This year’s MOVE Week saw the border-towns of Valga (Estonia) and Valka (Latvia) coming together to promote cycling and physical activity.
In Estonia, where the modal share of cycling is only 5%, there is still a lot to be done to build a cycling culture. Looking to countries like Denmark where the modal share is 9%, they are inspired to do just this, and MOVE Week was the perfect opportunity to celebrate more cycling and more movement! The two towns also see cycling as a great opportunity for building cross-border tourism between Estonia and Latvia.
In close co-operation with Valga, Estonian NGO the Sport Year Foundation, organised the Livonia Sports Fair & Bike Parade. More than 70 participants took part in the event and over 20 volunteers were involved. Everybody involved loved it and they all hope to make it a yearly event.
Every man’s bicycle garage
In addition to the bike parade, the Bike Garage Valga was officially launched! An initiative of the Open Youth Centre in Valga, the ‘every man’s bicycle garage’ aims to develop a space for everyone to expand their know-how on cycling and for knowledge and skill sharing between different generations. The Bike Garage in Valga is about people rediscovering the joys of cycling while meeting their community. It will give technology enthusiasts the opportunity to construct bikes themselves and to do up old bikes as well as going on to provide services such as a bike rental scheme.
Cross-sectoral cycling promotion
Working hard to promote physical activity in Estonia, the Sport Year Foundation emphasizes synergy and encourages cross-sectoral collaboration between different interest groups. Organising MOVE Week for the second year running, they explained what it means to them: “This campaign builds synergies between different sports organizations and helps to highlight the importance of movement in society”.
Cross-border knowledge sharing
They hope that the Bike Garage in Valga will serve as an example for others across Estonia, and Europe, who want to develop something similar. In another demonstration of cross-border knowledge sharing, the Danish-Estonian Chamber of Commerce was eager to lend their support for the MOVE Week cycling event.
This was a unique MOVE Week event, in two towns, in two countries, coming together to promote cycling and physical activity. Good job Valka, Valga and the Sport Year Foundation!