Indoor football was one of the activities on offer for Polish youngsters during a "Winter Olympics" event in UEFA EURO 2012 host city Wroclaw.
The event – timed to coincide with the school holidays – took place under the auspices of the Respect Your Health programme which forms part of the overall Respect campaign for this summer's EURO tournament in Poland and Ukraine.
The "Winter Olympics" were organised by two community liaison officers from Wroclaw, Piotr Widawski and Dawid Mikoś, together with the animator Artur Pełka and volunteers from High School No14 in the Polish city. In addition to indoor football, the event offered basketball and other activities in both the swimming pool and the ice rink.
The main idea behind the "Olympics" was to invite young and older community members to learn how to spend their time in a fun, creative way and to find out about a healthy lifestyle. Games that are included in the Respect Your Health guide formed part of the activities – for example, the "lunch box" race. Here, the youngsters were first taught how to use ice skates and move on the ice, before the competition element began, combining two elements: health education and sport.
Competitors had to ice skate, grab healthy products (or cards symbolising them) and create a healthy lunch box. The fastest team won five points, with an extra point awarded for every health product gained. Teams lost a point if they picked up an unhealthy product. Through the competition, participants discovered which products were healthy or not.
"It is very important to convince young people that winter time does not prevent you from being active. There are many activities that can be fun – both indoors and outdoors," said Kristina Gawriljuk from UEFA partner organisation streetfootballworld, which is responsible for the coordination of the Respect Your Health – Euroschools 2012 initiative. The programme focuses on anti-smoking, moderation in alcohol, healthy eating and physical activity among youngsters and their families in Poland and Ukraine.
UEFA's overall Respect campaign is tackling some of Europe's key social concerns, seeking to raise awareness and positively affect the lives of people in the UEFA EURO 2012 co-host nations. Both in the build-up to and during the tournament, the campaign will be making its impact felt in Poland, Ukraine and beyond through various projects grouped under the four headings of Respect Diversity, Respect Fan Culture, Respect Inclusion and Respect Your Health.
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