PtG Article 15.02.2021

Play the Game cancels in 2021 but plans a 25th anniversary conference in 2022

Because of COVID-19, Play the Game has decided to cancel its 2021 conference. Instead, all energy will be focused on planning a conference in Denmark in 2022 where Play the Game can celebrate its 25th anniversary. The 2023 conference is expected to be held in Trondheim, Norway.

Continued uncertainty surrounding the corona pandemic has led Play the Game to cancel its international conference that was planned to be held in Warsaw, Poland, in the autumn of 2021.

”The Polish Institute of Sport that had applied to host the 2021 conference recently decided to withdraw its offer because of the uncertainties around COVID-19. We fully understand their reasoning and I must admit that we were not completely convinced either that it would be possible to organise a conference at short notice even if the corona situation should improve,” says Jens Sejer Andersen, international director of Play the Game.

”Instead, we will focus all our energy on organising a Play the Game conference in Denmark in 2022 which will also mark the 25th anniversary of the first Play the Game conference held in June 1997,” Andersen continues.

Play the Game has started to look for potential host cities for the 2022 conference in a year that is also home to other big sports events in Denmark such as the first three stages of Tour de France and a major sport for all festival organised by the Danish Gymnastics and Sports Associations (DGI).

Internationally, 2022 begins with the Winter Olympics in Beijing and ends with the Football World Cup in Qatar which will provide plenty of fuel for the debates at the conference about sport, corruption, human rights, and geopolitics.

2023 in Trondheim

Play the Game will also begin the process of clarifying a number of issues related to the 2023 conference that has been offered to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim (NTNU).

“When the board of the Danish Institute for Sports Studies was asked to choose between two very attractive and realistic bids to host the conference from Poland and Norway, the travel restrictions prevented us from assessing the bids on equal terms. Therefore, we decided that the fairest solution would be to offer the Polish Institute of Sport the opportunity to host the conference in 2021 and give the NTNU first claim on hosting the 2023 conference,” says Carl Holst, who is chairman of the board at the Danish Institute for Sports Studies.

The negotiations on economic and practical issues will need to be concluded by the end of 2021 before the final decision on awarding the conference to NTNU is made.

New overall director

On another note, the overall director of the Danish Institute for Sports Studies since 2019, Jakob Rathlev, has decided to accept an offer of becoming prorector at the Aarhus Business Academy from 1 March 2021. Jens Sejer Andersen will serve as acting director of the institute until a permanent replacement is found.

Read more about Play the Game 2022