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Numerous scientific studies show, that regular and sufficiently intensive physical activities and sport are crucial for preserving and improving the quality of life also for older and very old people. The many healthy effects of an active way of life, however, conflict sharply with the actual activity and movement level of older people. Only 33% of the Europeans in the age between 55 and 69 years engage in sport or sufficient physical activities regularly or occasionally, and more than 50% never do. In the age group of 70 years and older only about 22% are physically active and 65% never are. (Source: European Commission, Special Eurobarometer No. 334 – Sport and physical activity).

Therefore increasingly more interventions are necessary in order to promote physical training of older people. Especially those groups of older people are to be addressed, who do not engage so far in regular physical activities, and accurately fitting programs adapted to the various requirements in this very age group have to be offered.

Evaluation studies concerning the success of interventions for promoting physical activity for older people suggest placing those actions into well structured, thematically adequate environments with a big range of coverage (setting orientation). In this respect especially the sports organisations with their clubs offer the appropriate frame.

Although many sport-organisations in Europe are active for the target group of older people, a lack of systematic and comprehensive planning and implementation of such programs is obvious. Moreover, the sport sector has limits in its outreach to inactive older people. Cross-sectoral partnership and networking with organisations involved with older people (e.g. welfare organisations; senior homes; community departments; church organisations) are needed to improve active and healthy living.

Overview on the objectives and the working structure

Expected outcomes from the working groups

WG 1: Development of project politics, strategic planning and implementation

  • List of good practices for concepts/strategies/programs designed for the promotion of movement activities for older people in sport organisations
  • Guidelines and recommendations for the implementation procedures designed for the promotion of movement activities for older people in the frame of organized sports
  • Guidelines and recommendations for network incentives in the area of movement and sport for older people.

WG 2: Recruitment and education of instructors

  • Exchange of experiences concerning
  • - The recruiting of instructors for seniors
  • - The education system to train the instructors
  • - The contents and methods of the education measures
  • Getting a common understanding of Qualification standards for instructors for seniors (according to the EQF)
  • Description of a model to recruit instructors for seniors.

WG 3: Target Groups & Exercises Programs

  • Differentiation & description of target groups.
  • Criteria for the description & validation of activity programs for the target groups.
  • List of programs for target groups, description of programs along the criteria.
  • Implementation of the programs (What is important? Where are problems?).

Further on it’s aimed, to establish a cross-sectoral European Network /Platform “Active and Healthy Aging through Physical Activity and Sport” and to link this network to other European Networks/Platforms, such as HEPA-Europe; AGE-Platform; EUNAPAA, etc).