More than 800 citizens and 30 sports clubs participated on September 23 in a successful festival held in Sofia to celebrate the Day of the Older People and the European Seniorforce Day in Bulgaria. Under the motto "Sport, health and active longevity", the event which took place in Borisova Gradina included several competitions, gymnastic performances and shows.
Totyu Mladenov, Minister of Labour and Social Policy and national coordinator of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations, opened the celebrations and welcomed the elders, greeting them for their inclusion, activity and enthusiasm. Other high level authorities attending the even are Violeta Stanicic, Head of the Information Office of the European Parliament in Bulgaria; Svilen Neykov, Minister of Physical Education and Sports; Yordanka Fandakova, Mayor of Sofia Municipality, and Enyu Boyadzhiev, Ambassador of the European Year 2012 in Bulgaria and patron of the festival.
They all promised to support to older people, not only in initiatives connected to the European Year 2012, but also in different social activities and programmes in the future. Mrs. Stanicic said that during the organisation of the event Professor Boyadzhiev had been so enthusiastic and perseverant that she is bewildered by the power and spirit the EY Ambassador shows at his age. “Sometimes he scolded me, sometimes he kissed my hand, but he didn’t stop to be active and insistent that the festival to be as good as possible. And today, you see the result...” she confessed.
The Mayor of Sofia, Mrs. Fandakova, picked out from the crowd her first teacher of physical sports and also expressed her admiration for those who remain active at an advanced age. She also shared that the motto of Sofia is “It grows, but it doesn’t get old”, which fits perfectly with the concept of Active Ageing.
The festival was also the frame to celebrate the Seniorforce Day in Bulgaria, an action day promoted this year by the European Commission in order to find new ways of engaging seniors in volunteering activities. During the event, participants were able to understand more about how to get involved in different social activities at the Seniorforce Day stand, where members of the National Alliance for Volunteering Action provided information and answered questions.
The festival was organised by the Information Office of the European Parliament in Bulgaria in partnership with Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, the Ministry of Physical Education and Sports, the association Sports for All and Sofia Municipality.
Click here to see pictures of the Seniorforce Day in Bulgaria.