15.11.2023 Madrid




Honouring Change-Makers, Building Healthy Futures

Welcome to the ISCA Awards 2023, which recognise and celebrate outstanding contributions in the field of Health-Enhancing Physical Activity (HEPA). Building upon the success of previous year’s ISCA Awards, this year's edition focuses on honouring exceptional initiatives, activities, and tools that foster mental wellbeing through physical activity, empower older adults to lead active lives and create supportive environments where students can thrive physically, mentally and emotionally. Additionally, we are excited to acknowledge the exceptional individuals who have positively impacted the health and wellbeing of socially disadvantaged groups.

The ISCA Awards 2023 will highlight remarkable initiatives, activities and tools in three health-focused categories, along with exceptional Role Models who work with socially disadvantaged groups. We are thrilled to announce the topics for this year's awards:

Physical activity and mental health

Physical activity and healthy, active ageing

Health-promoting schools

Role models in health for socially disadvantaged groups (citizens' choice)

We believe that these categories encompass crucial areas that have the power to transform lives and communities. The Awards aim to inspire, motivate and showcase exceptional work that promotes wellbeing and a healthier society.

We believe
in the power of inspiration.

ISCA Secretary General


Category 1: Physical activity and mental health

In this category, we celebrate the profound impact of physical activity on mental wellbeing. The importance of this topic cannot be overstated. Initiatives that successfully integrate physical activity into innovative approaches, interventions, or programmes to enhance mental wellbeing are deserving of recognition.

Regular physical activity, exercise, or sport brings significant health benefits beyond the physical advantages. Engaging in physical activity has positive effects on mental health – it promotes relaxation and boosts energy levels; reduces symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression; improves sleep quality, cognitive function and memory; boosts mood, concentration, alertness energy levels; and in general, providing a greater zest for life.

Recognising the transformative power of physical activity on mental wellbeing, we aim to inspire and raise awareness through honouring initiatives that effectively incorporate physical activity to promote mental health. Join us in celebrating projects that prioritise the connection between physical activity and mental health, and let us inspire a broader movement towards wellbeing through health-enhancing physical activities.

Category 2: Physical activity and active ageing

This category recognises the significance of physical activity in promoting active and healthy ageing. We recognise and celebrate initiatives that empower older adults to maintain an active lifestyle and reap the numerous benefits it offers.

As individuals age, staying physically active becomes increasingly important. Engaging in regular physical activity plays a vital role in preserving physical function, mobility, and independence. It helps to maintain strength, flexibility, and balance, reducing the risk of falls and injuries. Moreover, physical activity contributes to maintaining a healthy weight, managing chronic conditions, and enhancing overall wellbeing. Beyond the physical advantages, physical activity positively impacts mental health and cognitive function in older adults. It promotes a positive mood, reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression, and boosts self-esteem and cognitive abilities. Embracing active ageing through physical activity not only improves the quality of life for older adults but also fosters social connections, reduces isolation, and enhances community engagement. It creates opportunities for older adults to lead fulfilling lives, pursue new interests, and contribute actively to society.

By acknowledging initiatives that prioritise physical activity among older adults, we aim to inspire and promote active, healthy ageing. Join us in celebrating projects that empower older adults to stay active, maintain their vitality, and enjoy a fulfilling and healthy lifestyle.

Category 3: Health-promoting schools

This category celebrates schools that have successfully implemented comprehensive health promotion strategies. We commend educational institutions that prioritise the wellbeing of their students by fostering a culture of health and creating environments that promote physical activity, healthy eating, and overall wellness. These schools serve as exemplary models of holistic health promotion.

Health-promoting schools go beyond academic learning and prioritise the overall wellbeing of their students. They provide a supportive and inclusive environment where students can thrive physically, mentally, and emotionally. From innovative physical education programmes that encourage active lifestyles to initiatives that promote healthy eating habits and positive lifestyle choices, these schools demonstrate a commitment to the health and wellbeing of their students.

By recognizing and honouring health-promoting schools, we aim to inspire other educational institutions to prioritise the health of their students. Together, we can create a generation of healthier and happier individuals who are equipped with the knowledge and skills to lead balanced and fulfilling lives.

Category 4: Role models in health for socially disadvantaged groups (citizens' choice)

This category recognises individuals who have made remarkable contributions in delivering healthy physical activities for socially disadvantaged groups. We honour the role models who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of individuals facing social disadvantage. These individuals have gone above and beyond to create inclusive and accessible health and physical activity programmes, services, or interventions that address the specific needs and challenges faced by marginalised communities.

Health inequalities persist among socially disadvantaged groups, making it crucial to highlight and celebrate those who are actively working to bridge these gaps. The role models in this category have shown leadership, empathy, and innovation in their efforts to ensure that everyone, regardless of their social background, has access to quality health programmes and physical activity opportunities.

Through their work, these role models have not only improved the physical health outcomes of socially disadvantaged groups but have also made a positive impact on their mental wellbeing, social inclusion, and overall quality of life. By recognising and honouring these individuals, we aim to inspire others to follow in their footsteps, fostering a more equitable and inclusive society where everyone has equal opportunities to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.



