EURO 2013 Embraces Health Messages


EURO 2013 Embraces Health Messages

As the Women’s EURO for 2013 reaches its semi-final stage today, work to promote health at host stadia undrtaken by European Healthy Stadia Network, and the ‘Make a Healthy Heart Your Goal’ campaign reach fruition.

Health Assesments for Host Stadia

Health assessments of host stadia were undertaken by the Network between 11-20th June 2013, and the resulting report for each stadium has provided a benchmark of current policies and practices in relation to healthy lifestyle topics. Host stadia and their respective tenant clubs include:

  • Gamla Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburg (information provided by tenant club IFK Gothenburg)
  • Örjans vall Stadium, Halmstad (operated and used by Halmstad BK)
  • Friends Arena, Solna (information provided by tenant club AIK)
  • Nya Parken Stadium, Norrkoping (operated and used by IFK Norrkoping)

Participating stadia and tenant clubs undertook an initial audit questionnaire providing a baseline insight into policies and practices promoting healthier lifestyles. Results from the audit were then followed up by a one-to-one interview with stadium and club management, with further discussion on current partnerships, potential changes in policy and practices to promote health, action planning and further support from Healthy Stadia. The assessments have used GAP analysis of initial findings to underline areas where stadia and clubs are working well to promote health, whilst the individual reports have highlighted areas of policy and practice that stadia clubs may want to consider developing further through a set of suggestions and recommendations.

Key recommendations resulting from the group of assessments include:

  • Stadia to consider adoption of WHO good practice for tobacco control at sport stadia, including: wide scale installation of no smoking signage outside stadium; removal of chewing tobacco vending machines; and, removal of designated smoking areas (DSAs), or training DSA staff in smoking cessation brief advice techniques.
  • Stadia to consider consultation with all sections of fans – in particular women and children – on range of food and drink options, including healthier options, with potential to trial at least one healthier food and drink option at kiosks near to designated family or child friendly stands.
  • Stadia to consider installation of cycle locking facilities (if not already in place), and increased promotion of active travel options to stadium through fan consultation, cycle locking signage, travel advice on stadium / club website, and partnership working with local transport providers
  • Stadia and clubs to consider integrating health and wellbeing themes – in particular physically active lifestyles and healthier eating – into community programmes, and to use of club brand and players in delivery of key messages.

It is hoped that the assessment reports will stimulate further interest in developing sports stadia as health promoting settings, and will act as a positive legacy to derive from UEFA Women’s EURO 2013. The Network now intends on working more closely with participating stadia on a 12 month action plan of policies and interventions in support of their chosen goals.For more information on the assesments and reports:

Make a Healthy Heart Your Goal campaign

“Make a healthy heart your goal” is the official community health education programme of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2013. It is a campaign designed to encourage women and girls to lead an active, healthy lifestyle and practice sports such as football to help reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke. It has been created by the World Heart Federation, UEFA, the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation and the Swedish Football Association, under the patronage of H.R.H. Prince Daniel of Sweden and with the support of the striker Lotta Schelin, the face of “Make a healthy heart your goal”. The campaign was launched in November 2012 and is under the spotlight during the semi-finals of the competition.

Women, cardiovascular disease and physical inactivity

Football is the number one team sport for girls and women, and cardiovascular disease the number one killer of women in Europe and worldwide, causing one in three female deaths every year. Physical inactivity is one of the leading risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and being active, playing football and other sports, together with leading a healthy lifestyle, helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

“Make a healthy heart your goal” key activities:

  • 12 players, one from each of the competing teams, joined the ‘Heart Team’ in support of the campaign and are acting as heart-healthy ambassadors throughout the tournament.
  • A video featuring the face of the campaign Lotta Schelin is airing at all matches, perimeter boards are being dressed for the campaign and fan walks are organized in the host cities. For the semi-finals, 30 children are joining the fan walks, together with ambassadors Steffi Jones and Patrik Andersson, and carrying a heart flag on the pitch. Fans with a “Wy Wallet” account have the opportunity to donate funds to support the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation research programme on cardiovascular disease: send the text “HJÄRTA” to 729 01.
  • An exhibition about the “Heart team” players as well as various activities are taking place in the hospitality area.
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has been taught to all the competition’s volunteers, and CPR classes are offered to football fans in the fan zones during the competition.
  • The campaign material and messaging are being profiled at key events including the trophy tour, the “Healthy Stadia” conference, a “Make a healthy heart your goal” reception organized for the kick off of the competition and at the UEFA Kiss women’s football workshop. The campaign is also advertised online, on social media and through World Heart Federation’s network of 200 member organizations around the world.
  • 22 defibrillators have been donated to the host stadia to ensure that the UEFA Women’s EURO 2013 is “heart safe” for the players and the fans. Six additional defibrillators are within the VIP hospitality suites for the duration of the tournament and will then be donated to local clubs and local stadia.
  • The Muuvit adventure, a programme encouraging school children to be active and adopt a healthy lifestyle, has been launched in Sweden (
  • Swedish football clubs are selling pins and raising funds to fight cardiovascular disease in women.
  • 20 000 mothers of young children have been encouraged to join the campaign, take care of their hearts and be active through playing football and learning cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
  • Part of “Make a Healthy Heart Your Goal” is the support of a tobacco-free UEFA Women’s EURO 2013 in order to focus public attention on promoting a smoke-free society.

Learn more on the campaign at:


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