National Sports Infrastructure Congress in Warsaw (Poland) gathered 200 attendees from 1st to 2nd December 2016

More than 200 representatives of national authorities, local governments and the sports industry attended the IAKS National Congress of Sports Infrastructure which took place in conjunction with the infraSPORT Trade Show of Sports, Recreation, and Tourism Infrastructure on the 1st and 2nd December 2016 in Warsaw, Poland.

The two events, staged by IAKS Poland, were under the honorary patronage of the Ministry of Sport and Tourism, the Polish Olympic Committee and the Polish Paralympic Committee.

Przegląd Sportowy editor-in-chief Michał Pol officially opened the event in front of the Minister of Sport and Tourism Jarosław Stawiarski, the President of the Polish Olympic Committee Andrzej Kraśnicki, the president of the Polish Paralympic Committee Łukasz Szeliga, the president of IAKS International Dr Stefan Kannewischer, representatives of the Polish Corporation of Sports Managers, and the Fundacja Promocji Gmin Polskich. IAKS Poland president Zbigniew Klonowski led over to the panels and presentations.

The first day emphasized the key words for any investment: strategy, management and financing. Twelve Polish and foreign panellists debated over combining and efficiently executing sport investments. The experts pointed out that sport investments shall answer the needs of the residents, and utilise the surroundings. Only thoroughly planned investments can influence the image of the municipality in a positive way. The management by a private operator is one option. “The facility’s results should be optimized, and not its cost minimized”, said Klonowski. “A comprehensive event programme helps to cover the fixed costs of the facility. Non-commercial events contribute to the positive image among the local community.”

The second day had discussions on the trends in constructing and exploiting facilities on the agenda. Innovative ideas for exploiting and enhancing inshore areas, external recreation areas, and sports halls were presented. The latest technological solutions help to optimize the management of the facility. The early planning of the management concept is crucial for a successful investment. The panellists discussed what assumptions have to be made at the stage of designing the facilities.

Zbigniew Klonowski thanked the experts for sharing their knowledge and experiences and their contribution to the congress. He was dedicated the Golden Cross of Merit for his initiative to further develop the sports and leisure facility infrastructure.

At the infraSPORT trade show more than 30 companies and institutions of the sports infrastructure market exhibited. The Olympic athletes Monika Pyrek and Marek Plawgo illuminated the events.

photos by Piotr Kucza