PtG Article 16.07.2015

Play the Game launches preliminary programme and list of speakers for 2015 conference

More than 100 speakers ready for knowledge sharing and debates in over 40 sessions on the current challenges of sport.

With a little more than three months to go, Play the Game 2015 is now ready to reveal a tentative programme and a list of more than 100 speakers.

Starting Sunday afternoon the 25 October with a public opening session featuring courageous whistleblowers and outstanding sports personalities, the conference programme will spend the following 76 hours taking the conference delegates through a wide array of lectures, debates and workshops on some of the most urgent challenges to world sport.

“We are absolutely delighted that so many speakers have announced their presence already at this stage, and we know that there are many more to come,” says Play the Game’s international director Jens Sejer Andersen.

“This confirms that international sport needs an independent meeting ground for debates on difficult issues that the main sports organisations are only reluctantly accepting. The experience from the eight previous Play the Game conferences tells us that the interest in speaking or just taking part will only intensify as we get nearer to the conference dates.”

In recent years, the international agenda in sport has changed dramatically and Play the Game has had to adjust its conference programme to the new circumstances:

“When ten years ago our speakers raised issues like match-fixing, illegal doping trade, corruption in sports organisations and overspending on mega-events, Play the Game was widely regarded as a group of fanatics on a mission to destroy sport’s reputation. Today those issues have all become mainstream and we must focus more on facilitating solutions while still exposing the problems that persist.”

A main task for Play the Game is to renew the programme without sacrificing those issues that deserve continued attention. Among the new issues are the situation of college sport in the U.S. where a billion-dollar industry is based on amateur athletes who are – according to critics – deprived of basic rights. And for the first time in many years Play the Game will also have a strong focus on trafficking and migrating athletes.

With regard to the returning themes, Play the Game will update its delegates on a number of new developments: how effective are for instance the new global anti-doping rules or the new international convention against match-fixing? How can the world overcome a growing inactivity problem? Will the Olympic Agenda 2020 reform programme lead to real changes?

“Thanks to our partnership with the Council of Europe and our longstanding cooperation with several European universities we will also add substantial new input to what is perhaps the most important question of today: How can our sports organisations become more effective and less corrupt?”, says Jens Sejer Andersen.

The Council of Europe will enable sports ministries from all over Europe to take part in Play the Game, be inspired and exchange best practices, and Play the Game will launch its new Sports Governance Observer report describing in detail the governance standards of the 35 international Olympic federations.

If you have an input to those debates or to the other themes on the agenda, there are still a few vacant slots on the programme. If you submit your abstract or storyline at the organisers will review it in a rolling procedure and revert with the decision within a month approximately.

Thanks to more than €50,000 in generous donations from multiple sides in Danish sport, the organisation of this year’s conference has been secured while still keeping the delegate fees at a minimum. By registering before 15 August, you can enjoy the early bird rate and secure yourself a €200 discount on full conference participation. Click here for more about prices and links to registration.

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