EuropeActive is the leading not-for-profit organisation representing the European fitness and physical activity sector that serves nearly 62 million consumers, it generates 27.2 billion Euro in revenues, employs over 750,000 people, and consists of 62,000 facilities. According to Deloitte the fitness sector is growing at 3-4% per year and fitness is the largest participation sport (Special Eurobarometer, 2014 & 2018). Alongside its significant economic contribution, the sector has a major role to play in making a more active and healthier Europe, and in coordinating actions and key stakeholders across the continent. EuropeActive currently represents approximately 25,000 facilities and has 20 National Associations and with a membership spread across 30 countries in Europe. Membership is open to all stakeholders – public or private which includes operators, suppliers, National Associations, training providers, higher education, and accreditation institutions.
EuropeActive can trace its past to 1995 with the establishment of the European Network of Fitness Associations, and from 2001-2015 as the European Health and Fitness Association (EHFA) and therein to EuropeActive. From 2007 it has been permanently based in Brussels and was a founding member of the House of Sport in 2015. EuropeActive was one of the first members of the Advisory Board for the European Week of Sport. For a number of years EuropeActive has been represented on High Level Groups and EU Expert Groups, including observer in the former EU Expert Group on Health Enhancing Physical Activity. Through the close involvement with this Expert Group and other EU initiatives, EuropeActive has been proactive in informing and supporting its members in a number of key policy areas, and especially in the area of promoting the benefits and importance of health-enhancing physical activity (HEPA).
Between 2015-2017, EuropeActive successfully ran the Erasmus+ projects Promoting Active and Healthy Ageing (PAHA) and Active Learning for Children in Schools (ALCIS 1 and 2) encouraging 28,000 + Europeans in physical activity at a level that is beneficial to their health. These projects were targeting school children (aged 8 to 12) and older inactive adults (aged 55 to 65) in 16 EU Member States.
The projects are characterised by tackling physical inactivity at grass-roots level, with a long-term impact but a minimum input, and with a maximum return. EuropeActive is currently running the Let’s #BEACTIVE project to promote physical activity (PA) and to encourage citizens to lead healthy lifestyles and as recommended in the EU and World Health Organisation Physical Activity Guidelines. EuropeActive is also currently running the National Fitness Day for Europe project to promote the European Week of Sport in 4 non-EU countries through effective campaigns which are based on the success experiences from Ukactive and Ireland Active.
From 2017, EuropeActive organised the Let’s#BEACTIVE campaign together with its members, partners, fitness clubs, and our national fitness associations. The event represented the European fitness sector contribution to the European Week of Sport. The campaign is the opportunity to present the economic and social potential of fitness, to raise the profile of the sector in Europe, and eventually show how fitness makes the difference in promoting the importance of health-enhancing physical activity and adopting healthy lifestyles. The range of successful events helped to spread the reach of the #BeActive marketing concept and to involve more fitness stakeholders in the EWoS platform. 35 fitness events were organised in 26 countries in Europe by involving more than 5,000 fitness clubs.
EuropeActive is currently running two E+ projects to promote HEPA. The first is through the Let’s#BEACTIVE programme that is encouraging inactive adults to start exercising regularly for the benefit of their health through a specially designed six-week programme. The second is National Fitness Days in Europe which is promoting the EWoS in Eastern Partnership and Balkan countries through the highly successful national fitness day concept.