Sofia Sport and
Healthy Life
Sofia Sport and<br/>Healthy Life

Increasing physical activity requires better sport culture and motivation

Increasing physical activity requires better sport culture and motivation

Interview with Joanna Dochevska, chairman of the board of directors, coordinator of “International Affairs”,
Bulgarian Sports Development Association

Please give a short presentation of the activity of the Bulgarian Sports Development Association.

The Association aims to contribute to the steady growth of physical education and sport in Bulgaria by modernising the existing sports infrastructure, as well as setting up a new one. We develop, apply, realize and coordinate national, municipal, budgetary, European, international and other projects and programs. The Association optimizes and mobilizes the human and material resources in sports and aims to increase physical culture.

What are your current campaigns?

  • “Sport near you” – a BSDA project for optimizing the network of sports clubs for children and sport for all;
  • “Be a Volunteer!” – a BSDA campaign to motivate voluntary activities in sport, as well as optimize the informing of current and future volunteers in various sport forums
  • National campaign "I do sports" – a campaign to boost the sports culture in Bulgaria;

We actively work and realize a number of projects: “Move week”, “Youth volunteering in sport – current challenges and opportunities”, “CORE”, “EU Be Active!” (EUBA), "Sporting values for a better Europe", "Volunteering Knowledge", "European warming", “ETS /Education through Sport/ Promo”, "Education through Sport" in Bulgaria”.

Which are the key factors in achieving a higher level of sport culture?

The key factors that build a strong society are the model example and personal motivation. We can’t expect a child that has only seen sports on TV to be active and to enjoy practicing sports. Sport builds up a number of qualities in us, which help us face the hardships in life. Qualities like discipline, motivation, coping with wins and losses, fair play, which would give our children advantages when dealing with problems in their education and later on in their career development. Bulgaria is also a country with strong traditions in sport and this is another important motivation for us to be active.

BSDA is focused specifically on developing motivation and sport culture, which is the basis of a number of our activities:

"Sport near you" – a BSDA project to optimize the network of sports clubs for children and sport for all; currently over 180 sports clubs are available in an online platform, in which you can find information on the practice time, the trainers, and the costs. You can also see which sport near you has group or individual sessions. We believe that this way we decrease the distance between people and sports, as well as help them find their own physical activity.

"Physical activity in the workplace" - a campaign to bridge the gap between physical activity and working people. This is an information campaign, which offers easy tips on how to be active in the workplace. The campaign materials are available in both electronic and printed version.

“Move week 2013 and 2014” – during the two years, in which BSDA was coordinating the campaign in Sofia, over 300 opportunities for free training sessions and sporting events were presented within a week. That way sports clubs introduced their activity, while the people in the capital had the chance to try out a new sport or enjoy ones they were already familiar with. In 2014 over 225 events were realized in Sofia, placing our capital ahead of all the cities in over 30 countries, which took part in the campaign.