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Event mulls winter sports future

On May 25, 2016, the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI) organised its first European Winter Summit at Flanders’ Bike Valley.

Key players of the winter sport industry gathered to discuss the main challenges and possible solutions for the sector in order to effectively enhance participation in winter sport activities.

Generally, the attractiveness of winter sports is dwindling and there is a clear need to build drivers for the attractiveness of winter sport activity.

Participants agreed that such a holistic approach calls for the set-up of a multi-stakeholder platform, involving all the main stakeholders active in winter sports and willing to work on solutions.

Several initiatives were presented from which the winter sector can profit, including a number of EU funding programs such as COSME; Horizon 2020, Erasmus + Education training youth, European Structural and Investment Funds and the European Fund for Strategic Investments.

The event agreed to formalize the winter summit concept and invite more stakeholders around the table to maximise cooperation.

To develop long-term strategies, another meeting will be held in 2017. This will strengthen the alliance by developing the required multi-stakeholder platform.

Common winter sports include skiing, snowboarding, figure skating, luge, bobsleigh, curling, snowmobiling and ice hockey.