Gain visibility and recognition for your achievements

All eligible applicants will have their initiatives listed on the ISCA Awards webpage.

All shortlisted finalists (3 from each award category) will have a description of their initiative on the webpage.

All shortlisted finalists will receive communication support from ISCA in their efforts to promote their awards and nominations.

All shortlisted finalists will be awarded a trip to Madrid, Spain to showcase their work on the global stage, and be announced at the award show during ISCA’s MOVE Congress 2023 15-17 November 2023 (flight, hotel and fee covered*).

*flight, accommodation and event participation at the MOVE Congress 2023 covered by ISCA if they are based in an EU country or Norway, Iceland, Ukraine and Moldova (other shortlisted applicants will receive a 500 euro contribution to their flight costs, with their accommodation and event participation fully covered)

Win a cash prize

The winners from each category will receive a cash prize of 3000 euro


Eligbility criteria

The application process will commence with an open call in June and July, followed by an evaluation by a ISCA’s panel of experts.

To be eligible for this evaluation, applicants must fulfil the following criteria:

Applications are welcome from entities or individuals from various sectors, including NGOs, public sector, private sector and education.

Can apply from any country in the world

The application should be submitted in English, including the required data, by the stated deadline. Applicants may utilise translation tools such as Google Translate if necessary.

The initiative or project being nominated must have produced positive results within the last three years.


If the eligibility criteria are met, the jury will assess the applications. Each application should demonstrate a noteworthy practice in one of the four award categories. While applicants can apply to multiple categories, they will only be shortlisted for a single award. The application form encourages applicants to address some or all of the following key questions in one single text submission:

Questions for the 1-3 category:

Who are you/your organisation?

Who are you/your organisation?

What is the objective of your initiative/activity/tool?

Describe the approaches, activities, or work implemented in your initiative.

How do you involve users/target group in the design of activities?

Who are the key partners or collaborators involved in the implementation of your initiative?

What challenges or barriers have you overcome in the process?

What makes your initiative/activity/tool unique and stand out from others?

What impact or outcomes have you achieved through your initiative?

How do you ensure visibility and raise awareness about your initiative/activity/tool?

Questions for the Role Model (Category 4)

Describe the outstanding work and achievements of the nominee in promoting health and wellbeing among socially disadvantaged groups.

How has the nominee made a significant impact on the lives of the socially disadvantaged through their initiatives or activities?

What makes the nominee's work unique and deserving of recognition?

How has the nominee demonstrated leadership, dedication and innovation in their efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of socially disadvantaged groups?

Please provide any additional information or supporting evidence that showcases the nominee's exceptional contributions. Note: The above questions are to be answered by the nominating person on behalf of the nominee. Please provide detailed and compelling responses that highlight the nominee's remarkable work and contributions.

We have designed a novel process that allows applicants to present their work in their own distinctive style while emphasising their strengths. Applicants have the freedom to determine the level of detail they consider necessary for their work to be evaluated. Moreover, they can provide supporting materials such as pictures, videos, and websites to enrich their applications.

The ISCA Awards 2023 aim to foster a profound impact and generate tangible benefits for the winners and recipients. By acknowledging their exceptional contributions, we strive to inspire others, amplify their voices, and encourage the replication of successful practices. The Awards serve as a platform to elevate health and physical activities, promoting values of inclusivity, innovation, collaboration and excellence.


Application Period is now Closed

Need help or advice?

If you have any questions regarding this form or your application, please contact Liina Sepp


  • All applications will be assessed by the jury and 3 shortlisted applications per category will be announced on 20 September 2023.
  • The jury will select 3 winners (1 per first three categories) and announce them at the award show on 15 November 2023 in Madrid.
  • The people’s choice award voting will start among 3 shortlisted from the 4th category applications online on 21 of September 2023 and will run until 21 October 2023. The winner will also be announced on 15 November 2023.

Awards ceremony:

All 12 shortlisted candidates be invited to the ISCA Awards 2023: Health celebration at the MOVE Congress in Madrid on 15 November 2023. They will have their flight, accommodation and event participation at the MOVE Congress 2023 covered by ISCA if they are based in an EU country or Norway, Iceland, Ukraine and Moldova (other shortlisted applicants will receive a 500 euro contribution to their flight costs, with their accommodation and event participation fully covered).


ISCA’s secretariat will assess the eligibility of the applications based on the eligibility criteria outlined above.

A jury will evaluate the remaining applications. Their evaluation is based on their expertise and the provided information and will be done by scoring each application. The final winners will be selected after the jury’s deliberations.

The “Citizens' Choice” voting online will determine the winner among the shortlisted candidates in the Role Model category.


The ISCA Awards 2023 will be presented to the winners at
the MOVE Congress on 15 November 2023 in Madrid, Spain.

15 JUNE 2023 Call for applications opens
23 JULY 2023 Deadline for submission of applications
1 AUGUST 2023 Eligible applicants announced on ISCA Awards website
20 SEPTEMBER 2023 Announcement of the shortlisted candidates
21 SEPTEMBER 2023 Public voting for Role model starts
21 OCTOBER 2023 Public voting closes
15 NOVEMBER 2023 ISCA Awards 2021 celebration in Madrid

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