President Siljanovska Davkova addresses the 18th European Congress of the International Federation for Physical Education and Sports

31 May 2024 | Press Releases

President Gordana Siljanovska Davkova addressed today in Ohrid the opening of the 18th European Congress of the International Federation for Physical Education and Sports, and the 6th Scientific Conference “Research in Physical Education, Sports and Health”. The Congress, which is held until 2 June in Ohrid, is organized by the Faculty of Physical Education, Sports and Health in cooperation with the Faculty of Pedagogy “St. Kliment Ohridski” and the Federation of Sports Educators of Macedonia.

Below is the integral speech of President Gordana Siljanovska Davkova.

Respected attendees,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to welcome you to Ohrid, to the Macedonian spiritual, cultural and sports capital. Here, 70 years ago, the Ohrid Swimming Marathon was held for the first time. On the shores of this Lake, the Macedonian swimming legends were born – Niko Nestor and Atina Bojadzi – the first Macedonian swimmers who, more than half a century ago, swam the English Channel, also known as La Manche.

Hence, there is no place with a greater symbolism than Ohrid for holding the European Congress of the International Federation for Physical Education and Sports.

Physical activity is one of the most important things for maintaining and promoting people’s physical and mental health. Exercising prevents many non-communicable diseases, improves cognitive abilities, improves sleep and reduces the possibility of anxiety and depression.

Even despite these obvious benefits, according to the OECD and World Health Organization estimates, one third of the adult European population is not physically active enough. It could result in over 11 million new cases of non-communicable diseases by 2050 and a huge budgetary burden on the health and social system of every country.

There are several reasons for this worrying situation. Physical activity, which in the past was an integral part of everyday life, is today placed on the margins of life. Due to the modern way of working and living, more and more people, including young people, are caught in the web of television and computer screens, social media and fast food.

How do we get out of this downward spiral? The answer lies in applying holistic approach to physical activity and sports.
In practice, this means helping people develop healthy habits and lead physically active lives.

Sport can be a school of life through which children and young people learn about Olympic values, about friendship, self-confidence, fair play and acceptance of diversity. The elderly, on the other hand, will be able to lead a healthy and fulfilling life, maintaining their physical condition regardless of age.

I believe that you, the European congress participants, with your expertise and experience can contribute to developing good policies for physical education. It is precisely with such holistic policies that we will build healthier, more active and more inclusive societies whose members will compete in achieving success.

Having said that, at the very end, let me congratulate the organizers and wish you a successful Congress.

Thank you.




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