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MOVE Congress 2019

Change the Game: It’s Your MOVE

The 9th MOVE Congress on 16-18 October set out to unearth the next game-changers for grassroots sport and physical activity promotion. More than 470 participants, 40 speakers, and 40 Innovation Alley presenters and exhibitors gathered in Budapest for three active days of learning, networking, exchanging ideas and trying out the latest technologies in our new Innovation Alley.

One of the biggest and most active MOVE Congresses yet, the 2019 edition was organised in collaboration with our members and partners, the National School, University and Leisure Sport Federation, Hungarian School Sport Federation, Hungarian University Sports Federation, Hungarian Leisure Sport Association, and the Hungarian Ministry for Human Capacities.

Being the MOVE Congress, we don’t just talk the talk, we also walk the walk – or roll or jump, as the host organisations’ presidents, Mogens Kirkeby and Gábor Balogh did when they arrived at the Budapest Congress Center stage by scooter to officially open the conference. After a brief welcome, they challenged each other to a skipping contest, led by World Champion Adrienn Bánhegyi from Cirque de Soleil, who later invited the whole auditorium to join in an interactive workshop.

The next official speaker, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Tibor Navracsics, entered the stage and joked, “How can I deliver an opening speech after a performance like that?”

Noting the energy in the room, he added: “Events like the MOVE Congress are important, where people are joining forces and exchanging ideas and moving people.”

Interactive presentations from Innovation Alley exhibitors, including a “We Will MOVE You” chant and GoPlay icebreakers, kept the Congress delegates on their feet and set the tempo for the rest of the conference.

The MOVE Congress plenary sessions sparked active discussion as well as movement. Dr Fiona Bull from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and sports-tech innovator Markos Aristides Kern commanded the stage with TEDx style charisma, zooming in on physical activity from two vastly different (and at times provocative) angles and reaching a surprisingly similar conclusion. That we need to seriously challenge ourselves when it comes to getting more people active.

And when a MOVE Congress presenter arrives on the stage walking on his hands, you know you are in for an extraordinary experience. By the time Magnús Scheving, creator and star of LazyTown (the character Sportacus), wrapped up his presentation, the MOVE Congress participants were on their feet doing their best Sportacus poses and buzzing with a standing ovation as the day’s superhero left the stage.

It wasn’t all showtime, though; the parallel MOVE Congress tracks invited participants to go into more depth on selected topics and join in workshops to discover new approaches to physical activity promotion and fundraising.


  • Game-changers connecting physical activity and health
  • Carving a new niche with grassroots sport diplomacy
  • Discovering new perspectives on physical activity promotion among school children
  • Opening new doors to funding and support
  • Redefining an “active lifestyle” with MOVEment Spaces and placemaking

The MOVE Congress 2019 was supported by the European Commission through the Erasmus+ Sport Collaborative Partnership projects Grassroots Sport Diplomacy and EU Pals.

Programme Committee: Rachel Payne (ISCA, lead), István Kulisity (Hungarian School Sport Federation), Réka Veress (Hungarian National School, University and Leisure Sport Federation), Laura-Maria Tiidla (ISCA), Mogens Kirkeby (ISCA). 

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