‘Sport for All’ Summit in the Vatican

In September 2022, the Vatican organised an international conference on the topic of Sport for All. The Generation Games Association was one of the participating organisations, and signed the Declaration.

On September 29 and 30, 2022, the International Summit on “Sport for All – Cohesive, Accessible and Tailored to each person”, took place in the Vatican.

One important objective of the congress was to contribute to change the mentality on how to deal with inclusion and access to sport for many sport institutions and associations at local and national level. At the end of the Conference, a declaration was issued on the social responsibility of sport, in the presence of Pope Francis. The International Generation Games Association was invited, together with a number of institutions and organisations that the organisers of the Conference considered essential in the challenge of making sport more human, more inclusive and more person-centred.

Pope Francis addressed all participants, saying: “I encourage you to strive to make sport a home for everyone, something open and welcoming. In this home, never lose the family spirit, for in this way, we may find brothers, sisters and friends in the world of sport. I am close to you in this mission; the Church supports you in this educational and social commitment.”

At the end of his address, each signatory then took turns greeting the Holy Father before signing the Declaration on Sport, pledging to take-on the work, outlined over these past two days. As such, signatories committed to bringing the Declaration to life. Fundamental to this task is the understanding that ‘this Declaration is not just a statement of principles, but a Declar-Action, an invitation to concrete actions… [for] the future of society’.

One of the conclusions of the Summit was that realising the vision of Sport for All, requires a commitment to a cohesive sport, an accessible sport, and a tailored sport. In doing so, sport transforms our society and our world – recognising that our true team is the human family. Each of these categories – cohesive, accessible, and tailored – highlights a different component of the work ahead. A cohesive sport, implies one that brings people in, rather than just an elite few. An accessible sport, implies one that is open to all, especially the most marginalised groups. A tailored sport, implies one that provides the resources necessary to accompany each individual person, just as they are. With the momentum and guidance of the experts convened at the Summit, participants pledged to walk together – communiter – because nobody can accomplish this task alone.

Generation Games founder Robbert Nesselaar signed the declaration on behalf of the work of the International Generation Games Association.

Pope Frances and Generation Games founder Robbert Nesselaar
Pope Frances and Generation Games founder Robbert Nesselaar