The European Week of Sport is an initiative of the European Commission to promote sport and physical activity across Europe – to #BeActive. Sport and physical activity contribute substantially to the health and wellbeing of European citizens, however the level of physical activity in Europe is currently stagnating and even declining in some countries. The European Week of Sport is a joint response to this challenge as well as a call for action. This year’s edition is also a milestone as it marks the 5th anniversary of the European Week of Sport.

The week will take place between 23rd – 30th September and aims to support and promote the benefits of an active lifestyle, via the #BeActive message.

Over 30 countries will participate in this all-inclusive campaign – week is for everyone, regardless of age, background or fitness level. With a focus on grassroots initiatives, it will inspire Europeans to #BeActive on a regular basis and create opportunities in people’s everyday lives to be healthier and happier through the involvement of physical activity.

In 2018, the European Week of Sport saw more than 50,000 activities delivered across 32 European countries, resulting in over 13 million active participants. For 2019 European Week of Sport will continue to inspire people to #BeActive and aims to increase its impact on last year’s outcomes.



This year’s European Week of Sport in the UK will continue to support and promote an increase in physical activity and sport through the #BeActive message.

Here in the UK the week will align each day to a specific theme, to ensure a wide reach of the #BeActive message and the opportunity for a greater variety of people to take part. The week will offer all involved a great chance to promote and align to a Europe- wide campaign that will see social media support throughout the week. We will be looking to engage #BeActive ambassadors to attend events and support in generating PR activity.

Plans for the UK in 2019 include an outdoor #BeActive festival in the heart of Cardiff on Saturday 28th September that will engage all ages through a variety of sports and activities. The flagship event, National Fitness Day, will take place on Wednesday 25th September UK-wide. This day will celebrate the fun of fitness and physical activity up and down the UK, through numerous organisations providing free physical activities externally and internally. In 2018 we saw over 4.3 million engage in physical activity on National Fitness Day because they were inspired by the campaign and saw a phenomenal social media and media presence.

In 2019 ukactive will also work with the likes of Mind, the mental health charity to promote the power of physical activity on our mental health and wellbeing; John McAvoy, a 2019 EWoS ambassador, and Fulham Reach Boat Club to deliver a day of opportunity for young people in London; and Ordnance Survey, with its ‘Get Outside’ campaign.

The week will finish with an evening of workouts at ‘Ministry does Fitness’ with the iconic Ministry of Sound, for a #BeActive night on Saturday 28th September.


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Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson - “I am delighted to have taken on the role of #BeActive Ambassador in the UK for the European Week of Sport. The week provides a great platform to celebrate the role that physical activity plays in supporting people in leading happier and healthier lifestyles on a huge scale. We have some great plans coming together which will involve a number of exciting partners to reach a wider audience and help people #BeActive.”


Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson is a crossbench peer and legendary Paralympian wheelchair racer - one of the most successful British athletes of all time.
Over an international career spanning 19 years she won 11 Paralympic Gold medals, held over 30 world records and won the London Marathon six times.
In 2005 she became ‘Dame’ Tanni Grey-Thompson for her services to sport. On 23 March 2010, Grey-Thompson was created a Life Peer on the recommendation of the House of Lords Appointments Commission. Her title was conferred as Baroness Grey-Thompson, of Eaglescliffe in the County of Durham.

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson was appointed ukactive chair in 2015, turning her seasoned campaigning voice to the crucial issue of turning the tide of physical inactivity. She has been a leading public face for the organisation, outlining several key ukactive policy recommendations in the past two years.
In addition to her work at ukactive she is also a Board Member of several organisations including Transport for London, the London Legacy Development Corporation and the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

Tanni has appeared regularly on TV as chair of ukactive, including on BBC Breakfast and Daily Politics, highlighting ukactive policy recommendations as well as promoting the myriad benefits of physical activity as a whole.

Tanni is also a regular feature in the print media, providing expert comment on all things physical activity related and writing several op-eds in the Huffington Post.

Becky Downie

Becky Downie - “I am delighted to be a UK #BeActive Ambassador for the European Week of Sport. They have great plans in the UK, working with their partners such as StreetGames and charities like Mind and SportsAid We, to get more people active and playing sport. As a full time athlete I recognise the importance of campaigns like this, which is why my sister Ellie and I hope to announce our very own gymnastics based initiative as DoubleDownies later this year.”


Becky started gymnastics when she was seven years old at Bigwood Gymnastics Club and won her first British title when she was 12 years old before competing in her first international when she was 13.

Becky has been the British senior women’s all-around champion two times and is particularly strong on beam and bars. She competed in the Beijing Olympic Games and finished in a British record 12th place in the all-around. In 2013 she was crowned English and British bars champion and made both the European and World bars finals. In 2014 Becky took beam gold and two silvers at the British Championships on the bars in the all-around competition and also the European bars title.

In 2015 she was part of the team that famously won team bronze at the World Championships, and also claimed bars and beam silver at the European Championships. In 2016 Becky won beam gold and bars silver at the British Championships, before helping the team win silver and becoming bars champion at the European Championships.

David Smith MBE

David Andrew Smith MBE took up Paralympic Rowing in 2009 after representing Great Britain in able-bodied Karate between 1993-1999 and Bobsleigh from 2002-2006. During this time, he also worked with the British Ski Teams as a national assistant coach.

David was born with clubfoot and came close to having his right foot amputated at birth. After spending his first three years learning to walk in special boots and plaster casts, a career in Olympic sport seemed doubtful. However, that was just a hurdle he needed to get over and it was not going to hold him back, after 3 Tumours and 2 strokes which left David fighting for his life he now aiming to compete again for British Cycling. Along with the sports that David competed in for team GB, he also competed in: -

• Shinty, winning junior Scottish titles;
• Skiing, where he raced in Austria, France and New Zealand; and
• Athletics, where he won an East of Scotland 400m title.

British Karate Team

British Bobsleigh Team

British Ski Team-Coach 2008 - 2009

British Rowing Team

British Cycling Team
2013 - Present

2 x World Rowing Champion

London 2012 Gold Medalist

4 x World Cup Gold