European Calisthenics Fairamsterdam Calisthenics
EUROPEAN CALISTHENICS FAIR AMSTERDAM DE RAI 2022
Background and General objectives:
Inactivity among the population is increasing worldwide, resulting in physical and health shortages in later life. A social problem that we must work on together for a healthier society, especially to help the mental and physical resilience after the Covid-19 pandemic, which severely affected the regular physical exercise during the lockdown measures. This problem is not confined to certain locations. It is a global issue that is being witnessed across the world, in developed and developing countries a like. In certain countries, the fall in physical activity among the population is forecast to be as high as 51 per cent by 2030. This is a serious threat to the general health and well-being of the population, which will result soon in increased dysfunctions such as obesity, stress, etc. Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan (2021) highlights how physical inactivity increases cancer risk.
Facing these challenges, The Calisthenics Club and 9 European countries will implement a European-wide sport event in Amsterdam de Rai to promote the regular practice of Calisthenics and Streetlifting in the European population as a means to improve health, physical exercise and sports practice at every level, especially of the most vulnerable citizens. For this reason, the event addresses the call priority “Encouraging the participation in sport and physical activity” Calisthenics has its origins in Greek Antiquity and means “Beautiful strength”. Back in an era where the first Olympic Games were held in the city of Olympia as an example of human ability. It is a sport that focuses on training and exercising by using your body weight as resistance. This is done through push, pull, bend, jump and swing exercises. The goal is to increase muscle strength, muscle mass, mobility/flexibility and endurance. Well-known exercises in this Calisthenics sport are push-ups, pull-ups, dips, muscle-ups.
Concept and Methodology
The idea behind the event is the organization of a European-level sport event of Calisthenics to promote and encourage an enlarged sport practice in the European population. This is done with several actions on different levels, from the engagement of coaches and volunteers to an intense marketing and promotional activity. In concrete, the event will be developed in various phases, each one using specific methodologies and achieving concrete targets towards the project overall goal.
The EUCE | EU Calisthenics Fair 2022 is a two-day bodyweight not -for- profit sport event for Street Workout and Streetlifting athletes, youth, persons with disabilities, and professionals in the fitness industry. The event distinguishes itself from traditional fitness and wellness sports, through education, inclusion, inspiration and participation. The program consists of 144+ workshops, Calisthenics Freestyle, Strength Endurance and Streetlifting competitions, and entertaining shows by well-known athletes. Top elite coaches will share their knowledge in the field of training, mindset and nutrition in an inspiring way during the event. Professionals will provide educational workshops and master classes on sports innovations through Calisthenics for gyms, boutique studio owners, personal trainers and non-profit governmental sport institutions. All this, in combination with an energetic innovative exhibition floor of 2000 m2 in Amsterdam Rai the Elicium, makes the EU Calisthenics event 2022 a unique lifetime experience in bodyweight sports.
A first methodology is the promotion in the 10 EU partner countries – and beyond - of the international sport event. This is a preliminary step to give wider public visibility, to reach out to a maximum number of stakeholders and individuals and to stimulate interest in Calisthenics. A multi-channel promotional and marketing strategy will be used. Online advertising, press campaigns, social media engagement, promotional gadgets and the involvement of Calisthenics influencers around the world shall contribute to reaching out to thousands of interested citizens and stakeholders.
A second methodology concerns the preparation and training of coaches in 10 countries. They will be informed on the project sport event and how to support athletes and practitioners, but they will also receive common guidelines on how to engage themselves after the project in reaching out to and motivating more users, and in delivering effective training programmes. In other words, the training will not be finalized to participate in the event but will have the goal of forming true “Calisthenics Ambassadors” in Europe.
A third methodology is the digital strategy to extend the international networking inside the Calisthenics movement and provide an online offer such as e-competitions, tutorials and training (e-learning) virtual support via the online platform www.thecalisthenicsclub.com. The consortium believes in the enormous potentialities of digitalisation for the improvement of the sport offer and the attraction of certain segments of the public, such as the young people. Supporting the sport event in presence with virtual tools (an online platform and an app) will be vital to increasing the access channels to the Calisthenics community of practitioners and to keep athletes and citizens informed through live streaming, making them feel as part of the event by simply connecting from home. Even more, these digital products will help in maintaining the connections between participants even after the event, stimulating online training and competitions. Digitalisation is one of the main priorities of Erasmus+ and we want to give our contribution to achieve it in the sport sector.
Volunteering is an essential element in grassroots sports. For this reason, the event will engage and train local volunteers in the Netherlands who will provide their support in the promotion, organization and implementation of the 2-day sport event.
The 2-day sport event will be organized on different levels:
Competitions: “The Invitational Championship” will be divided into three different athletes’ categories: senior, persons with disabilities, youth. Each category will also have a male and female tournament. These competitions will be structured in a qualifying knock-out system, with different rounds until the final.
