PtG Article 21.11.2014

Play the Game 2015 returns to Aarhus

A strong commitment from various partners in the city of Aarhus secures the return of Play the Game 2015 to the city next year.

After a range of fruitful meetings with representatives from the city last week, it is agreed that Play the Game will once again host its conference in Denmark’s second largest city, Aarhus.

The ninth edition of the Play the Game conference is expected to attract around 400 participants from all over the world to the Helnan Marselis Hotel, the conference venue, from 26-29 October 2015.

As at previous conferences, Play the Game will ask some of the world’s leading journalists, researchers, sports leaders and other decision makers to add new perspectives to sport’s global challenges: match-fixing, doping, corruption in the federations, far too expensive mega-events and the need for a stronger effort for mass participation in physical activity.

“During the past 4-5 years, Play the Game’s influence in international sports politics has grown steadily and we hope to count on participation from some of the harshest critics of sport and from those who hold the power to shape the future sports policies: the European Union, the Council of Europe, UNESCO and hopefully also some of large sports organisations,” says Play the Game’s international director, Jens Sejer Andersen.

“After our last conference in Aarhus in 2013, the participants repaid by giving the conference the best evaluation ever, which is one of the reasons why we are very grateful for the city sending such clear signals for a continued commitment.”

Aarhus will be European Capital of Culture in 2017 and Andersen points to the city’s motto for this event, “Rethink”, as a challenge that international sport has to take on in order to come up with solutions to the challenges mentioned.

Alderman for the Department of Culture and Citizens' Services in Aarhus, Rabih Azad-Ahmad sees the return of the conference to the city as a means to add to the city’s international profile in the lead-up to 2017 where Aarhus is European Capital of Culture:

“I am very pleased that Aarhus will host the Play the Game conference again. Aarhus has been appointed European Capital of Culture because we have offered ourselves as a laboratory for rethought solutions and right now, the world of sports is faced with a number of challenges in need of a rethink to succeed. I am looking forward to Aarhus and Play the Game casting a ‘rethink’ on the global challenges of global sport together,” says Azad-Ahmad.

The first among many partners for the conference has already accepted. The Danish School of Media and Journalism (DMJX) will, like at previous conferences, assign a class of students to cover the conference continuously and supply the public with fresh and untraditional perspectives to the international sports political debate.

More information

Read more about the Play the Game conferences here