The 22nd IAKS Congress, which focused on global trends in the construction of sports and leisure facilities and presented pioneering projects, was again very well attended. Dr. Stephan Holthoff-Pförtner, President of the IAKS, came to this conclusion: “The perfect symbiosis between FSB and the IAKS Congress makes Cologne the centre of the international sports and leisure sector every two years. The IAKS Congress and the accompanying specialist conferences offered excellent opportunities for networking and sharing information from all over the world. In the process, it once again became clear that we need concepts which not only enable sustainable operation but also take into account the growing demand for attractive facilities for physical activity.”
IAKS Congress offered interdisciplinary exchange at the highest level
The IAKS Congress also continued its series of successful results. Around 600 guests from all over the world found out about the latest trends during the world’s leading congress on sports and leisure facilities. In line with the FSB’s partner country, the Congress also featured events such as the Forum Brazil 2014 / 2016. Further topics on the agenda included barrier-free sports facilities, the sustainable use and lifecycle design of sports facilities, flexible stadium construction and synthetic turf. Delegations from around the world – including those from Canada, Brazil, Indonesia, China and Russia – made intensive use of this opportunity for interdisciplinary and intercultural knowledge-sharing at the highest level. Dr. Stephan Holthoff-Pförtner summed it up: “All of us are looking for new ideas on how to creatively integrate opportunities for physical activity and relaxation in the urban environment. Urban planning and infrastructural developments must focus more strongly on health aspects. The IAKS Congress has once again underlined the social responsibility of the government and the municipalities to provide attractive and activity-friendly urban environments for all of their residents.”
The highlight of the IAKS Congress is traditionally the presentation of the IOC/IAKS Award and the IPC/IAKS Distinctions for barrier-free sports facilities. Sir Philip Craven, President of the IPC, and IOC member Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu presented the awards to the winners. South Africa came out on top of the competition, with one gold, one silver and one bronze medal as well as a special award. The Richmond Olympic Oval in Vancouver was honoured as the most successful sports facility, receiving not only the gold medal but also the IPC/IAKS Award for barrier-free sports facilities. The IOC, IPC and IAKS also presented the “Architecture and Design Award for Students and Young Professionals” for the first time.
Feedback from attendees:
Jürgen Roters, Lord Mayor of the City of Cologne and Chairman of the supervisory board of Koelnmesse:
„On the occasion of the congress current trends and topics are discussed which will have influence on stadia, arenas and other sport and leisure facilites all around the world.”
Nancy Thompson, Director, Rick Hansen Foundation:
“I wanted to extend my huge thanks to the IAKS team and the wonderful hospitality and a great IAKS conference experience.”
Alf Oschatz, Business Development Stadia, Sport Facilities and Major Event Services; BKS Ltd.
“The congress and its preparation was very professional; the discussions most interesting.”
Shlomo Gendler, Partner, V5Architects:
“It was a pleasure for me and my son, arch. Meidad Gendler to attend the most interesting and well organized congress.”