PtG Article 14.10.2010

Major reshuffle of Programme Committee for next Play the Game conference

By appointing 11 out of 15 new names, the board of Play the Game has carried out the biggest make-over of its Programme Committee in more than a decade. A blend of international experts in sports science, media, business and politics will in the coming year contribute with “advice regarding which themes and speakers appear on the programme of the international conferences” as the statutes of the institution lay down.

“A rich and relevant content is the key to success for Play the Game, and since the early years we have depended heavily on the experience, knowledge and creativity that experts outside our organization could provide. We are grateful that once again a group of excellent people are willing to engage in creating a unique forum for sports political debate,” says Jens Sejer Andersen, International Director of Play the Game.

“The fact that we have now replaced more persons than we usually do, is in no way an expression of lack of satisfaction with the outgoing members. The reshuffle is meant partly to introduce more women on the committee, and partly to refresh our conference concept by inviting people who have so far looked at Play the Game from the outside. Seven of the new members have never attended a Play the Game conference.”

The number of women on the committee has risen from two to five, and the host organization – the German Sport University Cologne – has appointed a total of four members. The first meeting of the committee takes place on the 28 October at the German Sport University Cologne, almost one year before the conference which runs from 3 to 6 October 2011.

The committee is composed as follows:

  • Annette Hofmann, Professor, Ludwigsburg University of Education, President of the International Society for the History of Physcial Education and Sport, Vice-President of the German Gymnastics Federation (appointed by ICSSPE)
  • Andreas Selliaas, International consultant, The Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports, Norway
  • Christer Ahl, USA/Sweden, MBA, former chairman of the IHF Playing Rules and Referees Commission, web journalist at
  • Daniela Schaaf, Dr., scientific researcher, Institute of Communication and Media Resarch, German Sport University Cologne
  • Frits Ahlstrøm, Consultant, former Senior Media Officer of UEFA, Switzerland/Denmark
  • Henrik H. Brandt, Director, Danish Institute for Sports Studies, Denmark
  • Ian Nuttall, Founder, Xperiology / and Board Member, European  Venue Management Institute, Italy/UK
  • Jens Weinreich, Journalist and blogger,, Germany
  • Jörg-Uwe Nieland, scientific researcher, Institute of Communication and Media Resarch, German Sport University Cologne
  • Kimberly S. Schimmel, PhD, Associate Professor, Kent State University, expert in urban politics, megaevents, and the political economy of sport
  • Letizia Paoli, Prof. Dr., Faculty of Law of Leuven University, Belgium, expert in organized crime
  • Michael Groll, Dr, Lecturer, Institute of European Sport Development and Leisure Studies, German Sport University Cologne
  • Michael Sauer, scientist, Manfred Dönike Institut für Dopinganalytik, German Sport University Cologne
  • Mogens Kirkeby, President, International Sport and Culture Association, Denmark
  • Nikki Dryden, lawyer, USA, Olympian swimmer, advocate for sport, development and human rights