The company Sport Data (https://www.sportdata.org) will provide its sport event technology management system, a software used by the Olympic sports, FIFA and other international sport federations. Sportdata has a total of 1 Billion hits per year on event systems and over 500.000 subscribers on its platform. This digital technology will provide, among other features, online management of the knock-out system, with a live recording of points, winners and results and the real-time update of the ranking systems (points, etc.) both on the competition pitch and in digital tools. This element will further support the digitalization strategy of our event.
Besides the competitions, all-day informal Calisthenics activities for young and elderly people and persons with disability will be organized under the supervision of elite coaches and sport educators. This second format will introduce citizens at large to the sport and make them understand the different benefits it can bring for personal well-being. Side activities will complete the event programme: ‘Meet the athletes’ sessions, movie sessions, workshops, DJ shows to attract young people, virtual and marketing areas. The most famous Calisthenics influencers in the world, coming from the USA, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Brazil, the Netherlands and Spain, will be the special guest of the event: their participation is strategically important to ensure the widest possible public audience and citizens’ engagement, given also their strong presence on social media channels and their millions of followers. Talent shows athletes who participated in national TV programmes will also be invited.
The European Calisthenics Fair is conceived not only as a pure sport event but as an occasion where athletes, coaches and citizens from different countries meet in an informal way and around the common interest in Calisthenics. The event in Amsterdam will be the moment in which citizens of any age come closer and familiarize themselves with athletes and coaches from all over Europe and the world, who will transmit to them the real value of sport not as a business but as a tool for personal development, growth, and healthy competition.
The event complies with the Green Erasmus+ priority. Calisthenics, being based on body weight, is an environmentally-friendly sport that does not release CO2 emissions. Additionally, the activity can be practiced in ad-hoc Calisthenics parks inside green urban areas: an increased practice in this sport can therefore boost the construction of these Calisthenics facilities in towns and contribute to redesigning the urban planning more sustainably.
During the European Calisthenics Fair in Amsterdam, a sustainable concept will be followed, in which the paper and cutlery will come from recycled materials. The venue (RAI Conference Center in Amsterdam) is well-known for its sustainability policy: waste management during the build-up, event and breakdown is based on the principle of 100% recycling. RAI works closely together with the processing company Renewi to separate as much waste as possible and work towards a cleaner and better environment. RAI offers as well special waste sorting equipment, such as containers, bags and bins.
The venue is also very well organized in terms of urban transport: trains and metro will ensure easier access from the hotels in a clean way. The young volunteers involved during the sport event will be trained on how to adopt environmentally-friendly behaviors during the activities, from waste disposal to the use of sustainable urban transport modes to get to the venue until a general awareness on how to correctly inform the participants on this subject.
Another principle promoted by the event is gender equality. Calisthenics is a sport that can be practiced both by men and women: for this reason, the selection of participants will be made in the respect of the gender balance, trying to ensure an equal number of men and women as much as possible.
Two different Calisthenics competitions will also be organized, one for men and one for women.
The participation of persons with disabilities is promoted by the event, as Calisthenics can bring many benefits for their well-being, especially concerning enhancing their motor skills and abilities. A special area and dedicated competition for this vulnerable category will be organized during the sport event, where Paralympics athletes will also participate as testimonials.
Being a European-wide event, the European Calisthenics Fair will be organized by the applicant (The Calisthenics Club) and nine associated partners from nine European countries. The associated organizations are national sport organizations that compose the network of Calisthenics federations currently active in Europe: this is the top level of the Calisthenics movement in Europe. The Calisthenics Club and the associated partners are parties of an International Street Sport Agreement that has been signed by more than 40+ countries and its national organizations to work together through the same vision, organizational structure, establishing universal rules and regulations, national and international competitions structures, certified accommodations systems, memberships systems, educational programmes all around the world and special youth education programs to implement in each member country.
The event organiser and the associated organizations represent thousands of athletes, managers, practitioners and elite coaches. They have a long experience in organizing Street Workout and Streetlifting events, management of sport clubs, design of sport programmes, citizens’ engagement and social inclusion through Calisthenics.
They will bring different professional profiles such as athletes with experience in international competitions (Olympic Games, World, European and national championships), Paralympics athletes, elite coaches, sport managers, physical education professors, communication and social media experts, and volunteers.
A first short-term impact will be the enhanced visibility of Calisthenics throughout Europe, which will result in an expected increase in the number of practitioners at the individual level, bringing new members to the Sponsor “our new Partner” and 10 European organizations. As a consequence, we expect that the Calisthenics movement will grow substantially, with the opening of new clubs, primarily in the participating countries. The final effect of this should be the enlargement of the International Street Sport Agreement to at least 50+ new countries within one year after the event.
The increased visibility and membership of Calisthenics across Europe, accompanied by harmonized internal standards and rules, in the medium-term should enhance the relational level of the Calisthenics movement, in terms of increased voice inside the national Olympic committees and towards the sport authorities at national and regional levels. We expect that in the medium to long term, this shall bring an official recognition of Calisthenics by the relevant authorities.
The increased physical exercise in the European population, deriving also from increased practice of Calisthenics, will reduce physical inactivity, especially in the categories more at risk and with less access to sport programmes. In the long-term, this should improve their general health and well-being and support their physical and mental recovery from the Covid-19 crisis. In particular, the persons with disabilities will discover a new training method that can help them in acquiring certain physical abilities, such as motor skills.
