Friday, 21 December 2012


Hot on the heels of the UK’s fantastic Olympic sporting legacy Thanet District Council (TDC) has helped to maintain international interest through a lead role in facilitating the European Youth and Sport Forum 2012.
The forum, in Larnaca, Cyprus was funded by the International Sport and Culture Association to encourage greater popular interest in healthy living, physical activity and sport. James Gregory, Sport and Leisure Officer for TDC was one of three Health facilitators (the others from Germany and Slovenia) who made up the team of European coordinators organising the event which involved over 80 young leaders in sports, from 28 different countries.
 Amongst the many positive outcomes were proposals to improve the operating capacity of existing sport or physical activity facilities in schools and in urban green spaces with cycle and running paths. New sport programmes will also be created, to educate and to promote sport to all.
James Gregory, said: “It really was very exciting and inspiring to represent Thanet on a major international project and to play such an integral part in this kind of important declaration. It will encourage the Office of the European Union and the Council of Europe to recognise the importance of sport, health, well-being and physical activity in everyday life. The workshops and other activities raised awareness of the current climate in these fields and the barriers that often seem to prevent us from becoming healthier, volunteering more and being active citizens.”
In fact James’ role was even more significant - as the only native English speaker on the editorial team reporting the recommendations of the Forum to the European authorities and national policy makers!
Cabinet member for community Services, Cllr Iris Johnston said: “Thanet District Council was represented very effectively. This is a great opportunity for the Council to show that we are dedicated, motivated and enthusiastic in keeping Thanet healthy (mentally and physically) and consistently active in sport. Everyone here is very proud of James and all that he and the Sport Matters team do.
“There are so many different choices available to remain fit and healthy now, and that’s down to the hard work and dedication of the Sport Matters team. Thanks to James’ efforts Thanet is able to align with European and national policies. - If there is excellent work going on elsewhere in Europe, then let's learn from it and replicate it here in Thanet for the benefit of our residents and their quality of life!”
The Forum will be monitoring progress at policy level, looking for positive shifts in policies towards improved strategies in the health and sporting fields, together with any resultant  reduction in youth unemployment – so now’s the time to start flexing your muscles if you feel you can help!.
If you would like to know more, or to find out how to get involved in sport in your area, please email or visit You can also tweet us on #EYSF2012 to let us know your thoughts and feelings on sport.

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