European Traditional Sports and Games Association


by Biel Pubill Soler in Publicaciones

(IRSiE is the Institute for Sport Development and Education based in Poland, with Dr kazimierz Waluch and Bartosz Probucki, among others).

The interest in original sports, or so-called traditional sports, is constantly growing worldwide. New traditional sport clubs and festivals are being created to preserve and save the traditions of physical activity from oblivion. Traditional sports in many countries were developed consciously and treated as an element of national identity while in other countries, traditional sports have been neglected and even completely forgotten.

For several years, the Institute for the Development of Sport and Education (IRSiE) has been collecting and providing information on traditional sports of different nations around the world, thereby popularizing this extraordinary and non-material part of the human heritage. Initially, these were short articles written in Polish (and published on the IRSiE website), however, it soon turned out that this form of traditional sports promotion  interested people same becoming popular in many places around the world.

Therefore, arose the idea to create a virtual base of information on traditional sports; a source of knowledge that could be constantly expanded and enriched with the assistance of organizations and interested people around the world. All in the name of a common but diverse cultural heritage and to preserve and popularize knowledge about the traditional sports around the world. We are aware of the importance of traditional sports as an element of non-material human heritage. For that reason we work with passion and faith even though we know that much remains to be discovered; we believe that our determination will allow effective promotion of traditional sports of different nations around the world and that the conviction about the essence of our work with the commitment of people involved into the project will be a source of success and satisfaction. Everyone who shares this passion with us and joins the Traditional Sports project is an important element of the team.

Playing sports and promoting one’s own culture is a universal right of every human being. Combining sport with culture, we aim to promote a way of life based on emotions, values and respect for fundamental ethical principles such as: equality, respect and acceptance. We want to reach every place where traditional sports are being practiced. What is more we aim to reach all the places they are not being practised so we could promote them as well as make people aware of their importance as non-material human heritage. Thus, the mission of the project is to promote traditional sports as an important element which creates our cultural identity. We want to interest as many people as possible with the values that traditional sport brings, so that the diversity of its forms would be an inspiration for attitudes of respect and understanding of cultural identity, thereby connecting people so they could better understand each other. The important thing, therefore, is:

  • to show how rich and various are the sport activities around the world;
  • to create and strengthen positive image of cultural diversity in a form of traditional sports;
  • to build a reliable base of information concerning traditional sports in cooperation with different organisations, clubs and specialists;
  • to create a program for the promotion of traditional sports which would positively impact modern society.

The core of what we do is respect for cultural diversity. We define the different forms of human activity with great respect, so that everyone can present their cultural heritage on an equal footing and in an open manner. Complying with these principles is therefore absolutely crucial for us as an organization which remains politically neutral and exists to serve the interests of both sport and culture.

Being part of the Traditional Sports project, we set ourselves ambitious goals such as:

  1. Building a structure of cooperation between organizations, associations, federations and individuals on the subject of traditional sports.
  2. Developing a network of collaborators around the world (e.g. volunteers network).
  3. Continuously increasing interest in traditional sports and the number of followers on social media.
  4. Systematically expanding base of information on traditional sports as well as promoting and updating this knowledge.
  5. Creating the image of a professional center gathering knowledge on traditional sports as well as promoting and protecting them.
  6. Introducing new methods and innovative solutions in the field of promoting cultural heritage such as traditional sports.
  7. Using our knowledge and experience for the most effective implementation of actions in the fields of traditional sports protection and promotion.
  8. Inspiring others together with presenting traditional sports in an attractive and engaging way so they could attract and retain as many fans around the world as possible.

Institute for the Development of Sport and Education Foundation launched the website on June 6, 2019 same launching the Traditional Sports project. We want to  focus attention of all interested individuals and organizations on the website so everybody could learn about traditional sports meaning, their stories and rules. We will also provide our articles with photos as well as videos and any other available information.

We prepare articles about individual sports and place them on the website, creating a virtual base of information on the subject. We obtain information from various sources, e.g. from clubs and associations dealing with particular sports, from direct correspondence with people of these organizations, from publications and sports practitioners, etc. Thus, we include text files and multimedia within our articles.

The articles are not long, although we try to cover all the aspects of every topic and include everything that is important about a given sport. Information is being provided according to a specific structure:

  1. Name of sport (game)
  2. Name in native language
  3. Place of practice (continent, state, nation)
  4. History
  5. Description
  6. Current status:
  1. Non-practised sport,
  2. Practised sport (associations, scores, champions, contests and tournaments etc.)
  1. Importance (for practitioners, communities etc.)
  2. Associations, federations, clubs (contact details)
  3. Attachments (documents, regulations etc.)
  4. Sources of information (books, articles, interviews, photo galleries, videos etc.)

The most important in this work is the credibility of information. Foundation is a member of the ETSGA European Traditional Sports and Games Association (ETSGA) –, what strongly obliges us to reliability in writing and publishing our articles. We want to become a reliable source of knowledge about world traditional sports. For this reason we created a group of experts being responsible for the substantive aspect of the undertaking. If necessary the group will also decide on disputable and debatable issues.

The project is open for everybody who would like to join and help us promoting traditional sports as important non-material part of the human heritage. We believe that every voice, every material and piece of information is important.  We would like to invite every interested individual or organisation to cooperate with our Foundation.



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