PtG Article 26.01.2017

Dutch minister paves the way for Play the Game 2017 in Eindhoven

The Dutch Minister for Health, Welfare and Sport, Edith Schippers, has secured financial support for taking the next edition of the Play the Game conference to The Netherlands in November 2017

After hosting its two latest conferences on home turf in Aarhus, Denmark, Play the Game is once again moving abroad. From Sunday 26 to Thursday 30 November 2017 Play the Game will for the first time take place in The Netherlands in cooperation with a coalition of Dutch partners.

This has become clear after the Dutch Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, Edith Schippers, has decided to provide a € 100,000 support for the event which will take place in Eindhoven at the Van Der Valk Hotel.

According to the minister, the overall goals of Play the Game – to achieve transparency, democracy and freedom of expression in world sport – is fully in line with what the Dutch government works for:

“These are critical times for world sports. Over the last years we have been startled by numerous scandals. Doping, match fixing or corruption. Each incident nibbling away at the integrity of sports. To tackle the threats we face, we need to join forces each from our own responsibility.

"Open, unrestricted public debate among the world’s leading journalists, independent experts and sports officials is fundamental if we want to reach sustainable solutions. For 20 years, Play the Game has proven its ability to arrange high-quality sports debates. That is why I am honored that this year’s Play the Game conference is hosted here in The Netherlands. Let’s make this a critical and constructive conference about the important cause that binds us all: fair and clean sports, worldwide,” Edith Schippers says.

For Play the Game, the Dutch interest is a welcomed opportunity to refresh the conference content and style. For many years, Play the Game has had close cooperation and dialogue with several groups and individuals in Dutch sport, who are at the forefront of creativity and innovation in the sector:

“We are thankful to our Dutch partners and to the Minister for opening a new dimension in our cooperation. In the international perspective, the Netherlands represents a modern and democratic approach to sport in its widest sense, and our Dutch partners have the expertise and vision to ensure that also our 2017 conference will be cutting edge in world sport,” says Play the Game’s founder and international director Jens Sejer Andersen.

Among the partners at this stage are the national umbrella organisation for sport, NOC*NSF, Mulier Institute, Utrecht University, ARKO Sports Media and Sport eXperience. More local and national organisations are expected to be involved as the planning proceeds.

Vibrant environment

The main reason for choosing Eindhoven as the venue has been its vibrant environment of sports entrepreneurs.

"Sport at elite level as well as grassroots level is looking into a rapidly changing playing field, and the city of Eindhoven has a number of enterprises working strategically with the integration of technology, design and know-how in the field of sport. We are quite sure that this very dynamic environment will be of great inspiration to the conference," says Henrik H. Brandt, director of Play the Game and the Danish Institute for Sports Studies.

The mayor of Eindhoven, John Jorritsma, welcomes Play the Game:

”As the heart of the Brainport region, the city of Eindhoven has transformed from an industrial town to a city channelling its full energy into technology, design and knowledge. Also in the field of sports, we bring three elements together to open new ways for sports participation and excellence: to achieve transparency, democracy, and freedom of expression in world sport. Therefore we strongly support the global goals of Play the Game and look forward to showing how cooperation and innovation can strenghten the world of sports.”

The programme of Play the Game 2017 is still to be defined in detail, but it is already clear that sports governance and the fight against corruption in sport will once again be a dominant theme. Not only to secure continuity from earlier conferences, but also because the conference will gather representatives of governments, sport and research institutions from all EU-member states and a variety of other countries, as part of an Erasmus+ project aiming at strengthening national sports governance.

The ongoing battle between governmental and sporting authorities about the future of the World Anti-Doping Agency will also be a prominent issue, as well as threats to the integrity and sustainability of major sports events. As already noted, there will also be a strong emphasis on how technology can contribute to develop the everyday sports life for citizens and associations around the world.

Play the Game expects to open registration and launch a call for papers within a few weeks and you can find more details about the conference and the venue on the Play the Game 2017 website.

Contact person, Play the Game:

Jens Sejer Andersen, international director, – mobile phone +45 20 71 07 01

Contact person in Eindhoven: