On July 23 and 24, the BeActive Beach Games were held in Ventspils on a grand scale and with positive emotions, gathering about a thousand participants, as well as several hundred residents of Ventspils and guests of the city who tried their hand at more than 30 sports performances and activities.
At the Beach Games organized by the Latvian Sports Federations Council (LSFP), the most widely represented activities in individual sports competitions were running, Nordic walking, tug-of-war activities, beach volleyball, popular class competitions of street gymnasts, and Zumba master classes. While in the team competitions, the largest number of participants gathered for the European Family Cup, beach handball, beach football and mamanet (a team sport based on the rules of volleyball). The games also featured an international sitting beach volleyball tournament, ladder tennis and para-shooting activities. This year the Beach Games were held together with the street sports and culture festival Ghetto Games 2022, thus gathering enthusiasts of popular, extreme and professional sports from all over Latvia in Ventspils.
“The biggest winners of the Ventspils sports weekend are all the participants and families who participated in the games. Whether it was the Family Cup competition, demonstrations or tournaments, the Beach Games have shown how diverse active recreation on the seashore can be. With a little imagination, we can create an excellent and, above all, healthy leisure for ourselves and our families,” emphasizes Einars Fogelis, LSFP President and the organizer of the games, also expressing gratitude to the 20 sports federations and the city of Ventspils, which were partners of the Beach Games.
“We are really happy to host the BeActive Beach Games in Ventspils for the first time. For several years now, we have been improving the urban infrastructure so that it is easily accessible to everyone – families, mothers with strollers, people with reduced mobility and special needs. The result is obvious – the opportunities for active recreation in Ventspils are expanding and are used by residents, allowing them to be physically active all year round,” welcomes Daina Paipala, Head of the Ventspils Sports Administration.
The BeActive Beach Games also hosted the European Family Cup 2022, which was attended by 34 families from Latvia and several European countries. The team “AAA and V”, which united the Ernstsons and Štekerhofs families from Ventspils, won the competition with 12 checkpoints, where they had to perform various tasks. It was their first time participating in the Games. The Bergmanis family team called “Pixels” won the second place, and the Epners family team “With a smile” took the third place. These teams received flight vouchers worth EUR 1,000, EUR 800 and EUR 600 accordingly.
“If there is determination, nothing is impossible!” said Agnese Ernstsone who represented the winning family. “We are active every day – both together and individually we run, play football, badminton, volleyball, hockey. With our unique abilities and knowledge, we were able to complement each other during the games. Family sport is not just about medals or competition, but the time we spend together and dedicate to each other,” shares Agnese and recommends not to forget about fun and lightness in joint activities.
Another flight voucher worth EUR 600 was also drawn among all families who participated and had completed tasks at not less than 8 checkpoints. The prize was given to the team called “Moms”. Tasks in the Family Cup were focused on team cooperation, communication, dexterity and tactics, and included such activities as running, stair golf, exercises for strength and memory, beach football, balance board, as well as paddling on a SUP-board in the sea waves.
Apart from the competition, each participant also had an opportunity to try sports that are becoming more and more popular among different generations, such as disc golf, sport climbing, beach badminton, beach tennis.
BeActive Beach Games will continue on the natural beach of Portimao in Portugal, from September 3 to 4. This city has become a partner organization of the BeActive project, as it has won the title of the European Sports City of 2019 and hosts several hundred sports events almost all year round.
This year, the BeActive Beach Games took place in the Ventspils Beach area, urban area and other areas, covering almost the entire city. The program was prepared in cooperation with the Ghetto Games association and more than 20 Latvian sports federations and organizations, including also activities for people with reduced mobility and special needs. Partners of this year’s games: Latvian Disc Sports Union, Latvian Athletics Union, Latvian Basketball Union, Latvian Cycling Federation, Latvian Football Federation, Latvian Cheerleading Sports Federation, Latvian Mountaineers’ Union, Latvian Street Gymnastics Federation, Latvian Disc Golf Federation, Latvian Floorball Union, Latvian Paralympic Committee, Latvian Tug of War Federation, Latvian Lacrosse Federation, Latvian Skateboard Federation, Latvian Triathlon Federation, Latvian Rowing Federation, Latvian Handball Federation, Latvian Volleyball Federation, Latvian Rugby Federation, Latvian Surfing and SUP Federation, Latvian Badminton Federation, Latvian Tennis Union, Latvian Petanque Sports Federation, Yachting Union of Latvia, Velotrial Club “Karters”, "Latvijas Pludmale" Association, Ventspils Marathon Club, Latvian Sports for all Association.
Visit www.pludmalesspeles.lv to learn more about BeActive Beach Games, results and total scores.
BeActive Beach Games are designed to find new ways to attract people, regardless of age, health, fitness or skills, to an active lifestyle on beaches – both natural and artificially created (for example, in an urban setting). The sports games model has been created within the framework of the Erasmus+ project by the Latvian Sports Federations Council in cooperation with other European and international sports organizations. This year, families and representatives of sports organizations from nearly ten other European countries come to Ventspils for beach sports games to expand the movement of beach sports in their countries.