Play the Game 2022 celebrates 25 years of unique sports debate
Play the Game 2022 marks 25 years of bringing together stakeholders in sport to discuss and find solutions to the problems facing international sport. The challenge is no longer to break the silence around the problems, but to qualify the exponentially growing debates in the sports community.
Today, the 12th Play the Game conference opened in Odense, Denmark, with 350 participants who will be discussing some of the most pressing issues facing the world of sport today from the lack of human rights in sport over the fate of female athletes in Afghanistan to the urgent need for reform of the international Court of Arbitration for Sport and the loss of faith in the anti-doping system after the Russian doping scandal.
The debates will be informed by approximately 160 interventions from journalists, academics, athletes, NGOs, and sport leaders who have travelled to Denmark from all over the world to join the four-day event.
This conference also marks the 25th anniversary of Play the Game and the concept of bringing together researchers, journalists, and others with a stake in sport to talk about how to solve the many problems in international sport.
“Personally, I suffered from the illusion that as soon as the problems of corruption, doping, and abuse were brought into the public domain, someone would start tackling them and they would soon dwindle. Well, here we are, 25 years later, much richer in experience and somewhat poorer in illusions,” said international director of Play the Game, Jens Sejer Andersen in his opening speech.
While the problems in sport have not all been solved over the past 25 years, Play the Game can no longer call itself home for the homeless questions in sport, because on many issues the silence has been broken.
“25 years ago, I opened our conference by saying ‘It is our task to break the silence’. Now that the silence has been broken, it might be more correct to say: ‘It is our task to cut through the noise,’ and ensure that the exponential growth in the sports debate is accompanied by an equal growth in quality,” Andersen said.
Play the Game will be livestreaming key sessions from the conference on its website to allow anyone to follow the debates and learn from the interventions and speeches.