PtG Article 11.04.2022

Play the Game 2022 presents programme with sharper focus on sport and geopolitics

While launching the first programme overview for Play the Game 2022 in June, the organisers stress that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has provoked shifts in the priorities of the conference.

As one global crisis seems to follow another, sport is once again forced to think about its role in the world. While the COVID-19 crisis temporarily shut down both grassroots sport and professional leagues, the pandemic now seems to be almost forgotten by the public as the attention has shifted towards Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“It may seem almost inappropriate to discuss sports politics at a moment when millions of people in our region seek shelter from bombs and terror. However, sport has played an important political role both before and after the start of the war, and it is essential that we discuss how sport can most effectively contribute to democracy, peace and international understanding,” says Jens Sejer Andersen, founder and international director of Play the Game which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

The first version of the programme is now ready for the 2022 conference that takes place on 27-30 June in Odense, Denmark, and it shows that geopolitics has become a top issue for international sport. From start to finish the conference will highlight global challenges such as the choice sport must make between autocracy and democracy, the infiltration in sport by international crime groups, the rising athlete activism, and the commitment sport must make to stop and prevent climate change.

Once again, Play the Game 2022 will gather some of the best experts, top managers, athlete representatives, and most daring whistleblowers in the field. You can see the provisional list of speakers here. It is expected there will be around 150 presentations over the four days.

There are still a few programme slots available if you have a presentation within the themes of Play the Game 2022. The vacant slots will be given on a first-come, first-served basis following a review of your proposal which you should submit shortly via our submission page.

The conference venue, Odeon, is situated in the centre of the third largest city in Denmark, Odense, that is also the native city of fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen. A new experience centre in his name has just opened next to the venue of Play the Game 2022.

As a participant in our conference, you will also be offered an excursion to the University of Southern Denmark with fun activities at the university’s award-winning, innovate athletics stadium.

You can benefit from our early bird rate until Monday 2 May. Find more information on registration and prices on our website.

If you wish to join the conference, we recommend that you book your hotel as soon as possible. There are several simultaneous major sports and cultural events in the region of Odense, including the arrival of Tour de France riders, officials, and audiences for the stage ending in Nyborg on Saturday 2 July.

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Award winners
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Belarusian Sports Solidarity Foundation and Khalida Popal receive the Play the Game Award 2022

Learn more about the conference