The Youth Commission is pledging to use the declaration from the recent World Sport for All Congress when forming action plans and initiatives.
UIAA Youth Commission President, Anne Arran, says this is key in the run up to the 2009 Congress theme – ‘’Moving towards an active society.’’
The declaration from the 12th World Sport for All Congress “Sport for All – for Life” called on governments to act urgently to deal with the global problems of increasing obesity and lack of physical exercise.
The congress has asked governments and public authorities to recognise the important effect sport and physical activity has on public mental and physical health, health spending and community relations. It also urged governments to support the possibility of all to take part in sports.
By its very nature, the UIAA emphasises the benefits of an active lifestyle and access to the outdoors. Through the Global Youth Summit, UIAA member federations give young people the chance to take part in enjoyable and challenging activities such as peak ascents, climbing courses and summer mountaineering camps.
“The UIAA Global Youth Summit as a whole highlights many of the principles agreed at the congress through its aims and activities, such as education through sport and culture and mountain environment issues,” Arran says.
She emphasises that the Congress affirmed that physical inactivity is a major independent risk factor for non-communicable diseases and unhealthy body weight. According to the declaration, almost 22 million children under five years of age and 155 million of school age are overweight, and childhood obesity leads to increased adult obesity. Physical activity and sports are important counter measures.
“Climbing and mountaineering is all encompassing and we welcome everyone, whether they are from the city or mountain communities, through our federations, their clubs and programmes – to take part in individual – not team – sports that they can engage in their entire lives,” says Arran.
She believes the UIAA can embrace many of the recommendations made at the congress, by providing international activities and guidance to the member federations.
The congress was organised by the Olympic Council of Malaysia under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and its Sport for All Commission, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF). Go to the organisers website for the full declaration and to the Global Youth Summit 2009 calendar for information about youth activities.