Being skinny and muscular has become an imperative of sorts promoted by both the media and one’s environment, thus turning exercising, which comes with many health benefits, into an aesthetical issue. In order to achieve the desired results as fast as possible, recreational athletes tend to use various supplements without prior consultation. Such supplements have become widely available and can be obtained not only at various specialized shops but also at fitness centers that are regarded as the biggest promoters of such products.
Only a handful of trainers and coaches are aware of the significance of taking various stimulating substances and of their harmfulness, and a large number of them are actually undereducated on the issue. Furthermore, for the most part, recreational athletes still do not understand or know much about the consequences of taking banned athletic performance-enhancing substances, which is why the main goal of Just Sport is to educate the target groups about the threats and harmful effects of doping. Apart from trainers and recreational athletes at fitness centers or gyms, the target groups include educational and healthcare institutions, sports organizations, and policy- and decision-makers on the local, regional and national level, as well as the general population and EACEA as the contracting authority.
Seeing as amateur athletes are not subject to doping controls and the effects of doping on their health are the same as with professional athletes, it is vital to react in the most appropriate way possible so as to reduce this growing public health issue.
Over the 18-month period, during which Just Sport will be implemented, the six partner countries will carry out a number of activities that include research and analyses of the existing documents so as to identify the best global and EU practices and find the best ways of introducing such practices on the local, regional and national level. Furthermore, questionnaires will be distributed to trainers and recreational athletes at fitness centers to identify their habits of using supplements, and there will also be a number of anti-doping training modules for the target groups as well as various other events for them and the partner organizations.