Trade groups representing Europe's sporting goods and leisure industries took advantage of the first European Week of Sport to inaugurate a new lobbying office in Brussels Thursday.
Located at 43 Avenue des Arts, the new The House of Sport office will be staffed by:
- EuropeActive (European Health and Fitness Association);
- FESI (Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry);
- ICSS (International Centre for Sport and Security); and the
- European think tank Sport & Citizenship.
The House of Sport is also supported by seven other off-site organizations, including:
- ACES Europe (European Capitals and Cities of Sport Federation);
- EMCA (European Multisport Club Association);
- Sporsora, EHLA (European Healthy Lifestyle Alliance);
- FEDAS (Federation of European Sport Retailers);
- EFCS (European Federation of Company Sports); and
- EPSI (European Platform for Sport Innovation).
Coalition members will use The House of Sport while in Brussels to raise awareness among European Union law makers and bureaucrats on the benefits of sport and physical activity and share and coordinate strategic goals for the overall development of the sport sector. They took advantage of the European Week of Sport – the first such event sanctioned by the European Union – to celebrate the grand opening of The House of Sport Thursday.
Jens Nymand-Christensen, Deputy Director General EC and Director General of the EAC stressed the importance of sport and physical activity for the EU, while Antonio Campinos, President of the European Union's Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), shared the results of a study OHIM’s released Thursday on the economic impact of IPR infringement in the sport goods sector.
Festivities then moved to Filigranes, a famous Bookshop, where FESI's Alberto Bichi and Luca Businaro, ICSS Europe's Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros and EuropeActive's Sir Graham Watson remarked on The House of Sport's mission.
From there, participants were scheduled to depart for a charity walk to raise funds for SOS-Childrensvillage. Proceeds from the walk are to be combined with donations from House of Sports supporters, including Foot Locker, Puma, Nike, Adidas and ISPO.
Going forward, The House of Sport coalition will work to enhance the relevance of sport and physical activity in all dimensions of European society, including economic, educational, cultural and social.