Play the Game’s 25th anniversary conference set for 27-30 June 2022
Odense, Denmark’s third largest city and home of leading sports and journalism university departments, has offered free conference facilities for Play the Game’s next conference. The event is organised next to a Tour de France stage and one of Europe’s biggest sports festivals.
Delegates at Play the Game conferences have often been exposed to the stormy, rough, and rainy autumn climate of Northern Europe. Next year, when Play the Game celebrates its 25th anniversary on its Danish home turf, the midsummer term should bode for a warm welcome and long bright evenings where the sun only briefly slides under the horizon.
The sports political winds, however, may blow hard when 3-400 athletes, academics, journalists, sports leaders, and other stakeholders in sport meet in Odense, the capital of the island Funen (Fyn) at the heart of Denmark, from 27-30 June 2022.
Odense has just been named host of Play the Game 2022 after a selection procedure among four Danish cities. The city is the third largest in Denmark with 175,000 inhabitants, and widely known as the birth and childhood town of Danish fairy-tale author Hans Christian Andersen.
It is however other features that made Play the Game decide in favour of Odense.
The city’s municipality has generously put the large conference centre Odeon at Play the Game’s disposal for free and added a number of benefits that enables Play the Game to keep its budget in balance. Odeon is run by and attached to Hotel Comwell H.C. Andersen which will be the main conference hotel.
On the professional development front, the journalistic and sports research departments of the University of Southern Denmark are located in Odense, as well as the innovation center Media City Odense. They have all offered to contribute with expertise and effort to ensure another top-class content of the conference programme.
Last, but not least, the conference is held in close connection with two remarkable and entirely different sports events on Funen, only half an hour’s transportation time away.
Right after the conference, on 1 July 2022, the Danish Gymnastics and Sports associations offers Play the Game participants a free one-day visit to one of Europe’s biggest grassroot sports festivals in Svendborg with an expected 25,000 participants engaged in sports competitions and spectacular performances.
Then, on Saturday 2 July, the Tour de France peloton will cross the Big Belt Bridge heading for the goal line in Nyborg, when the Grand Départ comes to Denmark for the first time.
“The combination of strong partners on the content side, a high-quality conference centre, easy logistics for participants, and the exciting side activities made Odense an obvious choice,” says Play the Game director Jens Sejer Andersen, while expressing his gratefulness for the interest from the competing cities Aarhus, Kolding and Vejle.
The winds have changed since last time Play the Game held its conference at home, in Aarhus in 2015. In 2017 and 2019, the conference was held in Eindhoven (Netherlands) and Colorado Springs (USA), respectively.
“There is a growing recognition in Denmark that the integrity and human rights issues in sport deserve more attention, and this is one of the factors that has inspired some generous offers for our 2022 conference. I am convinced that those who travel to Denmark for the conference will find an even more vibrant environment than we have had previously.”
The institution that organised the application, Destination Fyn, is delighted to receive Play the Game 2022, says Head of Convention, Kirsten Rudbeck.
“The conference creates the framework of a fruitful cooperation between, Play the Game, its international partners, and strong partners from Funen within academic research, media, and sport,” she says and is backed by Odense’s Mayor Peter Rahbæk Juel in the application:
“Both professionally and socially, Odense has the setting for a successful conference which can generate content value.”
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