A 40-day fitness program marks the end – 90 percent want a sequel to “Let's Go! Graz”

At the end of February, the Graz sports year officially came to an end, and those responsible can look back on an impressive balance sheet: the number of "sports refusers" has fallen due to the many initiatives, and the number of members in sports clubs has increased. With the 40-day fitness program called "Faulheit fasten", the people of Graz are accompanied through the fasting period at the end.

Where the sports year and the “Let's Go! Graz" were officially opened, exactly one year later, on March 3nd, 2021, the line was drawn under the movement initiative: on the Grazer Schloßberg. Over the past twelve months, this has repeatedly been the focus of “Let's Go! Graz”, for example at the popular Schloßberg Challenge with the photo point or as one of seven stations at the Seven Summits. And also as an event location as part of the 2st Special Olympics Dance Sport World Championships in August, which was a flagship project of the sports year, the casemates and the Schloßberg were the focus.

Sports Councilor Kurt Hohensinner and program coordinator Markus Pichler can look back with great satisfaction on the past twelve months. “We have put a year behind us that is second to none. It was the largest movement initiative that Graz has ever experienced. Sport and exercise clearly took center stage, we not only achieved our goal, but actually even exceeded our expectations,” says Hohensinner happily.

Pichler can substantiate this with impressive figures: "The top priority was always that we raise awareness and increase the need for exercise and sport. We primarily wanted to motivate the people of Graz to exercise more with low-threshold campaigns. The results of the study that we commissioned speak for themselves: Thanks to our initiative, the activities of the people of Graz have increased significantly.”

Results and figures from the study by m(Research (750 respondents):

  • 96% stated that Exercise very important/rather important
  • Compared to the 2019 study (with same questions) the number of people who exercise more than twice a week has increasedTo 28%. 69% exercise at least once a week regularly (in 2019 it was still 64%).
  • The number of Passive athletes or sports refusers, i.e. those who never do sports, was reduced from 10 to 7%, ie she went 30% back.
  • Two thirds of the Graz population know the slogan "Let's go! Graz" and know that this initiative stands for sport and movement.
  • The number of members in Graz sports clubs increased by 25%, in 2019 it was 12% of Grazers who work in sports clubs, now it is 15%.
  • 89% of respondents have indicated that the Let's Go! Graz” also in the years to come should be carried out.

Fitness program during Lent and the urgent appeal for the future

Of course, there is also a movement action at the end. And because the last press conference coincided with Ash Wednesday, those responsible have considered a 40-day fitness program for Lent. “The sports year is over, but exercise and sport should still have a very high priority for the people of Graz. Of course, this fitness program can be carried out at any time, it doesn't just work during Lent," says Hohensinner with a smile.

The poster with the exercises is available here www.letsgograz.at/faulheit-fasten to download, various exercises are occasionally explained in videos by sports clubs and associations in Graz. These can also be seen on the homepage and on the Let's Go YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrfthNUlX2FIvCmYjq4zysw

Graz will soon join the "Global Active Cities" network. As for the continuation of the “Let's Go! Graz" is concerned, the association Active City Graz has already made an urgent appeal to the new city government, as Pichler emphasizes: "The data and facts are on the table: All scientific studies at this time, regardless of who and where they are made , show one thing clearly: Exercise and sport are becoming more and more important in view of rising health and care costs. Prevention through exercise is an absolute necessity for our society and the social system. I have to and want to say it very clearly: It would be negligent not to continue this movement initiative!”

City Councilor Hohensinner also refers to the urgency: "In line with our sports strategy 2030, we want the sports year to continue to have a positive and lasting effect - on the one hand through membership in the Global Active Cities, on the other hand through other focus and low-threshold physical activity campaigns. I will launch a corresponding initiative in the upcoming city government meeting.”