INTRODUCTION: The International Olympic Committee’s 14th World Conference on Sport for All will take place in Beijing, China, from 20 to 23 September 2011 (Chinese Olympic Committee).
Hosted by the Chinese Olympic Committee and the Beijing Municipal Government, the Conference will be organised by the Beijing Olympic City Development Association (BODA). The World Conference on Sport for All has, since its formation, been dedicated to promoting broad dissemination of the sport for all philosophy globally. It pursues the promotion of health, fitness and well-being, and aims at encouraging more people of all ages and abilities to participate in sports activities and experience the Olympic values.
“The World Conference on Sport for All provides an ideal forum for international exchanges of ideas and experiences aimed at realising the Olympic ideal, which states that sport is a right belonging to all individuals, without any kind of distinction,” said Liu Qi, Chairman of the Beijing Olympic City Development Association
As one of the youngest Olympic cities, Beijing has recently experienced a boom in Sport for All activities, and as such will be a vibrant meeting point for Sport for All experts from around the world.
The 14th World Conference on Sport for All will focus on the practical implementation of Sport for All programmes and activities, as well as academic studies into the cultural importance and health benefits of physical activity. In particular, discussions will be framed around the following themes:
- Follow up of the 2010 World Conference on Sport for All;
- Health and Social Benefits of physical activity;
- Programmes and Policies : the practical and theoretical foundations of Sport for All;
- Development and Promotion of Sport for All, in particular the roles of different stakeholders; and
- Future Directions.
The 14th edition of the Conference will see the introduction of a revised format in which a greater emphasis will be placed upon interactive knowledge sharing and the exchange of best practices. Discussions and presentations will be conducted through a variety of different forms including:
- panel discussions; and
- plenary and parallel sessions.
For the first time at the World Conference on Sport for All, participants will have the opportunity to hear case study presentations in which presenters will share their secrets as to the successful implementation of Sport for All programmes. The Conference will also provide participants with the opportunity to meet the experts and leaders of the global Sport for All movement, with specific times set aside for networking and communication. The academic content of the Conference will be supplemented by a number of ancillary sporting and social events in which participants will be able to gain firsthand experience of Beijing’s Olympic Legacy.
CONFERENCE VENUE & HOTELS:
The China National Convention Centre is located in the central area of the Beijing Olympic Green and situated adjacent to the Olympic Main Stadium (Bird’s Nest) and the National Aquatics Centre (Water Cube).
During the Olympic Games, the China National Convention Centre served as the venue of the Main Press Centre and International Broadcast Centre, and was also the venue for fencing and modern pentathlon. The China Centre has a gross surface area of 530,000 m2 and its main building has a gross surface area of 270,000 m2. It is a convention venue equipped with the most complete functions and the most advanced facilities in Beijing, such as simultaneous interpreting systems, audio-visual systems, international direct dialing (IDD), computer and network equipment for each meeting room, working rooms and offices.
All hotels recommended for the Conference are close to the China National Convention Centre and were originally designated for guests participating in the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.
CITY OF BEIJING:
As the capital of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing is the country’s political, cultural and international hub. Boasting a history of more than 3,000 years as a city and more than 850 years as the capital, the city covers an area of 16,800 square kilometres, with a permanent population of 17.55 million.
Beijing looks back over a long history and rich culture. As part of the rich cultural heritage of the Chinese nation, as well as the world cultural heritages, the Temple of Heaven, the Great Wall at Badaling, the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace embody traditional Chinese culture. Alongside these historical sites, Beijing is marked by the Olympic venues. The Olympic Park is located on the northern end of the city’s central axis, and it includes 10 Olympic competition venues, as well as a number of non-competition venues and auxiliary facilities. It is the largest cluster of Olympic venues in the history of the modern Olympic Games.
The main venues of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games—the National Stadium, or Bird’s Nest—and the National Aquatics Centre, or the Water Cube, are located here. After two years of post-Games transformation, the Olympic Park has become the favourite destination for local and foreign visitors, as well as the back yard of Beijing residents.
Beijing has formed a unique cultural style, being a magnificent modern city but having kept authentic cultural elements, such as the Peking Opera, Cross-Talk, teahouses, Hutongs and courtyard houses. Beijing also offers delicious foods from various parts of the country. There are some 10,000 restaurants in the city, including almost 1,000 old and famous restaurants, and more than 100 “time-honoured” restaurants, making Beijing the capital of fine food.
The Beijing Olympic Games boosted the Sport for All movement with its best ever period. The majority of the general public loves sport; fitness has become a way of life; and ubiquitous public fitness exercises have become a beautiful sight around the city. Currently, more than 60 per cent of Beijing residents frequently participate in sports exercises, and a large number of Olympic facilities, including the Bird’s Nest and the Water Cube, now belong not just to the athletes, but are also benefiting ordinary residents who love sport.