced by the attendance of Hungarian Ministry for Human Capacities’ representatives. In her opening speech, Dr Tünde Szabó state secretary spoke about sports being not a privilege but an opportunity for life-long activity that must be open for everyone. Learning skills, stamina and concentration are all developed by physical activity, having a positive effect in the classrooms as well. She also emphasized the international success of the event and its power to connect Europe through school sport as well.
On the school sport day, two further large-scale flagship events were organized outside of the capital: 715 students participated in the event in Pécs, joined by Tamás Kenderesi bronze-winning Olympic swimmer: playful relay run competition, scootering and running were the main programmes at the PTE Training, Elementary, Secondary and Vocational School.
Similarly, the flagship event in Győrzámoly took place in a great spirit, joined by Ottó Vincze former national football player and 207 school children. The students enthusiastically performed the yoga, kendo, cycling and running exercises at the Petőfi Sándor Elementary School. Ottó Vincze even played in their football game, and many famous professional athletes did also visit the event: Dalma Sebestyén Olympic swimmer, Maxim Lobanovszkij European champion swimmer, Balázs Sebestyén trainer, Julianna Miskolczy European champion sport shooter.
HSSF rewarded the most active schools with sport equipment kits, similarly to last years, encouraging students for daily exercise and healthy lifestyle as well.
The images about the flagship events are available at the Flickr page of HSSF.
The video about the Budapest flagship event is available at this link.