(ATR) Getting children active and keeping them so throughout life is a common theme running throughout this week’s 14th World Conference on Sport for All.
Games organizers past and future are here in Beijing alongside international federations, National Olympic Committees and sports ministries the world over to present research, policies and programs centered around this most self-explanatory of Olympic ideals.
Sport for All, simply put, means sport for all – young and old, rich and poor, talented and otherwise.
“It’s the basis for all exercise activity that leads to recreational sport that leads to sport for disabled people that can eventually also lead to sport for the elite,” IOC Sport for All chairman Sam Ramsamy tells Around the Rings.
“If we did not have a Sport for All basis, we would not have the elite athletes.”
LOCOG, BOCOG Share Top Billing
International Inspiration, the prong of London 2012’s legacy program that focuses on bringing British youngsters into sport, is the subject of a pair of sessions in the Chinese capital.
LOCOG deputy chairman Keith Mills as well as Debbie Lye of UK Sport will each speak to the anticipated impact of next year’s Games upon the health of the host country xs future generations.
The organizing committee of Beijing 2008 is also well-represented throughout the three-day gathering.
BOCOG president Liu Qui will join Ramsamy and IOC president Jacques Rogge on stage during Wednesday evening’s opening ceremony to address the 500+ expected attendees. Deputy mayor Liu Jingmin, also executive vice chairman of the Beijing Olympic City Development Association, will later address BODA xs ongoing efforts to leverage Olympic legacy into Sport for All development.
Federations, NOCs, Sports Ministries, Oh My!
Leaders from the international federations for badminton, shooting sport, golf, skiing, swimming, basketball and netball are in town to showcase how their sports are involving young and old alike.
FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann will speak to basketball’s newly rebranded 3×3 discipline and FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu to aquatics as a both a life-long activity and an essential survival skill.
Officials from the NOCs and sports ministries of Italy, Germany, Netherlands, France, Denmark, Algeria, Indonesia, Singapore, Aruba, Australia and Peru are also scheduled to present the efforts their countries are making to advance the Sport for All ideal.
Many of the 30+ members of the IOC Sport for All Commission are involved this week either as moderators (Phil Coles of Australia, Kai Holm and Prince Frederik of Denmark, Margaret Sikkens-Ahlquist of Sweden, Julio Cesar Maglione of Uruguay, Paavo Komi of Finland, Tamas Ajan of Hungary, Ung Chang of North Korea), as panelists (Shlomit Nir Toor of Israel), as presenters (Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr. of Spain, Wolfgang Baumann of Germany, Rita Subowo of Indonesia) or as master of ceremonies (Tu Mingde of China).
The conference closes Friday with Beijing passing the torch to 2013 host city Lima.
At the Epicenter Again
Mornings begin early with tai chi lessons for all delegates on the Olympic Green, epicenter of the 2008 Games, and evenings include visits to the Water Cube and Bird xs Nest as well as theaters in downtown Beijing.
The site of the conference itself is the China National Convention Center, former Main Press Centre and International Broadcasting Centre during the Olympics as well as the venue for fencing and pistol shooting.