I know this might appear as a frivolous idea or that it might resemble Julia Farrugia Portelli's portfolio, but from what I am seeing as a person involved in Physical Activity and Sport, nothing is being done to encourage healthy lifestyles. I truly appreciated the press conference related to the fight against obesity, but the obesity discourse is not a standalone aim. I am not going to stay listing all the benefits here, but I think that it is about time that Physical Activity and Sport are treated in a separate way by the government. The current government's main focus for sport is just winning medals. This can be just one way forward - investment in facilities, investment in athletes, more weight to Sport Malta. Fully agree. But we can't stop there. The majority of the population are not athletes. We must seriously instil in our population the love for being active. We must start this from amongst school children. Physical Education and Physical Activity in schools must be taken seriously. I have been teaching PE for the last 20 years, and what we discussed in 2001, we are still discussing it now. Nothing, absolutely nothing has changed. There are simple (yes, very simple) changes that can be implemented and that can be the start for a way forward. But the right people need to be consulted. We cannot develop policies for PE in schools by discussing with coaches, administrators, politicians. We must involve in these discussions the PE teachers, the Institute for PE and Sport at University and the Sports Department at MCAST. There are people who have a multitude of knowledge, who have studied and researched all this, but all their precious work is falling on deaf ears because the policy makers' main aim is winning a medal at the Olympic Games. I believe in treating the two areas (i.e. Sport and Physical Activity) separately. Even a simple dictionary definition separates them. I truly believe the PN should suggest once again the idea of having a Minister of Sport and Healthy Lifestyle (or Minister for Physical Activity). A Minister, not only a Parliamentary Secretary. This is an issue which needs to be taken seriously, which needs to be fought deeply. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to express ourselves.
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