Welcome and background

Traditional Sports and Games (TSG) are characterised by the following features that differentiate them from modern sports: “They are often a remnant of the past, deeply rooted in culture, with rituals; the rules of games vary; the sport organisations are local and regional federations; the traditional sports do not participate in Olympic Games. As the reflection of a culture, traditional games have a strong local and regional attachment. They can be used to proclaim a national or regional identity“ (European Commission).

TSG are therefore part of intangible heritage and a symbol of the cultural diversity of our societies. They are also an efficient means to convey important values like solidarity, diversity, inclusiveness and cultural awareness (UNESCO). TSG also offer the same benefits for health and fitness as the modern sports do.

Universities are perfect institutions to help to revitalise and to reintroduce TSG in general. Universities have the facilities to offer TSG courses, programmes and events. They are able to integrate TSG into their curriculum. Universities have lecturers and teachers, and they have the students. Even if they are no experts in TSG, teachers and lecturers are able to implement TSG in their seminars and lessons, because they know how to teach sport. The students should be seen as future instructors and disseminators or multiplicators, particularly those who are fascinated from the sports played all over the world in different cultural settings.