Traditional Sports & Games

“Safeguarding and promoting traditional sport and games require developing knowledge, sharing information and raising awareness on its intangible heritage. Traditional sports and games are facing since decades a paradox: there is a revamp interest on TSG matters at national, regional and international levels which is not concordant with its apparent marginalization. The increased professionalization and commercialization of sports, the corresponding shift in values that they encompass, the global preponderance of certain sporting activities and the neglect of physical education systems represent important challenges contrasting with the status quo on the development of traditional sports and games. With this in mind, UNESCO’s work focuses on advocacy aiming to safeguard, promote and develop TSG, and to ensure that they form an integral part of national and international cultural development.”

Concept Note on Traditional Sports and Games

Collective Consultation on Traditional Sports and Games

Organized by UNESCO

06 – 07July 2017 UNESCO Headquarters, Room VI

TSG Definition:

A Collective Consultation on the promotion of Traditional Sports and Games (TSG) was held in Tehran (Islamic Republic of Iran) from 16 to 20 January 2009, during which the experts notably developed the following definitional framework:

“Traditional sport and games are motor activities of leisure and recreation which can have a ritual character. They are part of the universal heritage diversity. They are practiced in an individual or collective manner, deriving from regional or local identity; they are based on rules accepted by a group that organizes competitive or non -competitive activities. Traditional sport and games dispose of a popular character in their practice and in their organization, yet if turned into sport tend to be uniform and institutionalized. The practice of traditional and games promotes global health.”