IOC World Conference on Sport for All Kicks Off in Lima
The 15th IOC World Conference on Sport for All got under way today in Lima, Peru for three days of plenary sessions, meetings and practical sessions designed to promote health, fitness and well-being by encouraging people of all ages and abilities to participate in physical activity.
The Conference, which runs from 24 to 27 April, brings together some of the leading experts in the field of Sport for All to share their best practices on a wide range of activities to an estimated audience of approximately 500 people from around the world, including over 150 local participants.
“We all have a stake in making sport more accessible, because sport is not just good for individuals, it is good for society,” IOC President Jacques Rogge told participants at Wednesday’s Opening Session. “The benefits of sport and physical activity are well known and widely accepted. Our challenge is to transform that knowledge into action — through our own deeds and by convincing others to do their part.”
The Opening Session also featured speeches by José Quiñones Gonzalez, President of the Peruvian Olympic Committee, Iván Dibós, IOC member in Peru, Francisco Boza, President of the Peruvian Sports Institute and Sam Ramsamy, Chairman of the IOC Sport for All Commission. The Conference themes were introduced by Luis Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank, Cathryn Volkering Carlile, General Manager of Community Services for the City of Richmond and José Muñoz, Mayor of Miraflores.
Sport for All Grants
Following the Conference kick-off, the IOC Sport for All grants were awarded to support three outstanding programmes engaged in promoting Sport for All and disseminating the health and social benefits of sport in general.
The three grants correspond to the three main themes of this year’s Conference and are all shining examples of initiatives that deliver concrete actions on these themes:
• Social benefits: Escuela Socio Deportiva “Martin Luther King” – Prevention and social reintegration in the neighbourhoods of Lima - Peru
• Sports facilities and public spaces: Spaces for sports site – Gansbaii, South Africa
• Partnerships: The Fight for Peace Global Alumni Programme - Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
“The practice of sport is a human right and one of the fundamental principles of Olympism,” said President Rogge. “And I congratulate the deserving recipients of the IOC Sport for All grants for their outstanding Sport for All initiatives. We thank them all for their valued contributions and wish them continued success in the future.”
Practical Solutions for Practical Challenges
In addition to the Opening Session, plenary and breakout sessions will be focusing on each of the three themes of the Conference. Day two of the Conference will allow participants to experience and learn from actual programmes with site visits to Sport for All initiatives throughout the city of Lima, whilst day three will focus on the practical conditions that are necessary for successful programmes and the challenges surrounding community engagement and Sport for All activities in a series of practical sessions.
“The success of this 15th Conference rests on the active participation of all the delegates,” said IOC Sport for All Commission Chairman Sam Ramsamy. “My hope is that each participant will take away new skills and new ideas that can be applied to their own unique set of circumstances back home in order for as many people as possible to engage in some form of physical activity.”