European recognition for Meer & Beter Bewegen from FC Groningen at #BeActive Awards 2023

7 December 2023

European recognition for Meer & Beter Bewegen from FC Groningen at #BeActive Awards 2023

The Foundation of FC Groningen (FC Groningen in de Maatschappij) was one of the nominees during the #BeActive Awards 2023, an initiative of the European Commission. FC Groningen was nominated in the Education category with its Meer & Beter Bewegen (More & Better Movement) programme in schools and was a guest in Brussels for the awards ceremony at the end of November. Although, they did not emerge as the overall winner, the Foundation is pleased with the European recognition.

The #BeActive Awards were created to support projects and individuals working to promote sport and physical activity across Europe. FC Groningen Foundation owed its nomination in the Education category to the way the club encourages schoolchildren to do More & Better Exercises.

Kaelin Staats, Strategy, Policy and Monitoring Officer at FC Groningen Foundation wrote the successful application to the European Commission. The initiative to get school children across the region moving through the football club was highly appreciated by the nomination committee.

“We deliberately chose the Move at School pillar. Through our Meer & Beter Bewegen programmes in schools, we want to encourage and motivate young children to move more. We show how much fun sport is, that it brings a lot of pleasure and hopefully it is a start to a lifetime of sports and exercise.”

Kaelin Staats

FC Groningen was the only Dutch nominee at the big event attended by many senior officials and ministers. The delegation of the FC Groningen Foundation, consisting of Youth Programme Coordinator Frank Wolters in addition to Staats, received a nice cheque of €2,500 and a sustainable medal from the hands of Euro Commissioner Iliana Ivanova. The top prize of €10,000 went to an initiative from Spain.

“We were able to present ourselves internationally and really put ourselves on the map. Many guests were very interested in what FC Groningen is doing socially. Especially because we serve an entire region and thus large catchment area. In the many conversations, we were able to tell our vision behind Meer & Beter Bewegen. If you are nominated, you ultimately want to win, which didn’t work out. But the recognition for Meer & Beter Bewegen and our programmes is also worth a lot.”

Frank Wolters

The team of FC Groningen Foundation sees the European recognition as a huge incentive to continue with the social mission; to combat exercise poverty in the region. The #BeActive Education Award aims to show how education can encourage children to be active beyond the usual sports and physical activity that takes place during their normal school day. Besides this award, there were three other categories of the #BeActive Awards.


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