Thank You! - TAFISA World Congress, Portoroz 2022
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For being with us at the 27th TAFISA World Congress!

What a success! Last week 318 participants representing 173 organisations across 54 countries joined the 27th TAFISA World Congress in Portoroz, Slovenia, which was hosted by the Olympic Committee of Slovenia - Association of Sports Federation and Sports Union of Slovenia. 

Over the course of a week, the Global Sport for All Movement came together to meet, exchange, and discuss how Sport for All can adapt to a changing environment and better contribute to society. The Mayor of Piran Mayor Đenio Zadković formally welcomed the TAFISA Board of Directors during a reception on 7 June, as his beautiful city of Piran & Portoroz on the Adriatic coast set to become the world capital of Sport for All for the next few days.

The Congress was held under the honorary patronage of the President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor, who invited the TAFISA Board of Directors to the Crystal Palace in Ljubljana on 8 June. On this occasion, he was awarded TAFISA's most prestigious award, the Jürgen Palm Award, for his support to the Sport for All Movement in Slovenia and worldwide. The ceremony also saw TAFISA Honorary President Prof. Juho Chang and Portuguese Institute of Sport and Youth President Vitor Pataco receive the prestigious award for their lifelong contribution to the Global Sport for All Movement. 
Continue reading to learn more about the Awards.

On the evening of 8 June, Congress participants were welcomed by a cultural show. With features ranging from gymnastics performed by seniors to modern dance, the cultural performances demonstrated the joy of being physically active at all ages, setting the tone for the Congress.
Watch the Congress highlights video at the end of this newsletter to find out more!

An Inspiring Programme

Tackling the theme of "Sport for All in a Changing World", the Congress offered insights from over 50 international speakers, moderators and panellists who contributed to an inspiring programme. 

The Congress kicked off with welcome words by TAFISA Honorary President Prof. Juho Chang, President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor (through a video address), President of the Organising Committee Janez Sodržnik, UNESCO Sport Section Chief Philipp Müller-Wirth, WHO Physical Activity Unit Head Dr. Fiona Bull, and IOC Member Felicite Rwemarika. 

Prof. Cora Burnett from the University of Johannesburg set the stage in her keynote as she assessed the current state of play for Sport for All worldwide. Prof. Burnett looked at the roles and interactions of stakeholders in the Sport for All space, how they are all evolving in a world affected by COVID-19, and how we can set the agenda to successfully and sustainably utilise sport as a tool for social change addressing current issues. Following her keynote, she joined a panel discussion featuring speakers from every continent: 

  • Anna Mguni, Zimbabwe
  • Catherine Forde, TAFISA, Trinidad & Tobago
  • Shaima Saleh Al-Husseini, Saudi Sport for All Federation, Saudi Arabia
  • Dr Shawnda A. Morrison, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

The panellists shared about the current situation and priorities in their region of the world, pointing out how programmes, approaches and inteventions need to be tailored to the specific circumstances in which they are implemented. The next session on "Stronger Together: The Power of the Sport for All Movement" complemented their discussion by bringing together different types of stakeholders around the table to discuss their respective involvement. Moderated by TAFISA Secretary General Jean-François Laurent, the session was introduced by TAFISA President Wolfgang Baumann who provided a broad perspective of TAFISA and the Global Sport for All Movement, and how within the diverse and heterogeneous constellation that is the Global Sport for All Movement we can identify synergies and ways to work together towards common goals. In a sport system that seems to be increasingly divided between grassroots and elite sports, we can reconcile actors from all fields, including outside of the sport sector, to achieve our objectives. In short, "everyone has to play a role". Philipp Müller-Wirth (UNESCO), Felicite Rwemarika (IOC) and Dr Fiona Bull (WHO) concurred as they introduced their organisations' initiatives, respectively Fit for Life, Olympism 365, and Let's be Active, displaying a strong connection and complementarity between their approaches and competences. Ljubljana Deputy Mayor Dejan Crnek concluded by offering insights from the unique perspective of a municipality, taking the example of Ljubljana and its success in promoting a physically active lifestyle for citizens. 

The Programme went on with six parallel sessions in the afternoon, and continued on Friday 10 morning with the House of Commons Debate, a special session where the audience is split in two sides and participants are prompted to debate and make compelling arguments in favour or against the polarising position assumed by the speakers. Moderated by TAFISA Honorary Board Member Peter Barendse, the interactive session featured provocative statements by Aspen Institute Sport & Society Program Founder and Executive Director Tom Farrey, TAFISA Vice President Catherine Forde, and International Fistball Association President Jörn Verleger. The programme continued with an Open Mic session encouraging participants to share their thoughts on what the global Sport for All Movement needs to thrive and improve. Eventually, Congress Rapporteur Asst. Prof. Dr. Miha Lesjak condensed the two days of panels, discussions, debates, speeches and interactive sessions in his Congress conclusions, emphasising how far the Global Sport for All Movement has come and how its propensity to reach to the wider population, adapt, and work together with others within and outside of the movement can be key to its future successes. | Read the Congress Programme...

