Between 8 and 10 May 2019, the ENAS Executive Committee (EC) is hosted in Athens by Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences for the second Committee Meeting of 2019.
About Panteion University and Chritos Roussos
Panteion University is a monothematic University located in central Athens, was founded in 1927 as the first University for Social and Political Sciences in Greece, has a student population of 19,000 enrolled at graduate and postgraduate level and 360 teaching and administrative staff.
Christos Roussos, the person responsible for sports at the University, acted as our amazing host. Having first joined ENAS in 2009 during the ENAS Conference in Tel Aviv, he is a very committed ENAS member and National Representative for Greece. Not having been able to join the ENAS events for 5 years during the financial crisis, he re-joined the event in Trondheim and is now more than ever ready to spread the word about ENAS in Greece. Because of this, as part of the meeting, he organised a meeting of the Greek University Sports Organisation.
Meeting the Greek University Representatives
Eleven colleagues from different Universities ended up joining the meeting where ENAS President, Mel Parker and ENAS Development Manager, Margo de Lange, gave a presentation on the ENAS network including reference figures from the European Eurobarometer for Sports and the results of the 2019 ENAS benchmark. The EC was happy to see that many of the representatives asked questions and showed an interest to get involved in the ENAS network.
Meeting the Rector
After having met with the University representatives, the ENAS EC also met with the Rector Prof. Ismini Kriari of Panteion University. She illustrated how heavily Greek Universities have been affected by the financial crisis with budgets at around one fifth of what they were before, leaving the bare minimum for core tasks. Obviously, this directly impacts also on the provision of sport & physical activity. Even more so because the law in Greece prescribes the provision of third level education and everything that comes with that to be provided completely free of charge, including physical activity. While the University Rector clearly indicated her understanding of the benefits of physical activity, unfortunately direct opportunities are limited in this context. Christos, from his side, is doing everything he can to keep students active regardless.
There is, however, some light at the end of the tunnel. Rector Kriari committed to raise awareness of the importance of sport & physical activity to the University experience and promised to bring the topic of ‘health and physical activity’ to the Greek Rector’s Conference. This is with the view of establishing a specific working group on ‘healthy minds and healthy bodies’. ENAS will provide some essential materials including information on physical activity services for students in Spain, Italy and Portugal and referencing the Lithuanian example when it comes to establishing the Health and Physical Activity working group inside the Rector’s Conference.
Goodbye Greece! Hope to see more University representatives joining our network and event soon!