Based on the experience of the first BeActive Beach Games organised in Latvia and Portugal this summer, by the mid-2020 the Erasmus+ project will develop methodological and educational materials on the organisation of BeActive Beach Games or similar beach sports events at local, national or international level. The materials will include a manual on the organisation of beach sports games, methodological materials for everyone with examples of sports activities that can be carried out on the beach individually or as a team (with friends, family, etc.). The material will be accompanied by videos and descriptions of various sports, movement types and activities. The policy note will serve as a strategic framework for decision-makers at different levels – municipal, national and European – to support games and to promote a physically active way of life.

“The goal of developing the Beach Games is to expand the #BeActive movement by offering new ideas on how to shape the environment and culture in different places to promote an active lifestyle as much as possible. Relaxing by the water is one of the most popular ways of spending time in summer in Europe, so the focus of the project is to promote beach sports activities. The first BeActive Beach Games organised this year proved that it is possible to create games that are successful and suitable for different ages and abilities, and adapt them to different environments. Moreover, our focus was not as much on the competition as on the notion of just being physically active,” points out the president of the Latvian Sports Federation Council (LSFC) Mr Einars Fogelis.

The model of beach sports is designed to be accessible to everyone allowing to change or re-design the rules to match the skills and capabilities of players and taking into account the environment, whether its organised on a natural or an artificial beach. The three materials developed will reflect the experience and knowledge of the sports organisations from five different European countries and two European level organisations involved in the project, as well as the experience from organising the Beach Games in Latvia and Portugal. A special attention is being paid towards social inclusion of the different groups of society.

The BeActive Beach Games Organising Manual

BeActive Beach Games organising manual is being designed as practical guidelines for potential organisers of beach sports games and for adapting these events to different contexts on any natural or artificially formed beach in Europe. The guidelines will be complemented with the examples from the Beach Games organised in Latvia and Portugal in relation to planning, organising and promoting BeActive Beach Games, requirements for the necessary infrastructure and equipment, as well as recommendations for involvement of different groups of participants.

The Manual will include detailed information on the various organisational stages of the games such as planning, building partnerships, coordinating and evaluating the event. It will address issues relating to the game’s organisation, technical requirements, finances, security and communication.

Methodological materials on sports opportunities on beaches

Methodological materials on sports and physical activities on the beach for any holidaymaker on the beach individually or in a team, will include video materials on the sports activity on the beach, accompanied by a description of the type of sport, the required equipment, rules, conditions of place and organising model. The material will also provide contact details for further professional guidance.

Context of the European support promoting a physically active way of life

The policy note for decision-makers at different levels – municipal, national or European – will provide a context –for a need to increase European support for promotion of active life style, highlighting the importance of sport activities in relation to public health and for strengthening certain social and ethical values in society. The document will give a wider view on the benefits of sport events in involving society, such as health benefits, regeneration of urban areas and creating new ways for using the existing infrastructure. The benefits also contribute to development of tourism and social aspects, bring together people of different age, interest and opportunity groups.

“The social project launched by the Latvian Floorball Union, involving children and young people living in orphanages, is one of the great examples of the versatile benefits of using sport. During the first BeActive Beach Games held in Lucavsala in August 2019, more than 30 children and young people from two orphanages joined in floorball and relay activities and participated in team games by competing with experienced athletes. Not only did these young people develop their physical skills, but more importantly they became aware of a fulfilling life and understood that each of them could “become a champion”. This is the most important aspect of the games.”, emphasizes the head of sports development of LSFC, Mrs Dace Zvaigzne.

The European Union’s Erasmus+ project brings together five national – Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Spain and Portugal – as well as two international sports organisations, and develops an accessible and inclusive model of the BeActive Beach Games, with the possibility of organising them on natural or artificially formed beaches. This year (2019), the first BeActive Beach Games were held in two European countries, Latvia and Portugal. On 17-18 August, the BeActive Beach Games organised by the Latvian Sports Federation Council (LSFC) took place in the urban environment of Riga – Kipsala and Lucavsala – and on September 7-8 – on the natural ocean beach of Portimao, Portugal.

The aim of the project is to seek new ways of attracting people, regardless of age, health opportunities, physical fitness or skills, to take up active lifestyle, and to create a sport movement that would be inclusive, to increase overall participation in sport, and to encourage the involvement of everyday less visible or active and socially vulnerable groups of society. Although the involvement of national, municipal, non-governmental and private organisations in promoting active forms of life has increased over the last decade, it has not changed the habits of society in Europe much: 60% of European citizens point out that they do sports occasionally or never, and this trend is negative compared to the previous survey.

The latest information on the project can be found on the social media accounts of the project partners, by following the hashtag #BeActiveAtBeach

Project partners

In the European Union Erasmus + project five countries – Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Spain and Portugal – as well as two international sports organisations have joined together to develop an accessible and inclusive model of beach sports games (BeActive Beach Games) with the possibility of organising them on natural or artificially formed beaches. By mid-2020, the project will develop administrative, methodical and educational materials as support for sports events organisers and other stakeholders, which also summarises the experience of the first BeActive Beach Games in August 2019 in Latvia and September 2019 in Portugal.

Latvian Sports Federation Council, project coordinator

Estonian Beach Sports Federation

 Lithuanian Sports Federation Union

 (Lietuvos sporto federacijų sąjunga or LSFS)

Portuguese Sports and Youth Institute

(Instituto Português do Desporto e Juventude or IPDJ)

 Union of Sports Federation of Catalonia

(Unió de Federacions Esportives de Catalunya or UFEC)

European Division of the International Association “Sport for All” (TAFISA) in Germany

International Sport and Culture Association (ISCA)