Professor Richard Giulianotti sat at a table

Professor Richard Giulianotti (centre) at the UNESCO conference in Paris.

Loughborough University strongly represented at major UNESCO meetings in Paris

Three Loughborough University staff and students were in Paris in early April to attend various key UNESCO meetings in Paris. 

Professor Richard Giulianotti and Dr Emma Pullen (both from the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences), and Vladyslava Kravchenko (a Loughborough Masters alumna, and set to start her PhD soon at the London campus), were in attendance. 

Other delegates and observers at the meetings included representatives from UNESCO’s member states, intergovernmental organizations, international sport federations, NGOs, sport-related corporations and media groups, athlete networks, and UNESCO Chairs.

The main event was a two-day meeting of UNESCO’s International Committee for Physical Education and Sport (CIGEPS), which sets and implements global policy in these areas.  Professor Giulianotti, who also leads the UNESCO Chair in Sport, Physical Activity and Education for Development, was joined by Max Polya-Vitry, UK Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, to represent the UK government.

Professor Giulianotti was an invited platform speaker on ‘Impact Investment in Sport’. This uses a highly innovative funding and outcome-focused approach for the development and implementation of sport and PE projects. It is also a central component of UNESCO’s flagship Fit for Life programme, which promotes sport and PE to enhance global health and wellbeing. 

Philipp Muller-Wirth, who heads the UNESCO Sport Section in Paris and leads the organization of CIGEPS, commented: “Fit for Life uses sport, physical activity, and physical education to power the development of more inclusive, peaceful and resilient societies across the world.  At UNESCO, we very much value the highly important contributions of the UK, and the Loughborough UNESCO Chair, in developing and delivering this crucial work.”

Richard and Vlada attended CIGEPS and two further events at UNESCO’s HQ in Paris. The ‘Athletes Game On for Peace’ policy dialogue was co-hosted by UNESCO and the Peace and Sport NGO, and included contributions by former professional footballer Didier Drogba, cyclist Masomah Ali Zada, and rugby player Siya Kolisi. 

They were joined by Dr Pullen to attend the policy roundtable on ‘Towards a Safer Playing Field: Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls in Sport’, which included speeches from international athletes, policymakers, and practitioners.