This year marks the 22nd time that the IAKS Congress will address the latest technologies, trends and perspectives related to infrastructure for sports and leisure activities.

International conference for the global sports and leisure industry

This year marks the 22nd time that the IAKS Congress will address the latest technologies, trends and perspectives related to infrastructure for sports and leisure activities. The world-renowned event organized by the International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities (IAKS) will take place in parallel to FSB, the International Trade Fair for Amenity Areas, Sports and Pool Facilities, from 28th to 30th October in Cologne, under the patronage of IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge, IPC President Sir Philip Craven, Sportaccord President Hein Verbruggen and Dr. Hans-Peter Friedrich, Germany’s Federal Minister of the Interior, who is responsible for sports-related matters. The focal topics of the congress will be innovations and trends for future-oriented and sustainable construction of sports facilities and for attractive, need-based availability of leisure activities. And life cycle assessments also are becoming increasingly important for sports facility construction. In addition to pure planning tasks, there is a growing emphasis on energy-efficient construction, technology and the environment, facility management, and cost and finance planning. This year’s IAKS Congress will also examine barrier-free and universal design, sports events and stadium infrastructure. 

On all three days of the event, experts from the international sports and leisure industry will have the opportunity to take part in the sharing of interdisciplinary points of view at the highest level. Renowned speakers will provide a wealth of information on topics of current interest and the latest trends. Leading planners and operators will present pioneering projects and offer insights based on science and practical experience. Over 500 participants from all over the world are expected to take part, including architects, engineers, building owners, planners, municipal decision-makers, technical and operative managers, sports associations and clubs, as well as the international trade press. All presentations will be simultaneously interpreted into English, German, Spanish, Russian and, for the first time, Chinese.

IOC/IAKS Award and the IPC/IAKS Special Prize 2011 IOC/IPC/IAKS prize for talented young architects and designers A highlight of the IAKS Congress will be the presentation of the IOC/IAKS Award and the IPC/IAKS Special Prize on the evening of 26th October. These honours, the world’s only international architecture prizes for exemplary sports and leisure facilities that have already proven themselves in operation, are presented every two years by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the IAKS. The number of entries submitted for the IOC/IAKS Award set a new participation record this year, with 133 entries from 36 countries. And 50 projects are vying for the IPC/IAKS Special Prize.

Being presented this year for the first time will be the IOC/IPC/IAKS Architecture and Design Award for Students and Young Professionals, which honours innovative concepts for sports, leisure and recreation facilities. The entries by young architects and designers should above all address the question of how the design of such buildings and facilities can encourage young people to lead active, sports-oriented lifestyles. Twenty-eight projects from 13 countries in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia have been submitted to compete for the premiere of this young talents’ competition.

The programme of the 22nd IAKS Congress

The official ceremony to mark the opening of FSB and the IAKS Congress will begin on 26th October at 10:00 a.m. On hand for the opening will be Jürgen Roters, Mayor of the city of Cologne and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Koelnmesse GmbH; Dr. Stephan Holthoff-Pförtner, President of the IAKS; Sir Philip Craven, President of the IPC; Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu, IOC member and President of the International Boxing Association; and Ute Schäfer, Minister for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia .

On the afternoon of 26th October the focus will then be on the theme “Barrier-free sports facilities: Access for everyone“, with a look at IPC strategies for greater inclusion. This will be followed by a discussion concerning the conversion of competitive sports facilities, titled “Facilities for competitive sports: Leisure time use after the games”. The discussion will include a look at the speed skating hall in Richmond, showing how an Olympic sports facility can be used by the local community. Closing out the day’s programme will be the “Brazil 2014 / 2016 Forum: Information on functionality and development in the sports facilities market”. The forum will focus on topics including public sector investment for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games and for Brazil’s development of national sports facilities, as well as the requirements and planning process for the stadiums for the FIFA World Cup in 2014.

On 27th October the IAKS Congress will begin with the topic “Infrastructure programmes for sports and leisure facilities”, which will provide insights into the Russian Federation’s programme for national sports facilities and development strategies for sports and leisure facilities in Singapore. In the afternoon the programme will continue with the theme “Municipal leisure-time sports activities: Planning that gets everyone involved”. Then, under the title “Life cycle design for sports infrastructure”, the discussion will turn to sustainable use of sports facilities. This theme includes a presentation on the sustainability of future projects for large-scale sports events, using the Veltins Arena for the Schalke football club as a case example of the staging of non-sporting events in a football stadium, in addition to a look at the O2 Arena in London as an example of how the environment can benefit even when a stadium is visited by seven million visitors a year.

Synthetic turf will be a focal point on 28th October. The theme “Synthetic turf: Football and sustainability” examines not only future international standards for certification of synthetic turf products, but also life cycle assessments and sustainability of sports surfaces and new developments and future requirements in the production of synthetic turfs. The afternoon programme will begin with the theme “Flexibly constructed stadiums: New solutions for preventing bad investments?”. In addition to facility planning measures for sustainable football stadiums and new moveable roof solutions for sports stadiums, the development of temporary structures for major sports events will be presented by means of the case study “London 2012”. Finally, the day and the entire IAKS Congress will draw to a close with a traditional feature, the Developing Countries Forum. The forum focuses not only on Venezuela and the Copa America, but also addresses the challenges and benefits for developing countries that stage major sports events.