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New World Leisure program aims to build a global excellence network
Aiming to building a global excellence network, the World Leisure Organisation is to recognise communities around the world which foster its mission to promote leisure “as integral to social, cultural, economic and sustainable environment development”.
The new World Leisure Communities of Excellence (WLCE) program will recognise the effort of such communities, continuously working on the improvement of the economic, social and cultural lives of their citizens, promoting leisure as a means to enhance the human condition.
World Leisure is setting no preconceived figure of what a community is in order to be named a Community of Excellence.
These can range from neighbourhoods, to villages, towns, cities, states or regions, whose citizens are jointly working as a community, actively involved in promoting leisure as essential to develop their community in its broadest sense.
Programs valid for the application might include the creation/implementation of programs for persons with any kind of disability to take advantage of leisure services available in the community; cultural life-long learning programs for older adults; target community health efforts promoting child and family well-being through leisure; improving public transportation to enable all citizens to have ready access to key services and leisure facilities; and the creation or improvement of natural environments that support young people’s learning activity or health..
With the WLCE designation valid for three years, communities wishing to maintain this recognition after this period of time are subject to a review.
In addition, those communities recognised by the program will become part of the WLCE Network, from which they can benefit by boosting their global reputation as a leading community for the use of original and innovative leisure practices, as well as by increasing their international cooperation, participating in different World Leisure Organisation programs.
Already a World Leisure Community of Excellence, the Canadian city of Richmond’s recognition lies upon its successful leisure practices to improve its citizens wellbeing.
Envisioning itself as “the most appealing, liveable, and well-managed community in Canada”, Richmond works on the growth and improvement of its community through different practices, such as considering current and future generations’ needs, valuing its diversity and treating citizens with fairness and respect.
It also includes initiatives which see citizens engage in strategy development and decision-making activities and programs promoted through participation in volunteering activities, like the Partners for Beautification program which boosts quality and connection to city parks and open spaces and the Richmond World Festival, which attracts 115 volunteers, 35,000 attendees and around 50 performances.
Another example of a WLCE is the District of Keqiao, designated World Leisure Community of Excellence in 2018, which envisions itself as “a community of abundant economic potentiality, beautiful landscape and harmonious urban life”.
Keqiao works on the growth and improvement of its community through different practices, carrying out diversified projects of leisure to “ensure that participants with different needs can find their own leisure experience”.
In so doing, the community has developed several programs ensuring inclusion and access to facilities including the Disabled Art Festival, the Elderly People’s Games and the Volunteers’ Association. In addition, with the aim of eradicating poverty constraints on leisure participation, the community of Keqiao ensures free access to “all public sports and cultural facilities and part of scenic spots”, so that all citizens can enjoy leisure at its best.
Interested parties looking to improve the quality of life of their citizens through leisure should go to worldleisure.org/communities-of-excellence/
12th November 2018 - Dunedin to host 2022 World Leisure Congress
4th September 2015 - China ready to host the World Leisure Games
3rd December 2011 - Playground initiative wins World Leisure innovation prize
6th September 2010 - Sydney For All project wins World Leisure Award
3rd April 2009 - World Leisure announces Future Strategy
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