I chaired a meeting on the EU Sports platform in Brussels last week. Among those addressing the  Platform were
-Sean  Kelly, former President of the  Gaelic Athletic Association and currently a member of the European Parliament, 
-Herman Rutgers ,of the European Health and Fitness association,  which represents fitness clubs, and
-Matthew Philpott, of The European Healthy Stadia Network, which seeks to impart a healthy lifestyle to those (mostly men) who regularly attend sports events in stadia .
The EU Sports Platform brings together sports bodies, large and small, from all over the Union, to discuss common problems and opportunities. Football and rugby were, of course, represented, but also Sailing, the Scottish sport of Curling, Shooting,  Golf,  Sea Angling, Ice Hockey, deaf sports, Gaelic Games  and many more.
The EU has recently acquired a responsibility for sport under the Lisbon Treaty, but this is supportive of and complementary to the main responsibility which remains with member states and with the  sports organisations themselves.

Issues discussed included rates of VAT on sports equipment, transport of sports equipment, television rights, child protection, mutual recognition of sports training qualifications, and the London Olympics.
We were told that only 40% of Europeans take regular exercise and that 2/5ths of the EU population is overweight. Sean Kelly said the EU should set itself the objective of having 100 million more people take part in sport or regular exercise in 2020 than do so now. That would bring the share of the population taking regular exercise up to 60%.

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