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European Lotteries & ESNGO unite to promote sport for mental health week

Lottery trade associations The European Lotteries (EL) and The European Sports NGO (ENGSO) recently collaborated for a joint webinar during European Week of Sport (23-30 September) to highlight the importance of sport, mental health and well-being.

EL noted that it shares the same core values alongside ESNGO of responsibility, sustainability and integrity and is united in its efforts to promote mental health and well-being through sport and physical activity to encourage people to be more active.

Hansjörg Höltkemeier, EL President, commented: ”The pandemic has brought us all more digital interactions which no doubt has a negative impact on our physical health. As a result, the role of sport for physical and mental health is more important than ever.

“EL and ENGSO share common values and now is the time to follow up and accelerate our common initiatives and projects.”

ESNGO’s SPIRIT Project (Sport & Psycho-social Initiative for Inclusive Training), of which EL is a partner, aims to enable national members to cooperate in engaging grassroots sports clubs, civil society organisations and local authorities in being part of the European Commission #BEACTIVE campaign with the specific focus of ensuring health through the promotion of mental health and well-being.

Stefan Bergh, ENGSO President, added: ”Cooperation is a must. We must work together and include several stakeholders, from international organisations to local sports clubs, in order to address and prioritise mental health in and through sport.

“I would like to thank our long-term partner The European Lotteries, for a fruitful and inspiring cooperation, and for helping us improve the lives of Europeans through strengthening the grassroots sport movement in Europe.”

The webinar’s presentations examined the best practices and actions implemented by EL members to promote well-being and mental health through sport and physical activity.

ENGSO presented the outcomes of its SPIRIT project, as well as the experience from SPIRIT partners on sport as a way to promote mental health and being active among people with a migrant background (The Flemish Athletics Federation). ENGSO Youth highlighted how mental ill-health is the biggest health issue among young people and how sport initiatives can provide support.

EL members, Norsk Tipping and OPAP, brought the webinar to a close by underlining the vital role national lotteries play in supporting grassroots sports communities and providing a sustainable source of funding to European social projects and sport.

During this year’s European Week of Sport, the European Commission launched the initiative ‘Healthy Lifestyle for All’ to promote a cross-sectoral approach to address health and physical activity and to establish a community of practice across generations and social groups. As well as being official partners of European Week of Sport, EL and ENGSO are also now partners of the Healthy Lifestyle for All initiative.

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