“We stay at home, we enjoy sedentarism”: Romania, “argued” with the movement. The event that wants to change things

Romania is the country where mass sport is on the ground! Here are some statistics that show the scale of the disaster in this chapter.

Brașov Running Festival will take place again this year in September

Only 2% of Romanians practice sports regularly. 62% of Romanians do not do sports, as a result we are in 4th place in the EU for sedentary lifestyle. And yet all is not lost. In Romania, running is on an upward trend. From this point of view, we are aligned with what is happening globally. In 2023, 43% of Millennials and Zoomers (Gen Z) runners globally signed up for competitive sports to stay motivated and physically active. 77% of Gen Z runners feel more connected to others when they find friends or relatives on sports apps.

In the context in which official data shows that 62% of Romanians do not practice any physical activity, Brașov Running Festival, the most important festival dedicated to running in Romania, is counting more and more on the young generations to bring a new breath to the local sports landscape. Incidentally, these estimates are also supported by the Strava study and The Mass Participation Pulse, conducted by Massive.

According to Massive, the number of amateur runners in Europe who participated in sporting events in 2023 has returned to pre-pandemic levels, with 41% of them expressing their intention to participate in at least five sporting events in 2024, despite the financial difficulties caused by inflation. The report also shows that people aged 18-34 show an increasing openness to running events, including in Romania.

Running is also the most popular sport uploaded on social fitness platforms, according to Strava's latest global study – Year in Sport, between October 2022 and September 2023, which shows that 43% of Millennials and Zoomers (Gen Z) s – last year they signed up for running competitions to stay motivated in their relationship with sport.

The commitment of a person who wants to participate in a sporting event is an important step to combat the lack of motivation, as he will establish a recurring training plan, preparing himself, physically and mentally, for the competition. In fact, if we look at the statistics provided by Strava, the largest online sports aggregator at the moment, we find that 90% of amateur runners believe that a carefully constructed routine helps them to practice this sport regularly“, said Daniel Santa, director of the Brașov Running Festival competition.

According to his statements, Romania needs, more than ever, a general revitalization of sports, in the context in which the European Commission shows, in the last Eurobarometer published in 2022, that 62% of Romanians do not practice any sport, while only 2 % exercise regularly, down by 4% compared to the last study published in 2017. The Poles, Greeks and Portuguese are more sedentary than the Romanians. At the opposite pole, Sweden, Denmark and Luxembourg are the top most active regions, with less than 20% of the population not doing sports.

If we refer to the main reasons why Europeans don't do sports, 38% of Romanians say they don't have time, and if they choose to do a physical activity, 22% go to parks or outdoor areas, looking for communities or meetings with friends and acquaintances.

Athletics provide a sense of community

Running athletics translates not only by discouraging sedentarism, but also by connecting the runner to the community. In this sense, Brașov Running Festival, an event that celebrates running, in the heart of Transylvania, aimed to bring together the Brașov community, but also the communities of runners at the national level, respectively from over 11 European and non-European countries.

Athletics is a paradox in the world of sports because, despite its individual character, it is a sport that brings communities together. I noticed that in the last two years there has been a visible appetite for running among Romanians, and the trend is to find a training partner to increase physical, social and emotional motivation. In Brașov Running Festival communication, we take care to remind people that running also involves a dose of “fun”, in addition to the health benefit, and we encourage them to train with friends or communities in the city“, added Daniel Santa.

Apps or platforms created for social fitness have a significant contribution, as sharing running sessions, routes, or workouts helps to combat the feeling of loneliness. According to the Strava report, 77% of Gen Z runners feel more connected to those around them when they find their friends, relatives or colleagues on sports apps, and 41% of them prefer to train with a friend.

About Brasov Running Festival

Brașov Running Festival is the most important athletic event in the World Athletics calendar, in SE Europe. The competition, organized in Brașov, starting in 2021, comprises an annual 10 km road running race, accredited by the World Athletics Elite Label, entitled “tRUNsylvania International 10K“. Beyond this, the running festival also includes a multitude of other races for amateurs, children, and professionals.

The races are run on a loop with a length of 3,494 m, using the same finish line, but having starting points that vary according to the length of the stage. In 2023, Brașov Running Festival also organized, for the first time, the one-mile race – “European Road Mile”, in which more than 20 European athletes from countries such as Turkey, Ireland, Holland, Italy, Austria, Greece competed , Bulgaria.