Non-competitive sport events



Non-competitive sport events: A type of event that have other interests than “defining a winner” it rather seeks promoting participation, recreation and celebration. It creates powerful social ties and focuses on the community involvement at both organisational and participants level

Specific types of initiative this Activity Box applies to

All Non-Competitive (Sport for All) tournaments that normally occur in a short while (Less than 1 week)
. Exhibitions
. Local festivals
. Local school Sport days
. Other forms of massive street runs (non-competitive)


London Marathon 2021 is expected to reach over 100.000 participants: 50.000 running on streets and the other half virtually (161). Most runners (+90%) are amateur individuals moved just for the desire of being part of the run

Why is it so important


  • Offers Sport and physical activity possibilities to people that lack a more technical sporting background.
  • It can involve the community actively. An iconic city event (e.g., a massive street run) can bring additional impacts in financial and social spheres.
  •  It enhances volunteerism, as these spaces share knowledge, experience and bring others into the fold (TAFISA).
  • Income creation possibilities for event organisers (ISOs).
  • For the people who are often most underrepresented, excluded and disadvantaged, Sport for All events are unique chances to overcome these barriers.
  • Appreciation of diversity: A chance to learn, discover and share. Social cohesion and acceptance are vital factors for any individual´s well-being.
  • Creative thinking: Involving a wide range of people in developing your programme could provide new insights, needs and ideas.

International endorsement:

EU phisical activity guidelines 10 and 13

Sport organisations should provide events attractive to everyone and encourage contacts between people from different social groups and with different capabilities

Who global action plan on physical activity 
All stakeholders should engage and partner to organize and or support free whole-of-community events promoting physical activity

Barriers to sport that should be overcome

  • Discontinuance in the realization of events and lack of a longer-term vision to replicate them.
  • Entry fees and transportation difficulties.
  • Lack of equipment for specific types of Sport events.
  • Short time attachment to Sport and physical activity.
  • Non-competitive focus also prevents people with a Sport background to participate.
  •  Lack of time of participants.

Tips and key success factors

Shaping the image of the event:

  • Events need to be documented: create a record or a video that later on can make the event a tradition.
  • These events can have bilateral aims, such as crowdfunding, charity, and others. To see more about advocacy outcomes, check Activity Box 4.4.

Creativity and innovation are crucial:

  • There are a vast number of Sport actors willing to organize an innovative Sport event and limited number of participants. Creativity is key to producing an effective and unforgettable event.
  • Include ludic and appealing elements such as the use of customs, thematic themes, creative rules, among others.

Other tips:

  • Volunteers are a key success factor: Recognize their work with symbolic details.
  • Use of green materials and environmentally friendly practices.
  •  Get participants first “into your boat” before others do so.
  • Preventing injuries and accidents in events or regular training sessions: Additional Guidelines 7
  • Do not deliver a Sport event (in special massive ones) without a thorough and structured planning stage.
  • Involve different partners

Please also consider:
Appendix 3 offers additional guidelines for these events.
Additional guideline 8 provide recommendations regarding the event management process.

Available resources

Sample case

World Gymnaestrada
(FIG – Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique)

  • The World Gymnaestrada is one of the major activities, where it is the largest non-competitive gymnastics event held every 4 years.
  • FIG governs eight Sport, and Gymnastics for All is one of them.
  • Both a discipline and concept, Gymnastics for All is the foundation for all Gymnastics disciplines, physical movement and sporting activities, and offers a world of movement opportunities suitable for all genders, age groups, abilities, and cultural backgrounds.

More information:
Event official page: Click Here