Jun 28 2018

John Dattilo: An Attempt to Stir the Poet Within – About Bilbao “Gentle paces, smiling faces…”

Dr. John Dattilo

Pennsylvania State University, (USA) – June, 12th.


Gentle paces, smiling faces

Active walkers, welcome talkers

Delicious food, relaxed mood

Sips of wine, life is fine 

Well behaved pups, coffee in cups

Bridges that connect, time to reflect

Paddled boats, thoughts to promote 

So much art, reluctant to depart

Old friends met, new friends set

Lights at night, all is right

Adventure at each turn, much to learn.

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Jun 28 2018

Douglas Kleiber – About Bilbao: But once again I was impressed with how many healthy looking people, locals as well as tourists, …”

Dr. Douglas Kleiber

WLO Research and Knowledge Transference Committee Chair,

Georgia University   – (USA). 12th, June.

About all that had changed was to see more people running, and cycling than I remember as well as more on cell phones (as seems to be the case everywhere). But once again I was impressed with how many healthy looking people, locals as well as tourists, who walked the streets all around the city (but especially along the Nervion River where the famous Guggenheim Museum stands out as a European highlight) almost every evening for exercise, socializing and the prospect of finding good pinxtos (like tapas) for which Bilbao and the Basque region, but especially the old town of Casco Viejo, are known. Of course, though, a highlight of my trip was having some time to visit the excellent “Secretariat” of the World Leisure Organization, located on the very edge of that lovey old town.

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Jun 28 2018

Yvonne Klerks – About Bilbao: “A peaceful and relaxing atmosphere at the end of a working day, which gives a holiday feeling”

Yvonne Klerks

WLCE Breda NHTV University of Applied Sciences (The Netherlands) June, 7th- 8th.

Bilbao is a pleasant and ‘easy’ city in the North of Spain. The inner city has been transformed in a particularly nice area for people to spend their leisure time. The inner city is not too small and not too large, not too quiet and not too crowded, there are tourists but not too many which enables you to experience the authentic Spanish feeling, many things are within walking distance and in case you would like to explore areas a bit further away, (public) transport is available and easy accessible, for example to the coastal area or to Bilbao’s authentic industrial heritage. Wide pedestrian lanes make it really enjoyable to walk through the inner city and the numerous bars and restaurants give the inner city a lively and delightful atmosphere. Therefore to me Bilbao is a pleasant city, but also an ‘easy’ city: easy to get around by foot, easy to find outstanding gastronomy (the city counts lots of Michelin-starred restaurants and charming Basque eateries that perfectly showcase the region’s wonderful cuisine), easy to find top class leisure facilities of which the Guggenheim obviously is the most famous one, but the city offers many more excellent leisure facilities; for example the cultural building Azkuna Zentroa and the high class soccer stadium of Athletic Bilbao are also located in the city center.

Most striking to me is the outstanding gastronomy of the city (the event ‘The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards’ was held in Bilbao in June 2018) and the liveliness in the city center after work in the afternoon: a lot of people are out on the streets for a drink and pintxos and the playgrounds are full with children. A peaceful and relaxing atmosphere at the end of a working day, which gives a holiday feeling. Especially the playgrounds are extremely pleasurable to me, because in the country where I am from, the Netherlands, you will not find children on a playground at 7 pm.

The World Leisure Organization is committed to the belief that well selected leisure experiences improve the quality of life for all, from early-age to later life. To me Bilbao is an inspiration for this commitment of the World Leisure Organization. Many others have been inspired in the past by the transformation of Bilbao, where the quality of life is admirable. Hopefully Bilbao will inspire many more in the future who seek to enhance the quality of life in their communities through leisure. Would it be a coincidence that the Scientific and Technical Secretariat of the World Leisure Organization is located in this calming leisure city?

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Jun 28 2018

WLO’s Leisure Management Special Interest Group (LM SIG) establishment

The LM SIG has used the very successful Leisure Management Commission as the foundation for its shift to the WLO SIGs. The beauty of the WLO’s SIGs is the opportunity address leisure issues on a global scale that can have applications on a local level. The LM SIG provides leisure professionals and scholars the opportunity to network and develop projects at an international level. Details about the LM SIG are available from 

The LM SIG’s overall aim is to complement the WLO vision by documenting how leisure programs, facilities and services are enhancing the human condition and contributing to communities’ quality of life. The goals are evolving but are currently listed as:

  • Establish the LM SIG to share information about leisure management research, practices and publications.
  • Establish a database of leisure management researchers and their areas of expertise.
  • Document research about how leisure programs, facilities and services are contributing to communities’ quality of life.
  • Document research about how leisure programs, facilities and services are helping communities in achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UN’s SDGs).

The LM SIG membership are currently working to put some substance to the goals by determining the tasks, responsibilities and timelines for our next steps.

John Tower and Jo An Zimmermann are the Co-convenors for the LM SIG. They bring their decades of leisure management experience to facilitate the activities of the LM SIG’s registered members. World Leisure Journal readers may recall that John and Jo An co-edited WLJ’s Special Issue on Leisure Management – Volume 59, Issue 1, March 2017.

People wanting to become involved with the LM SIG should register their interest by contacting  WLO ( ), John Tower  ( ) or Jo An Zimmermann ( WLO members attending the WLO Congress in Sao Paulo can learn more about the LM SIG when we have our first face-to-face meeting.

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Jun 28 2018

Carmen Grace Salazar Salas, PhD. (Costa Rica): “I would like to meet people from different countries who are interested in recreation/leisure studies

Carmen Grace Salazar Salas, Ph.D. is coordinator of Recreation Master´s degree programme at the University of Costa Rica.

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