Marita Engzelius has incorporated a range of sports, from horseriding to golf, into her lifestyle from an early age. She believes that sporting activity teaches people great values, which is why she is a strong supporter of the European Week of Sport and its #BeActive campaign.

Who introduced you to sport and what sports did you try when you were younger?

My dad introduced me to golf at the age of 13. Before then, I was a very active horseback rider. I was in the stable almost every day until I turned 16. I tried other things like tennis, dance and theatre, but it was really only horses – and later golf – that got my full attention.

What about sport makes you happy?

I am a true believer that all sports give people great values, especially through the childhood and teenage years. I also love all types of sports because it brings people together, either as supporters and fans, or as participants.

Besides golf, what sports do you do actively and why?

When I find time, I love hiking and cross country skiing.

What positive effects does a sporty lifestyle have?

Being active releases endorphins in the body, which makes you happier. This reason alone is so important that everyone should try to do something active every day. Unfortunately, our modern lifestyles do not make it easy for most people. Still, in my opinion, being active will give most people better self-esteem and make them become a better version of themselves.

What does the #BeActive campaign mean to you and why do you support it?

Being active means happier and healthier people. It’s important for me to underline that “being active” does not have to mean running around outside every day in the woods, but can mean creating some time, with or without your friends, to connect with yourself in a meaningful environment for your body and mind.

How do you use your position to help inspire other people to have an active lifestyle?

It’s important for me to be a good role model and spread the joy that comes with being active. I think it is important we give this message to young people so they start being active at an earlier age.

Do you want to share a story on how your active lifestyle helped you to overcome a problem?

I have experienced at times that an intense workout has resolved certain emotional issues I have had. On the contrary, if I let myself get into an inactive habit, these feelings sometimes become very overwhelming and much harder to overcome. It takes much longer for me to resolve the issues and negative feelings. Being active helps me focus and it makes me happy in general!