EurActiv - Letters to the Editor

Sir,

Regarding ‘Sports policy to fall victim of EU budget row‘:

it is surprising that in a society that is complaining about demographic ageing, mass sports is not among the most pressing priorities. I mean, when we’re old we’d better be healthy if there is no baby boom generation to look after us.

Doing sport does not require a lot of money. Last year I started the ‘Sport and Health Club’. In the beginning we were five young women doing pilates in a park. Now, we have at least four events per week, with 15-20 participants. In terms of money, all the equipment we bought is worth less than 100 euros.

How do we do it? We use free public facilities, like basketball courts, volleyball fields, jogging lanes and so on. Several sports clubs (some of them very posh!) offered us their facilities for free. And, most of all, all our members are contributing in terms of ideas, lobbying, printing advertising materials at their own expense, and so on.

The benefits of the Club are huge. We are healthier (proven by medical examinations), we develop essential new skills, like teamwork, tolerance and active involvement in the problems of the community. And we have tons of fun. For free.

Like us, there are several clubs in Bucharest only, like the Ro Club Marathon (they are organising weekly free jogging parties in the main parks), I love Velo (free bike rental) or Crosul Petrom (they build one metre of bike lanes for each participant in their annual event).

My point is that sport is fun and cheap. Policymakers should invest in developing innovative ideas and creating the appropriate infrastructure. The rest, we, the citizens, will take care of!

After all, the sports bill is the cheapest! We should pay it now, instead of neglecting it and landing a much larger health bill in the not-so-distant future!

Camelia Toanchina

Co-founder

Sports and Health Club

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