Sweden prepares for Change the Game Conference

The eighth annual Change the Game Conference is coming up in Sweden from September 21 to 24. The virtual event will continue to focus on the power of physical literacy.

Following the success of the first ever International Physical Literacy Conference Europe, that was held in Umeå in 2019, organizer Tom Englén hopes the event will offer insights and inspiration to everyone from newcomers to long-time experts.

“More people, organizations and agencies than ever have adopted physical literacy and the implementations are growing fast,” said Englén.

“The line-up of international speakers will deliver very valuable and useful messages to our Swedish delegates. The conference is all virtual, so there will of course be limited movement opportunities, but we hope that we can add some active workshops for the local delegates.”

The speakers for the conference include experts such as Dr. Véronique Richard, Dr. John Cairney, Dr. Dean Kriellaars and Dr. Dean Dudley, as well as Sport for Life’s Thomas Jones. Englén is particularly thrilled to have Ellen Beate Sandseter of Norway, who is known as the “mother of risky play” coming.

“I think that her message will be very appreciated and I think will be very valuable in terms of getting more city-planners, designers and policy-makers on board,” he said.

The conference will feature three streams: collaboration and societal development, activities, and environments and facilities.

“Our ambition is that attendees at all levels of physical literacy experience and all levels in the system will gain new insights,” he said.

He thinks conferences like this one will help address the negative health outcomes of sedentary lifestyles, and will raise awareness about the benefits of movement as well as the value of high quality activities for sustainable community development.

“There are many new initiatives all around the country that want to contribute to the physical inactivity challenge and health inequity. But I think we are still waiting for the effects of those initiatives, at a personal level, even though the awareness of the problem is rapidly rising among policy-makers.”

Englen is encouraged by the strides Sweden has been making.

“In all 20 regions in the country, I think there are at least some leaders that have adopted physical literacy, and their adoption and implementations are often very easily funded and get lots of attention,” he said.

To learn more about the Change the Game Conference, or to register, visit the website. 

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