(from left to right): Philipp Müller-Wirth (UNESCO), Wolfgang Baumann (TAFISA), Jean-François Laurent (TAFISA), Felicite Rwemarika (IOC), Dr Fiona Bull (WHO), Dejan Crnek (City of Ljubljana)

TAFISA General Assembly

On Friday 10 June, the TAFISA General Assembly, TAFISA's supreme decision-making body, was held and voted on important decisions for the future of the organisation. The host of the 29th TAFISA World Congress 2025 was elected to be Sokol, in the city of Prague, Czech Republic. 

TAFISA's Statutes were also revised and updated. The new statutes can be consulted here on TAFISA's website: TAFISA Statutes 2022

Finally, the General Assembly concluded with the election of the new TAFISA Board of Directors. Wolfgang Baumann was elected TAFISA President and a new Board of Directors was elected for 2022-2025, with five women present on the Board for the first time in TAFISA's history. | Learn More about the new President and Board...

A Lasting Legacy 
The Congress was a milestone for the Global Sport for All Movement and created a lasting legacy for the future. Notably, the Portoroz Resolution was signed by TAFISA and Congress participants as a declaration on the power and duty of sport to bring people together and promote peace. Read the Portoroz Resolution

On 10 June, 18 International Federations signed a pledge to commit to the development of Sport for All, pledging to strengthen and enhance their engagement in the field. |  Read More on the Pledge...

In the region of Portoroz & Piran, free and public infrastructures for physical activity and sport were inaugurated to promote an active lifestyle among the local community. Linden trees were planted in Portoroz as an avenue under the name of "Trees of Health and Friendship", marking the day the international community came to the municipality to promote a better world through Sport for All. 

Every two years TAFISA takes the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the people and organisations whose leadership and significant contribution to the organisation and the Global Sport for All Movement at large inspire us to create a better world through Sport for All. During the TAFISA Awards Ceremony on 9 June, recipients of the prestigious TAFISA Jürgen Palm Awards Prof. Juho Chang and Vitor Pataco were celebrated and shared with the audience the award they had received on the previous day in the company of Slovenian President Borut Pahor. The Award  Ceremony went on to present the TAFISA Mission 2030 Awards, the TAFISA Anita Ghosh Award and the TAFISA Friends for Life Award to deserving individuals. | Learn More About the Awards and Awardees...

Slovenian Culture at its Finest
During their stay in Slovenia, Congress participants were graced with many cultural events allowing them to fully immerse in Slovenian culture. Aside from the welcome reception and its gymnasts and dancers, participants enjoyed the "I Feel Slovenia" night and its gourmet delicacies, the "Mini Olympiads" in which children competed in friendly games and sports on the Tartini Square in Piran, a pre-gala reception courtesy of Piran Mayor Đenio Zadković, and a Gala Dinner peppered with musical performances. Congress participants also had many opportunities to be physically active thanks to the daily #BeActive morning sessions hosted in Portoroz, and with the #BeActive in the Historical City of Piran all-morning event which enabled people to try out Badminton, Tchoukball, Flying Disc, Pandolo, and other games and sports on the Tartini Square. 

TAFISA's 30th Anniversary
On the occasion of TAFISA's 30th Anniversary, a very special programme was held in the Tartini Theatre, retracing the history of TAFISA and inviting both pioneers and the new generation to share their thoughts on Sport for All. The celebrations continued with a beach party where participants marveled at fire dancers while enjoying a slice of birthday cake and signature non-alcoholic cocktails. 

Towards the 28th TAFISA World Congress 2023 in Düsseldorf!
The Gala Dinner on Saturday 11 June marked the end of the Congress, as the Slovenian hosts symbolically passed the TAFISA Flag to the next Congress hosts, represented by German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) Vice President Kerstin Holze. The German host's delegation comprised of DOSB, the State Sport Federation of North-Rhine Westphalia, and the State Government of North-Rhine Westphalia, took the flag back to Düsseldorf in preparation for the Congress to be held on 30 October - 5 November 2023. 

We look forward to welcoming you to Düsseldorf, Germany, on 30 October - 5 November 2023! Save the Date!

The 28th TAFISA World Congress will take place in 
Düsseldorf, Germany
on 30 October - 5 November 2023

Thank YOU!
TAFISA would like to thank all the participants who came to Slovenia and joined the Congress. You are the ones who made the event so special. TAFISA would like to also especially thank the hosts of the Congress, the Olympic Committee of Slovenia - Association of Sport Federations and the Sports Union of Slovenia, for the wondrous work they did organising such a great event, and the excellent experience they allowed all participants to enjoy. 

Watch the Highlights
You can (re)live the Congress through the highlights video posted on the official TAFISA Congress YouTube channel. 
See video below

Enjoy the Congress experience through the highlights video!
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