Home Lifestyle 70 years of World Leisure celebrated with historic podcast series

70 years of World Leisure celebrated with historic podcast series


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The World Leisure Organization (World Leisure) has launched a podcast series as part of its 70th-anniversary celebrations called World Leisure Pathways – Past, Present and Future Conversations.

A global NGO, World Leisure was first registered on 28 May 1952 with the goal of promoting leisure as integral to social, cultural and sustainable environmental development. The organisation has been championed by many industry luminaries over the decades, including George Torkildsen, Emmanuel Mongon, Tony Veal, Ian Cooper and Colin Tilley.

The podcast has been designed to take listeners on a journey throughout the history of the organisation over the past seven decades.

The first introductory podcast was hosted by chief operating officer Cristiana Ortega. “Through the podcast series we have decided to share these stories with you, diving into the past, present and future of the organisation,” she said.

Joanne Schroeder, chair of World Leisure was featured in this episode, giving a brief history of the organisation during each decade since it began.

“This year is a very special one for us – our purpose when we decided to lunch this podcast series was to offer you the possibility to learn about our organisation from its early beginnings,” she said, describing how World was first registered as the International Recreation Association in New York.

“After a decade of intense work and building international partnerships, we achieved consulting status with the United Nations in the sixties, as well as our close relations with UNESCO initiated in South America,” she added.

Schroeder explains that in 2007 the organisation was renamed The World Leisure Organization, as it is known today, following a rebranding exercise led by Mongon. “Development has been accompanied by the growth and diversification of projects worldwide,” she said.

The World Leisure Organization believes that leisure time is a vital component to experiencing life at its fullest and recognises that while this is the case in many societies around the world that for some, it is “merely an aspiration”. It advocates for leisure through myriad programmes, schemes and activities that support its four pillars of “advocacy, research, education and knowledge transfer”.

World Leisure is also the keeper of the global Charter for Leisure.

Events are running throughout the year to celebrate the 70th anniversary, including a Youth Ambassador’s Contest where under-35s can submit creative, project or volunteer work in competition for various categories.

One of the organisation’s largest activities is the World Leisure Congress which runs every two years. The WLO recently announced that the next congress event had been rescheduled to 11-15 December 2023, in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Leisure Media has been a media partner and supporter of World Leisure since 1985.


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