The availability of an online platform and an app will bring a change in the sport sector, by increasing its digitalisation and providing new models that take advantage of the IT tools for the organization and monitoring of physical activity programmes. This will also enrich the portfolio of products that can be offered by the IT companies to users active in the sport field. The same app wil be also replicated and extended as a model to be used in the practice of other sports similar to Calisthenics.
The community of Calisthenics coaches will benefit from the application of common standards in the exercise of their profession and will improve their capacities of working with athletes and colleagues from other countries inside international sport events. They will also increase their digital skills, thanks to their engagement in the online platform and app.
An organizational change will be visible, compared to the traditional way sport – and events – is organized. All the Calisthenics entities will establish and locate themselves online as the Calisthenics sport movement do not have organized sport clubs. The sport can be practiced anywhere which means there is no permanent accommodation required. Organizations operate and discuss primarily online. In this way, the athletes themselves determine where and when they want to exercise and whether they participate in a competition, but everyone can become a member of the association to make their voice heard.
The whole of the sport community will rediscover the practice of sport and physical activity outside of sport clubs, in less formal and more flexible organizational settings. The popular passion for grassroots sport, beyond the pure competitive or business goal, promoted by this event, will be relaunched and contribute to attracting millions of citizens of any age to exercise physically only for leisure or to improve their health. In other words, the European Calisthenics Fair will promote a fully positive sports culture.
The lack of negative environmental impact of Calisthenics and the sustainability of its infrastructures can be taken as good practices of urban sustainability, where Calisthenics facilities built inside green areas can boost an innovative concept of sport infrastructure in towns and change positively the human approach to physical activity. As only their own body weight is needed, these parks are set up in an eco-friendly manner to reduce damage to environmentally vulnerable areas.
The partnership between sport organizations and a sponsor that collaborate for many years in the promotion and organization of Calisthenics activities in Europe is a guarantee of sustainability because it is based on the shared interest of participants in promoting and enlarging the number of persons that practice this sport. In addition, the dissemination and capitalization of the results will provide the basis for a continued life of the European Calisthenics Fair.
The sustainability will be mainstreamed also making use of the powerful networking provided by the International Street Sport Agreement. The partners are, therefore, fully committed to continuing the activities in their own country and beyond.
This sustainability process will achieve various objectives:
- Continuation of the sport activities in the partner countries and internationally
- Enlargement of the platform of Calisthenics practitioners in Europe and worldwide
- Maintaining the digital tools as a support to athletes, coaches and practitioners of Calisthenics internationally
- Test and develop new ways of embedding the results into existing sport policies, defining also mechanisms to link it to other events and programs at the national, European and international level
After the sport event, the consortium will deliver a follow-up action plan, which will support the continuation of activities. This activity will analyze the different national contexts, and the better strategy (institutional, organizational, etc.) to enhance the visibility of Calisthenics and to establish periodical local/regional Calisthenics events in the partner countries. Concerning the different activities and outputs off the event, we are planning to continue and expand most of them.
The common standardized Calisthenics training program will remain available in the TCC online platform and can be used by the community of coaches and trainers at large. They will be also used to reach a harmonized transnational set of training procedures for the Calisthenics community at a global level, removing the current fragmentation and differences still existing between the different national movements. Additionally, all the members of the International Street Sport Agreement will be requested to adopt officially. This should bring a first international standardization to the Calisthenics training system.
At least one national Calisthenics event that adopts the format launched by the European Calisthenics Fair should be organized in the 10 participating countries after the event is finished. At the same time, an edition of the international Calisthenics event will be organized once a year in a different European country to spread the event message throughout Europe, pursuing also the goal of increasing the number of national delegations involved (target: at least 15 countries).
The two digital tools will be maintained and regularly updated and enriched. TCC will revise yearly their content to address new requests coming from the users and to satisfy new needs or technological solutions that may arise in the future. The event app will be downloadable in the Google Play Store and App Store and periodical updates will be available to remain compatible with the new operating systems of mobile devices. The TCC platform www.thecalisthenicsclub.com will become the main online networking instrument for elite coaches, athletes and practitioners, where they will be interacting and engaged in training programmes or competitions through the “e-competitions” and “e-training'' sections of the platform.
The event website and social media pages will be maintained as main information access points to the public on the event. The consortium will link the event results to relevant sport initiatives in their local community. This will generate new forms of cooperation with other sport clubs, federation, and public authorities to recognize the strong educational and social role of Calisthenics.
The results will also be used by the event coordinator and partners to reinforce the position of Calisthenics inside the sports movement. In particular, an advocacy action will be made to obtain formal recognition by the International and National Olympic Committees.
After the event, the activities will be continued with a mix of internal resources and sponsors, which will be sought to support the following international and national editions of the sport event. To this scope, a fund-raising plan will be delivered to identify the best strategy to tap public and private donors.
The European Calisthenics Fair is Co-Funded by the European Union.