Glasgow chosen as host city for 2023 International Play Association World Congress

The International Play Association (IPA) has chosen Glasgow as the location of its 2023 World Congress. The event, which will be held at Glasgow Caledonian University, will attract up to 700 delegates from over 50 countries around the world, worth over £1m to the city’s economy. Former hosts of this prestigious congress include Calgary and Istanbul.

The IPA aims to protect, preserve and promote children’s right to play as a fundamental human right. The meeting will bring delegates from all professions concerned with the wellbeing of children together in Glasgow to exchange ideas and inspire action.

Councillor David McDonald, Chair of Glasgow Life and Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “May I congratulate the successful bid team in their efforts to attract the International Play Association Word Congress to our city in 2023. IPA’s mission resonates with our vision for the young people of our city; to respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life. The pandemic has been tough for our young people, so we salute the excellent work of IPA Scotland and the wider bid team in involving Glasgow in the inspiring work of the association in promoting the child’s right to play.”

Glasgow has a long-standing commitment to play and launched its own play strategy in 2011. Investing in the opportunity for children to play and develop through that play is crucial in IPA Scotland’s drive to change and improve life for all.

Margaret Westwood, Chair of the International Play Association Scotland commented: “IPA Scotland and our amazing conference partners are honoured and delighted to be bringing the 22nd IPA Triennial World Conference to Glasgow in 2023 where we will be celebrating Play: Rights & Possibilities. The right to play is so important for all children globally, and we will be sharing Scotland’s experience and learning from others from all over the world. IPA Scotland are indebted to Glasgow Convention Bureau for their invaluable support in planning our bid for this conference, which promises to be innovative, green, inclusive and famously friendly!”

The work of the IPA has not stopped during the pandemic, with the Access to Play in Crisis work having world-wide recognition. The 2023 world congress will be an opportunity to reflect on what has been learned and what can still be learned as a result of Covid-19.

Clare Haughey, Scottish Minister for Children and Young People said: “I am pleased that Scotland will be hosting the 2023 IPA conference in Glasgow. We want Scotland to be the best place in the world to grow up and providing play opportunities to all children and families is vital to this. The Scottish Government’s recent £60 million commitment to renew play parks in Scotland is just one example of our support for play, and we look forward to sharing our passion for play with the rest of the world.”

Professor John McKendrick, Professor in Social Justice, Glasgow Caledonian University added: “Glasgow is a city of innovation. It has been a world leader in maritime commerce and engineering. When we think of ‘Clydebuilt’, we think of quality. The new Glasgow City Region Deal is set to fashion a new future for work in the city and surrounding area. But successful cities are more than prosperous economies, they need to meet all the needs of citizens. They need to allow children to flourish through play. As the ‘University for the common good’, Glasgow Caledonian University is proud to host this international conference, bringing together the latest local, national and global thinking on how to facilitate play and enrich the lives of children, families, communities and cities.”