World Leisure International Awards for Inclusive Playgrounds and Tourism for All Initiatives

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"Touched by Olivia" inclusive playgrounds, Australia (prize-winner) and the "Tourism for All" programme by Tourism Flanders, Belgium (highly commended) have been invited to Hangzhou, China to receive their awards during the 2nd World Leisure Expo and Forum on 18 November 2011.

Ian Cooper, Chair of the World Leisure International Innovation Prize Committee, announced three winners of the 2011 Prize and highly commended two other applications. Representatives of the winners and highly commended projects have been invited to Hangzhou, China to be presented with their awards during the 2nd World Leisure Expo and International Leisure Forum on 18 November 2011. Each Prize Winner will receive a ‘George’ and a framed certificate.

This is the fourth time that the prestigious "Georges" have been awarded to projects from several continents.

The World Leisure International Innovation Prize seeks to recognize organizations that have implemented creative solutions that foster local, national, or international leisure opportunities for the benefit and development of individuals and communities. Leisure being defined in its broadest sense including play, recreation, the arts and culture, sports, festivals and celebrations, health and fitness, or travel and tourism. It encompasses indoor or outdoor programs, services, and amenities.

The major component that sets the World Leisure International Innovation Prize apart from the myriad of similar awards given is that this Prize focuses on the social, cultural and economic aspects of leisure.

Ian Cooper, Chair of the Prize Committee, was pleased with the quality of the 2011 applications. He noted “This year’s applications came from many countries and demonstrated a range of innovative approaches to managing culture/leisure facilities and services. The Committee was particularly pleased to see the diversity of winning projects ranging from charitable organizations to state managed environmental projects.”

Founded in 1952, the World Leisure Organization is a worldwide, non-governmental association of persons and organizations dedicated to discovering and fostering those conditions best permitting leisure to serve as a force for human growth, development and well-being. World Leisure pursues these goals through education, research and informed advocacy.

The "George" is a locally crafted artwork named in honour of Dr George Torkildsen (1934 – 2005) who was the first WL Prize Committee Chair and past World Leisure Organization Board Chair.

In all there are three Award Winners and two Highly Commended innovatiove projects. Two of these focus on providing accessible and inclusive facilities and services for leisure and tourism.


Inclusive playgrounds. Kids on swing. Photo. Touched by Olivia FoundationPhoto. Livvi’s Place Playgrounds. Touched by Olivia Foundation

Program: Livvi’s Place Inclusive Playspace Network
Organization: Touched by Olivia Foundation, Australia
Contact: Rebecca Ho

In the darkest grief an adult might experience – the loss of an infant - two inspiring parents decided that their daughter’s death would not be in vain.

Touched by Olivia Foundation was formed in Australia in 2006 with the key objectives to help create happier and healthier lives for children.

The aim of the Foundation is to provide an inclusive public playground in every community in Australia. The playgrounds are to be available to everyone regardless of age or ability. The uniqueness of these playgrounds is that they cater for neurological impairment as well as physical impairment, able-bodied users and adults in a public environment. Each playground is able to offer something for everyone by being inter-generational.

To be truly inclusive the playgrounds appear and function as a traditional playground. A key objective of the playgrounds is to combat childhood obesity by offering such children an inclusive environment that helps them by creating an atmosphere where the children do not feel self-conscious.


logo of Tourism FlandersProgram: Tourism for All in Flanders
Organization: Tourism Flanders
Contact: Anne Smits

Holidays are a basic right. Tourism Flanders – an agency of the Flemish government - is working to provide holidays for all.

The ‘Tourism for All’ decree gives a new interpretation to social tourism and refers to a non-commercial form of tourism, in addition to merely economic activities. Tourism for All provides a structure to support specific target groups experience holidays.

The target groups are people living in poverty, people with a disability, children and young people, families and senior citizens. To ensure a dynamic, sustainable and inclusive approach Tourism Flanders collaborates with private organisations and companies. This public-private association makes the Flemish social tourism facilities unique and is seen as best practice in social tourism.

Tourism Flanders has developed an Accessible Travel Action Plan that resolutely opts for an inclusive approach targeting mainstream tourism facilities and using regular information channels.

It has also developed a Holiday Participation Centre, which makes holidays accessible for people with a low income. Usage has grown from under 1,000 in 2001 to nearly 100,000 in 2010.

ENAT Member logo Tourism Flanders is an Associate Member of ENAT



World Leisure International Contact

World Leisure International logo W.L.I. website

Chair - World Leisure Innovation Prize Committee: