Daily gym class in schools

On 18 April, the initiative for more exercise for children and youth, called Tägliche Turnstunde (Daily Gym Class), brought to life by the Bundessportorganisation (BSO, Federal Sports Organisation), succeeded by gaining 150,844 signatures in favour of making a daily hour of physical exercise in schools mandatory.

On 24 April, the Tägliche Turnstunde was already a fixture in full-time schools, and they also adopted Austrian Minister of Education Claudia Schmied’s ten-point programme of desired changes.

From the get-go, politicians strongly sympathised with the idea, initiated by the president of the BSO, Peter Wittmann. All 183 parliament members signed for it in October 2012, and Chancellor Werner Faymann, President Heinz Fischer, as well as numerous ministers and other important personalities in politics, sports and media supported the effort.

According to the BSO, an hour of daily physical exercise not only improves the health of Austria’s youth, but also will create 26,000 jobs.

The new law has led to the formation of a focus group comprised of members of the BSO and the Ministry of Education, and the BSO is discussing specifics with Chancellor Faymann.

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