Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 6.COM 9.2

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Belgium has proposed the Programme of cultivating ludodiversity: safeguarding traditional games in Flanders for selection and promotion by the Committee as a programme, project or activity best reflecting the principles and objectives of the Convention, described as follows:

Ludodiversity refers to the wide diversity in games, sports, physical exercises, dances and acrobatics. The non-governmental organization Sportimonium, together with local communities and associations, has taken measures to safeguard the heritage of games and sports in Flanders, Belgium, including twenty-three types of traditional games, among them forms of shooting games, bowl games, throwing games and ball games. Safeguarding measures undertaken by Sportimonium include support to specialized and umbrella organizations, publications, festivals, demonstrations, exchanges of expertise, promotion activities, loan services providing people with traditional games equipment, and a Traditional Games Park. The basis for the programme is systematic documentation and research: information on traditional games and sports has been gathered worldwide and can be consulted in a documentation centre in the Sportimonium. Another key safeguarding strategy is promoting awareness among players about the cultural significance of their intangible cultural heritage. Special attention is devoted to attracting new members, especially young people and women. The model of Sportimonium can be applied elsewhere. One advantage of the programme is its modular design, divided into different phases that can be implemented according to local, regional, national and international contexts.

  1. Decides that, from the information provided in proposal 00513, the Programme of cultivating ludodiversity: safeguarding traditional games in Flanders responds as follows to the criteria for selection in Paragraph 7 of the Operational Directives:

P.1    Four decades old, this programme articulates safeguarding measures including revitalization, documentation, research and awareness-raising that have reinforced traditional sports and games in a contemporary urbanized society; its strength lies in the integrated approach of mobilizing wide community involvement, the innovative idea of loan services and the transformation of a museum to an interactive play and leisure space;

P.2    Through several dissemination strategies, the organizations involved have shared their experience internationally; the programme has the potential for further encouraging cooperation in promoting traditional games as viable elements of intangible cultural heritage in other countries;

P.3    The programme reflects the spirit of the convention by reinforcing the viability of intangible cultural heritage; it has developed innovative methods with the bearers’ participation, particularly involving young people, and contributes to regional cultural identity;

P.4    The programme has proven to be effective in strengthening the viability of traditional games, demonstrating tangible results, keeping practices alive, improving their transmission and increasing community involvement; academic researchers have evaluated the effectiveness of its methodology, implementation and results in recent years;

P.5    The programme has involved tradition bearers, researchers, non-governmental organizations and public institutions, with most individual participants belonging to the principal institution that leads the project;

P.6    The tools and strategies developed by the programme can serve as a model and have the potential to be implemented at the international level involving diverse stakeholders;

P.7    The responsible organizations and the submitting State have expressed their willingness to disseminate the programme as a best practice of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage, if selected;

P.8    The results of the programme, including education, institutional support to communities, documentation and steady growth in participants, can be measured and have been assessed through qualitative and quantitative research;

P.9    Because of its modularity the programme allows for a phased implementation that can be adapted to the capacities of countries where traditional games are played and people are willing to safeguard them.

  1. Selects the Programme of cultivating ludodiversity: safeguarding traditional games in Flanders as a programme, project or activity best reflecting the principles and objectives of the Convention;
  2. Congratulates the responsible organizations for this exemplary way of adapting intangible cultural heritage to contemporary settings;
  3. Encourages those involved to make greater efforts towards sharing knowledge and national and international cooperation during the dissemination of best practices.