2nd TAFISA Europe Conference


2nd TAFISA Europe Conference

23 August 2018

The prestigious Posthuis Theater of Heerenveen, Netherlands was quite full on Tuesday, August 7th as about 100 participants from all over Europe joined the 2nd TAFISA Europe Conference organised by the Knowledge Centre for Sport Netherlands.  

After warm welcome words from Sport Fryslân Director Anne Jochum de Vries, TAFISA Europe Co-Chairs Peter Barendse and Malgorzata Szukalska-Wrona opened the Conference with updates about TAFISA Europe's latest developments and future projects, including European projects co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union and TAFISA Mission 2030.  

TAFISA Co-Chair Malgorzata Szukalska-Wrona


They were followed by invitations to future international TAFISA events, including the 1st TAFISA World Martial Arts Festival (Ulyanovsk, Russia, September 13-17, 2019) by Sergey Kuzmin (Advisor to the Governor of Ulyanovsk Region on issues of interaction with international sports organisations) and the 7th TAFISA World Sport for All Games (Lisbon, Portugal, September 24-30, 2020) by Jorge Carvalho (IPDJ,Sports Department Director) and Daniel Monteiro (IPDJ).  


The Conference pursued with three impulse speeches on the theme "A Lifelong Play and Sport for All": 

Made to Play by Elena Korf (Nike Inc., Global Community Impact, Director) emphasised the need for children to play and have fun and the importance to provide open, friendly and accessible playing opportunities for kids worldwide.  

Traditional Sports and Games: Playing Across Generations by Finn Berggren (Gerlev P.E. & Sports Academy, President) introduced the work and model of the Gerlev P.E. Academy to allow people to from all ages to be active, kids, adults and seniors alike.  

Youth at a Healthy Weight by Lideke Middelbeek (JOGG-aanpak, Senior Advisor) explored the programme that was successfully developed to keep youth active and healthy across Dutch cities. 

Elena Korf made an alarming statement on physical inactivity among kids


The morning session was followed by the innovative Knowledge Safari, starting with a plenary session moderated by Tjeerd van Bekkum (Leeuwarden Fryslân Capital of Culture 2018, CEO) inviting various speakers to discuss on themes such as What is the legacy of sport and vitality of the TAFISA European Games and the Capital of Culture for Friesland? (please see programme below for full list of participants and presentations). 

The 2nd TAFISA Europe Conference participants


The plenary session then launched The “Big Five” Knowledge Safari which was organised in partnership with the Knowledge Centre for Sport Netherlands and Sport Fryslân. The theme of the Safari, The Big 5 of the European Sport for All Games, explored topics such as the cultural value of traditional sports and games, Sport for All and sport participation in the future, sport as a tool for a vital community (Mienskip, as Frisians call it), the societal impact of sport events, as well as personal storeys.  Conference delegates were divided into five mixed international groups and guided through Heerenveen to three locations, where they listened to presentations and participated in workshops and discussions.  The route remained a surprise throughout the afternoon however locations included a traditional pub, the town hall and a local museum. As participants discovered the “Big Five” themes they were also being presented with the opportunity to sample traditional sports and games which they passed while walking between locations. This innovative concept was received positively by participants and organisers alike. 

Participants returned to the Posthuis Theater for the 2nd plenary session of the Knowledge Safari, where the Conference continued, featuring a signing ceremony for the Heerenveen Statement on the recognition of Traditional Sports and Games as Intangible Cultural Heritage, Heerenveen, 2018.

The signing of the Heerenveen Statement


The 2nd TAFISA Europe Conference and the 1st TAFISA European Sport for All Games reached their conclusion in the evening as a parade of delegates with their national flags marched through Heerenveen to the open-air Closing Ceremony, which was the stage for parting words from the various organisers, stakeholders and delegates. 

The Closing Ceremony was also the opportunity for TAFISA Vice President - Europe, Peter Barendse, to grant the TAFISA Friends for Life Award to three individuals for their outstanding contribution to TAFISA and the global Sport for All Movement:

  • Anne Jochum de Vries (Sport Fryslân, Director)
  • Erik Linselink (NOC*NSF, Manager Corporate Affairs)
  • Immie Jonkmann (Leeuwarden-Fryslân 2018 European Capital of Culture)

The Ceremony ended with an invitation for all to meet again at the 7th TAFISA World Sport for All Games in Lisbon, Portugal (September 24-30, 2020).  

Participants at the Closing Ceremony


TAFISA would like to once again thank Knowledge Centre for Sport Netherlands for designing this innovative 2nd TAFISA Europe Conference along with the partners of the 1st TAFISA European Sport for All Games (Sport Fryslân, NOC*NSF, Leeuwarden-Fryslân Capital of Culture 2018) and all participants.  

Download the Programme of the 2nd TAFISA Europe Conference here: 2nd TAFISA Europe Conference Programme