We will bring the world to Copenhagen for the European Week of Sport


Interview by Rachel Payne

Students from the Ollerup Academy of Physical Education on the Danish island of Funen love moving people. The international school has been an active supporter of the NowWeMOVE campaign since it started in 2012 and a new group of MOVE Agents are getting ready to create a “wave” of activity in their community and Copenhagen next week during the European Week of Sport (EWoS) in Denmark.

From Sunday 11 September to Saturday 17 September they will stage a variety of events, including the official EWoS flash mob FlashMOVE and a European Fitness Day event with elderly participants at Nørrebrohallen. We spoke to Cristiane Fuglsang, Acting Head of the International Academy (INTAC) at Ollerup about their plans for the week.

Why are you motivated to be part of the FlashMOVE and promote the European Week of Sport?

Cristiane: We participate in actions that promote physical activities because at Ollerup movement is part of our mission. Making people active and creating methods to facilitate this is our goal, together with our students. This year we will have a coordinated effort, where our international students will take to the streets of Copenhagen and our Danish students will activate the local community around Ollerup. We hope to create a week where we can spread the joy and the message of an active lifestyle to people of all ages.

The action in Copenhagen will have an informal character, since we will meet the people where they are – in the streets and around Copenhagen. The action around Ollerup will be more formal, and we have established contact with different institutions with the goal of activating people in all ages – from kids to adults, men and women, not forgetting the asylum seekers who study in our neighbourhood.

Where can people expect to see your flash mob and what should they look out for?

Cristiane: We will perform it at Rådhuspladsen (Copenhagen City Hall) and in front of Nørrebrohallen (sports facility in Nørrebro). We hope those two places can be the best venues to reach out to people and create a great impact. Apart from the flash mob (FlashMOVE) we have created 4 other categories:

  • Showcase events: our very skilled students will get the chance to do a performance for an audience in the streets.
  • Pop up events – Wednesday 14 September, we will bike all around Copenhagen and we will have pop up activities. Here the focus is on play, playfulness through movement and easy activities for all ages.
  • City as a tool for movement – Parkour activities, for example.
  • Get people active – we are prepared to offer short or longer activities for different groups of people – kindergarten children, clubs, workers, office workers… we are ready to move the world!

Have any of you been part of a flash mob before? If so, what was it like? And if not, how do you expect it to be?

Cristiane: We did a flash mob last year together with more than 1000 people and it was an amazing feeling – the energy that was created during the flash mob was amazing. This time it will be quite different because we are in a new city, with new students, who are cooperating in a common project for the first time. But we are positive about it and just wish for good weather – the energy and the movement will be up to us!

How many participants do you anticipate for your FlashMOVE and where do they come from?

Cristiane: We have around 40 people working on the flash mob and they come from all over the world – Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, China, Japan, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Estonia, New Zealand, Australia, Costa Rica, Canada, Finland, Germany, Morocco, Portugal and Denmark.

What do you think is unique about your event?

Cristiane: The unique thing about our event is that we are running two events at the same time:

  1. We will bring the world to Copenhagen
  2. We will bring the joy of movement to our local communityThe combination of having different settings and different approaches will be quite unique, because even though we are apart from each other, we still have the same goal – to bring movement into people’s lives.

What do you look forward to the most when it comes to the big day?

Cristiane: We hope to create an Ollerup “wave” around the places we are going to be and we look forward to seeing the result of our plans. So far we have had wonderful ideas, now we need to put them into practice! We look forward to seeing people discovering or rediscovering the joy of movement and helping them to keep on having a positive attitude towards movement after the event.

Last, but not least, I hope to inspire our international students to keep this movement going when they come back to their countries, inspiring their organisations, universities to take on this type of challenge in the future.