This summit provides a high-level and prestigious platform for the exchange of ideas and experience to more than 300 participants. It is aimed at anyone involved in international, national and local sports; including: cities, sports federations, national Olympic committees, non-profit organisations, companies and sports clubs.

The smartcities & sport summit 2022 focussed on the sportification of cities – or how cities can become playgrounds to bring people closer to sport. Over the two-day conference, delegates were invited to step off the beaten track and explore all places, from the most traditional to the most inventive ones, where sport becomes a natural part of the lives of city dwellers and improves their well-being.

The 2-day summit was opened by IOC President Thomas Bach who called for the sportification of cities. He encouraged cities to become more sport-friendly, calling for events to come to central hubs around the world. 


IFMA Director General Charissa Tynan was invited to join the panel titled “Off the playing field: what role can athletes play in creating positive changes in cities?”
Athletes are ambassadors of the positive values of sport. Mindful of the power of sport, many athletes want to get involved in building a better world. What role can athletes play in promoting the values of sport? What concrete impacts can their engagement have on cities and the success of their sports policies?

The panel discussion was moderated by Kaveh Mehrabi, Director of the IOC Athletes Department. Other panellists included Rai Souza Viera de Oliviera, a former Brazilian footballer and 1994 World Champion and Mark Ward, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Charissa was delighted for the opportunity to share IFMA’s Sport Is Your Gang social initiative – aimed at using muaythai to reach at-risk and marginalised youths mainly in the disadvantaged communities in inner cities. In the spirit of the panel’s topic, she stated that a key component of the initiative is using our Athletes to be the role models and ambassadors for the programme. IFMA believes that the particular group of youths that Sport is Your Gang targets can be effectively reached by the muaythai champions, many of which, are real life examples of how sport changed their lives.