European Lotteries and ENGSO Unite on Common Values

October 2, 2021 | Sports Betting

Sport, mental health and well-being for #BeActive citizens

BRUSSELS, Belgium (September 27, 2021) – Aligned with the objective of the European Week of Sport (23-30 September 2021), The European Lotteries (EL) and The European Sports NGO (ENGSO) highlighted the importance of sport, mental health and well-being during a joint webinar.

EL and ENGSO share the same core values of responsibility, sustainability and integrity and are unified in their efforts to promote mental health and well-being through sport and physical activity in order to engage citizens at the grassroots level to be more active. The objectives of the common SPIRIT Project (Sport & Psycho-social Initiative for Inclusive Training) is to enable national members to cooperate in engaging grassroots sport clubs, civil society organizations and local authorities in being part of the European Commission #BEACTIVE campaign with the specific focus of ensuring health through the promotion of mental health and well-being.

During the last 18 months, the pandemic has seriously affected the well-being of citizens as well as the infrastructure for grassroots sport to take place. As mental health and well-being influence the capability at being active, practicing sport and physical activity and taking care of our health, it is more important than ever to stay united and use our energy to cooperate in the long term and start new initiatives.

In the words of Stefan Bergh, ENGSO President, ‘‘Cooperation is a must. We must work together and include several stakeholders, from international organisations to local sport clubs, in order to address and prioritise mental health in and through sport. I would like to thank our long-term partner The European Lotteries, for a fruitful and inspiring cooperation, and for helping us improve the lives of Europeans through strengthening the grassroots sport movement in Europe”.

Hansjörg Höltkemeier, President of EL adds, ‘‘The pandemic has brought us all more digital interactions which no doubt has a negative impact on our physical health. As a result, the role of sport for physical and mental health is more important than ever. EL and ENGSO share common values and now is the time to follow up and accelerate our common initiatives and projects.”

Presentations and discussions focused on best practices and actions implemented by our respective Members at national and local level to promote well-being and mental health through sport and physical activity. The outcomes of the SPIRIT project were presented by ENGSO, as well as the experience from SPIRIT Partners on sport as a vehicle to promote mental health and being active among people with a migrant background (The Flemish Athletics Federation. When talking about health, it is vital that we talk about mental health. Sport can be a powerful tool to promote this. ENGSO Youth highlighted how mental ill-health is the most common health issue among young people and how we should support them through sport initiatives. Two EL Members (Norsk Tipping and OPAP) closed the webinar by emphasising the important role national lotteries play in supporting grassroots sport communities and providing a sustainable source of funding to social projects and sport in Europe.

During this year’s edition of the European Week of Sport, the European Commission, under the impulse of the Commissioner Gabriel, launched the new initiative Healthy Lifestyle for All to promote a cross-sectoral approach to address health and physical activity with the aim of establishing a community of practice across generations and social groups. EL and ENGSO are official Partners of the European Week of Sport and also now the Healthy Lifestyle for All initiative. To conclude the webinar, it is clear we share in the same core values and mental health in and through grassroot sports matters.


The European Lotteries (EL):

Lucy Lenaers-Mathieson, Communications Officer,


Polona Fonda, Communications Officer,

About the European Lotteries

The European Lotteries Association (EL) is the European umbrella organisation of national lotteries operating games of chance for the public benefit. EL has members from more than 40 European countries including all EU Member States. The association’s EU members contribute more than 20 billion EUR p.a. to the state budgets and the funding of sport, culture, social projects, research and other causes of general interest. Unlike many commercial online gambling operators, EL members only offer gambling and betting services in the jurisdictions in which they are licensed by the respective national government. Website:, Twitter and LinkedIn @EuropeLotteries


ENGSO is the European Sports NGO and the leading voice for voluntary-based grassroots sport in Europe. Together with our 38 members – National Sports Confederations, National Olympic Committees and other sports organisations from 34 European countries – we form a network that brings together people of different ages and backgrounds that share a passion for sport. We aspire to grassroots sport that promotes stronger communities, with the mission to represent, develop and advocate for voluntary-based sport in Europe – guided by our values: democracy, equality, inclusion, sustainability, integrity and education. Website:, Twitter and LinkedIn @ENGSOsport.

SOURCE: The European Lotteries Association (EL).

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