What is the World Leisure International Innovation Prize?

The World Leisure International Innovation Prize seeks to recognize organisations that have implemented creative solutions that foster local, national or international leisure opportunities for the benefit and development of individuals and communities. Leisure is considered 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.

What makes this prize unique?

The major feature that distinguishes the World Leisure International Innovation Prize from other awards is that it focuses on the social and cultural aspects of leisure as an aspect of the lived experience for individuals in a community and for visitors to the community. This Prize represents the use of leisure as a creative solution to enhancing collectively the social, cultural, environmental, and economic quality of life in an area.

What is meant by Innovation?

Originality, creativity, and innovation should be demonstrated related to process (vision, management, and communications), resources (financial viability and human such as volunteers), partnerships and community involvement, outputs (program, events, and amenities) and outcomes. Further, the project should be “inspirational” or demonstrate a “feel good” factor. Innovation may mean a new idea or it may mean finding creative solutions through leisure to existing problems and issues. Innovations must demonstrate more than a quality program. In addition, applicants must demonstrate that their project does not exist elsewhere but it could be potentially adapted to other situations.



The Prize is open to any public, voluntary, or private sector organization.

Application procedure

  • Applications can be submitted in either the English language OR the Chinese language.
  • All entries must be sent in Adobe PDF format to secretariat@worldleisure.org
  • A senior member of the organisation must make the application and include the following details:
    • Name of organisation and full contact details
    • Name of principal contact
    • Title of project
    • A written statement demonstrating how the project meets the six Prize criteria (given below).
      • The written statement (excluding applicant’s name and contact details) is limited to 1,500 words. Applications that exceed this limit will not be accepted.
      • No images (videos, pictures, PowerPoint presentations, brochures or any other material) besides the written materials can be submitted.
      • Graphs and data tables illustrating the project are acceptable.
      • The application can include a web address where the Evaluation Committee Members may go to review images or get more information about the project.
      • Applications that are more than 1500 words or include images will not be accepted.
    • Once an application is accepted, it will be acknowledged by the WLO Secretariat.
    • Applications must be received by WLO Secretariat by 12.00hrs Central European time (CET) 31st August 2017.
    • Winners will be announced in September 2017.
    • The 2017 World Leisure International Innovation Prize will be presented during the 3rd World Leisure Expo, which will be held in Hangzhou, China, on October/November 2017. Please see our website for more details: http://worldleisure.org/events/expo/world-leisure-expo-hangzhou-china-2017/
    • A condition of being awarded the Innovation Prize is that a representative of the winning organisation must attend the Prize Award Ceremony to personally collect the Prize.


The project must have been in operation for two years or more and needs to meet the following criteria:

  1. Innovation. The applicant demonstrates originality and creativity in the project, which must have been operational for more than two years at the time of application.
  2. Clear Objectives. The objectives of the project must be clearly stated and evidence provided that they have been met successfully.
  3. Quality. The project is a quality project demonstrated by independent assessments (where available).
  4. Community Involvement. The project contributes to promoting the social, cultural, economic, and environmental quality of the community.
  5. Community Impact. The project demonstrates how leisure contributes to the quality of life of a community.
  6. Sustainability. Evidence is provided showing that the project is sustainable in the long term.


Applications are judged by an international panel.


  • Ian Cooper (United Kingdom)

Committee Members:

  • Garry Henshall (Australia)
  • Huimei Liu (China)
  • Karla Henderson (United States of America)
  • Lijun Zhou (China)
  • Patrick Nanty (Seychelles)
  • Pierre Morin (Canada)
  • Ye Min (China)


Initiated in 2006 the World Leisure Organization has awarded projects all over the world offering them a unique opportunity to be recognized by a high international level audience, gaining prestigious position and promotion in the leisure field.

The 2017 Innovation Prize winner, furthermore and including the international promotion and recognition, will have the opportunity to present the project to a large international audience, at the World Leisure Expo in the city of Hangzhou, China. The World Leisure Expo previous edition in 2011 gathered over 15 million visitors from China, Asia and the World.

  • One representative of the winning organization will be funded to attend the World Leisure Expo to receive their Prize, funding includes:
    • Air and other transport modes travel to the Expo location from their home location
    • Hotel accommodation for the duration of the Award Ceremony period
    • Registration fee
  • The winning organisation representative also receives the following in the Prize Ceremony during the World Leisure Expo:
    • The “George” trophy, a physical symbol/statue reflecting the unique social, cultural characteristics of the physical, cultural or social geography of the location of the World Leisure Congress where the prize is presented. The “George” is named to recognise the late Dr George Torkildsen (1934 – 2005, UK) who was the first Prize Committee Chair and past Chair of the World Leisure Board of Directors.
    • A framed certificate
  • The winning organisation’s representative will be given the opportunity to present and showcase their project to World Leisure Expo delegates as part of the programme. Details to be confirmed soon.
  • Winning organizations may also use the title “2017 World Leisure International Innovation Prize Winner” and the Innovation Prize logo in their future media information.


World Leisure will recognize and award projects that are judged to be “Highly Commendable” with a certificate.

2016 Innovation Prize Winner

Diplôme d’Aptitude aux Fonctions d’Animateur (DAFA) or Group Facilitation Skills Certificate

The Canadian recreation training Programme Diplôme d’Aptitude aux Fonctions d’Animateur (DAFA) or Group Facilitation Skills Certificate..

The Programme was established in 2009 by seven recreation organisations and is now recognised by all of Quebec’s recreation organisations. The programme is managed by the Quebec Leisure Council/ Conseil québécois du loisir.

Over 22,000 young people have already registered, and nearly 400 municipalities and local organisations work with 800 instructors to deliver DAFA courses.

The training standard is operational in every region of the Quebec province as a way of ensuring quality and safety in group activities.

The DAFA Programme is the result of an unprecedented cooperative effort on the part of Quebec’s recreation organisations, working together to manage the Programme’s development.

The DAFA Programme meets expected standards for quality and safety in the facilitation of group recreation, validates the work of the facilitators, promotes recruitment and retention, and encourages discussion between networks through recognition of the Programme across Quebec and beyond.

Thanks to its decentralised structure and the flexibility, it provides to organisations, training can be adapted to any community’s needs. It was chosen by TIESS as one of a number of innovative experiences that connect municipalities and the social economy.

2016 Highly Commended projects

The Peace Village Hostel, Flanders, Belgium

Contact: Matti Vandemaele
Email: info@peacevillage.be
Websites: http://www.peacevillage.be/en

For the past ten years, the Peace Village Hostel has specialised in welcoming young people from across the world. Visitors enjoy a personal and tailored visit to the former World War One frontline from the hostel. In 2015, some 20.000 youngsters from the UK, Ireland, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada and New Zealand stayed at the Peace Village.

The Peace Village Hostel provides more than just a bed and board, the educational department focusses on the former battlefields of the Great War. The landscape, the final eye witness of the conflict, is still scattered with relics of the distant past. Hundreds of cemeteries have become the final resting place for soldiers from both sides with monuments, mine craters and memorials which remind us of the horror of the Great War. The Peace Village wants to assist (young) visitors in their discovery of the local area and in an interactive way transfer that experience into a lesson for life which resonates today.