Sport has dozens of different contexts of expression, different modalities, different typology, but with identical values, objectives and principles.
The importance of Sport in society is significant and has several relevant areas of intervention: in health, in the economy, in education, in the identity of countries and in the global development of countries. There is a big difference between Sport and Physical Activity (PA), and although there are significant differences between the two forms of expression, definition and in their most basic concepts, they are often wrongly placed in the same bag.
The latest Eurobarometer (2022) on the practice of Sport and Physical Activity paints an almost miserable portrait of our country. We are below the European average in all indicators. To get an idea 7 out of 10 male people do not practice any PA, while 80% of the female population in Portugal never practice or rarely practice physical activity. More impressive are the numbers of Portuguese people over 55 years old, as 91% of the population of this age do not do any type of physical activity, and among retired people this rate increases to 92%, in contrast to the 74% of the European community average. In the range of 15 to 24 years, approximately 37% of the population does not perform or rarely performs any physical activity. Another indicator that stands out refers to social participation in clubs: 82% of the population does not actively participate in the life of clubs with sports activities and recreational PA, against 69% of the European average. These are difficult numbers for Portugal and require all authorities working in this area to reflect deeply and establish measures to increase the practice of regular physical activity for the entire population. These numbers reflect an empirical finding: there is a serious gap in the sports culture of the Portuguese population. Of course we live in a football monoculture, but it seems to me that the mentality is slowly expanding, but there is a lot to be done.
In this sense, the coming week (from 23 to 30 September) is of greater importance for raising awareness of the benefits of regular sport, as, on the initiative of the European Commission, the European Week of Sport (SED) is celebrated. ), and whose main objective is to promote sport and physical activity for all age and social classes. Each day there will be a central theme, from the immense quadrants of expression of Sport and PA and on each of these days it will open the discussion of the strategic points of development. Taking into account what we have been through in the last two years and the figures that characterize the Portuguese scenario, it is essential to encourage the population to practice regular and systematic sports (federal, school and university), as well as the practice of physical activity to population at all ages.
The Schools, will have on September 30, the moment of discussion and awareness for the practice of sports in a school environment. Starting to raise awareness among the younger ones could be important for the pragmatic change of the future.