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By Rachel Payne

It had been less than 48 hours since experts from Italy and abroad sat on the MOVE Congress 2014 stage to start the discussion on open and active cities. In the meantime, 36 speakers and moderators had led over 300 delegates through the many interwoven factors that make cities inviting spaces or barriers for physical activity.

On the closing evening, three of these speakers pinpointed three areas they know better than most in which they thought the delegates could push for more action.

René Kural, from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation, used his own experience in architecture to identify the design element of urban planning as something that should be influenced:

“As an architect, I know that if a client doesn’t want an active city, it won’t happen. That’s why we should educate our architects,” he said.

Niamh Murphy, from the Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland, said she saw great power to be gained from research in the field of sport and physical activity, and that the MOVE Congress was a promising platform to share the results:

“I saw some good examples of people using good data that can influence policy makers,” she said. “So how can we harness the excellent science to go alongside the excellent practice?”

Like Murphy, ISCA Secretary General Jacob Schouenborg also pointed to the value of questioning authorities and other stakeholders in prime positions to create change in order to help drive that change. Advocating for sport and physical activity among policy makers is something that even the average citizen should feel that they can do, he said:

“Be confident enough to say to them that physical activity is a human right – why are you not giving it to us?”

ISCA President Mogens Kirkeby closed the MOVE Congress 2014 with an accent on creativity and inventiveness, as well as the power of grassroots organisations to make things happen. He highlighted a term used by Dutch speaker Remco Hoekman, “orgware” (as opposed to software and hardware), to emphasise that you need sound organisational structures in place for facilities to work and for busy people to want to be active in them.

The final nod to creativity and inventiveness was made in the unveiling of the NowWeMOVE anthem and video, compiled by AudioFuel duo Howie Saunders and Tom Currie during the congress. The song features the MOVE Congress 2014 delegates’ voices, with the men and women being recorded separately from opposite sides of the room.

Innovative, active and truly in the spirit of the MOVE Congress.

See you next year!

Listen to and downlaod the NowWeMOVE anthem here

By Jana Stehlikova The Open Market took place outside the MOVE Congress venues in the so-called Matattoio, a former cattle shed, and offered several physical activities and poster presentations. The participants could try playing some Dodgeball as well as some Tchoukball, Traditional Table Games, Balance Exercise, Stopping Movement Training, and “Propriocettive” Activities. As the weather […]

By Rachel Payne The fourth and final workshop of the MOVE Congress 2014, Active Ageing, delivered its promise of offering tools and advice to deliver effective physical activity initiatives for seniors. Miriam Schreck from Deutscher Turner-Bund (DTB) in Germany emphasised that fitting in with elderly people’s routines is both an important consideration and potential challenge for […]

By Jana Stehlikova At Workshop 3 dedicated to Innovative Approaches to Mobilisation, Kerry McDonald presented StreetGames, a sports charity that focuses on giving physical activity and volunteering opportunities to young people in disadvantaged communities across the UK through its Doorstep Sports initiative. His organisation’s effervescent take on physical activity was reflected in both the title […]

By Alexander Elverlund Piara Powar, Director of FARE Network, UK The first speaker of the workshop focusing on cities’ roles in encouraging social inclusion through sport and physical activity, Piara Powar, talked about ways in which minorities relate to sport. FARE is not only working with racism but also barriers related to gender and sexuality. […]

By Roxana Chiriac Niamh Murphy, from Waterford Institute of Technology, Health Behaviour Research Department, Ireland led the keenly anticipated workshop on programmes that have been successful in getting school children active in cities around the world. The first experienced speaker to tackle the important issue was William Bird, the CEO of Intelligent Health UK, who […]