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Fit for Life Alliance adopted at MINEPS VII as conference comes to a close

June 30 2023

Global Sports Conference MINEPS7 ended with the adoption of UNESCO’s ambitious “Fit for Life” alliance to raise physical activity, sports and quality physical education around the world.

Fit for Life Alliance adopted at MINEPS VII as conference comes to a close

Over 16 organisations, including many countries, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and Nike, pledged their support for UNESCO’s “Fit for Life” Alliance as the International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sports (MINEPS VII) came to a close in Baku, Azerbaijan yesterday.

According to the UNESCO Deputy Director-General for Social and Human Sciences Gabriela Ramos the results of the MINEPS VII conference in Baku exceeded expectations.

We arrived in Azerbaijan with great expectations, the results of the conference exceeded these expectations. We worked together to form the Fit for Life alliance. Gabriela Ramos, UNESCO Deputy Director-General for Social and Human Sciences

Ramos stated that a fund will be created which will provide the financial support needed by UNESCO to implement the agreements reached during the conference.

MINEPS VII, which took place between June 26th to June 29th,  was attended by more than 50 ministers and dignitaries, as well as over 540 representatives from more than 120 countries.

The Fit for Life project focuses on integrating physical education and physical activity into school curricula, with the goal of improving the overall health and well-being of students. It recognizes the importance of physical activity in enhancing learning outcomes, promoting social inclusion, and preventing non-communicable diseases.

The Fit for Life Alliance was conceived to enhance the implementation of the Kazan Action Plan (KAP) by providing practical guidance and resources for member states, and increasing investment in inclusive physical education (PE), physical activity (PA), and sport (collectively PEPAS). Fit for Life will thus advance the delivery of international development frameworks that span the sectors of sport, education, health and wellbeing, youth and equality.

Fit for Life will take a data-driven approach over three phases of work:

  • Phase I: Scoping study
  • Phase II: Publication of a global baseline study
  • Phase III: Data operationalisation to support the scaling of successful PEPAS initiatives

The Scoping Study (Phase I) was commissioned by UNESCO to build an understanding of the PEPAS data landscape, and to provide a roadmap for the development of an Integrated Data Ecosystem for PEPAS at a global level. The purpose of the integrated data ecosystem is to enhance the impact of PEPAS global, regional, and national policy and practice via different levels of cooperation and interaction in the framework of the Fit for Life Alliance.

The scoping study was undertaken by inFocus Consulting Ltd (inFocus) between September 2022 and April 2023 in close collaboration with the UNESCO Sport Section team.

Fit for Life aims to address several KAP Actions at the international level with the development and launch of an integrated policy, practice, and data ecosystem for PEPAS, the creation of a digital hub, and the development of a global framework of quality standards and guidelines.

At the national level, the implementation of Fit for Life will adopt a ‘global’ approach to (i) create equitable environments for sport policy and practice using international standards and tools, (ii) promote good practice as blueprints for national action which can be adapted to suit local priorities, systems and needs, and (iii) scale public and private investments in PEPAS.

Fit for Life focuses on the following activities:

  • Increasing grassroots participation in sport, quality physical education (QPE), and physical activity (PA);
  • Building the capacity of key national stakeholder groups (policy-makers, educators, and civil society organisations) to deliver high-impact activities and values-based curricula which enhance the physical and mental well-being of participants;
  • Supporting Member States to develop inclusive sport and PE policies informed by data and knowledge of good practice;
  • Systematising smart investments in sport policy, grassroots projects and related infrastructure, and advocating the use of outcome-oriented measurement methodologies.

Through the Fit for Life project, UNESCO will provide guidance, resources, and training to policymakers, educators, and other stakeholders to support the implementation of quality physical education programs. The initiative emphasises the importance of inclusive and gender-responsive approaches, as well as the involvement of communities, parents, and civil society organisations.

By promoting physical education and active lifestyles, UNESCO’s Fit for Life project contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 3, which focuses on ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages.

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